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Auntie Toomer


Paolo Vincenzo Toomer

Q: Dear Auntie Toomer,

I have a few questions for you whilst I sit at my office desk:

What to do when you are so bored on a dive and there are no fish to see and even your buddy is boring? Is doing signals with your body or playing charades underwater an acceptable alternative?

What is the acceptable protocol for going up a permanent or communal shot? If somebody is on a deco stop and you are ascending, do you simply throw them off and plow straight through them (as has happened to me), or go round them, even though the current means letting go is not a good idea?

If you are at the bottom or on a wreck and some poxy PADI qualified novice is kicking all the silt in Christendom, is it acceptable to turn off their air or give them a whack about the head?

Babel, bored and not diving somewhere in North London

p.s. following on from my first question, Is it acceptable to try and locate your buddyís secret tattoo while underwater?

A: Hi there,

Thanks very much for your email. Youíre not a civil servant are you? Have you nothing better to do? Do you work for Lambeth Parking Services, if so, it would explain the boredom issues you have acquired.

I have to wonder how you get bored on a dive? I heard it was impossible to get bored. What kind of diving are you doing? Iíll bet, like my friend John Carlin you are into reef watching. My advice to you is to grow a pair and get wreck diving! You will NEVER be bored.

Underwater signals are good and vital to team communications but underwater charades is simply unacceptable. If this behaviour were allowed to enter our sport we would become the underwater equivalent of X Factor which I am sure all our readers will agree is an abomination. Can you imagine what our dive sites would be like? So, in answer to question 1Ö NO!

With regards to the secret tattoo, well, you will have to expand on this because itís all about location, location, location!

While using a shot line for ascents, it certainly seems current protocol is to bash the deco divers off the line with as much force as possible. In my experience this has happened many times and I suggest that all tech divers ask their instructor to simulate this scenario. There is nothing quite like flying away from your reference point while missing out on vital deco. I mean, come on, how bent can you get when you miss an hour of deco?

Finally, I think you are mixing up the poxy PADI divers with perhaps another agency. Us PADI divers are taught incredible buoyancy. We utilise modern buoyancy control equipment like BCDs and weight systems, even integrated weights. Not wrenches, hammers and crowbars, which were the standard British sport diver dress. We also attempt to show our divers neutral buoyancy swimming as opposed to negative buoyancy walking, which, I fear, is the spectacle that you observed.

Now, man (or woman) up and get on an Advanced Wreck course immediately. I know an instructor in Malta.

Yours, Auntie Toomer

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