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Auntie Toomer

ISSUE 4 ARCHIVE - PAUL TOOMER, AGONY AUNT

Whatever your problem, Auntie Toomer is here to help you out...

Q: People say rebreathers are the thing of the future,
Yet the technology is older than open-circuit scuba,
This spacetime anomaly is a surefire confuser,
For anyone other than Great Auntie Toomer,
So should I blow bubbles or modified inner-tube(a),
When I go diving in Bonaire and Aruba?

Jacques Cousteau

A: Hi there Jacques, I believe it is you that may have to explain the space-time anomaly as you are DEAD as far as I know. I have not been given enough page space to go into the details of how it is that you have been reincarnated so we'll have to skip all the science. Nevertheless, welcome back.
Ocean Leisure
I also believe that part of the answer lies with you. When you started diving, you used an Oxygen Rebreather, it couldn't get you to the depths where you found it sometimes "necessary to use dynamite" or allow you to spear all those fish that you wanted for dinner. So, you modelled the hoses from your old rebreather onto an open circuit design, as you knew in your heart that rebreathers rocked. Fortunately, when you switched from the Oxygen Rebreather to open circuit you reduced your partial pressure of oxygen and this obviously freed up a part of your brain that had been previously locked away and you went on to make friends with all the ocean creatures. You became a hero and the diving world, quite rightly, came to worship you as a God (another time space anomaly as some people believe in Jesus).

Today, we are finding it harder and harder to see the wonderful animals that were so abundant when you started this glorious sport and the Rebreather (not a pure O2 one) is really the best way to get close to these wonderful creatures. Coupled with the fact that you can stay underwater for much longer than on Open Circuit, the rebreather is the only way forward. If you take photos, sharks, rays, dolphins etc. will surround you when you stop making all that din with the bubbles.
There is a little more instruction and also a bit more responsibility needed when diving a rebreather but they are simply "The Future"!

I know a really great Rebreather Instructor should you need to contact him.

I hope this helps, my little French friend.

AT

PS, did you bring Elvis back with you? I'm a huge fan and would love an autograph!!

Q: Back in 2001 my Girlfriend and I were working in Gran Canaria. During this time I managed to get completly hooked on Diving and steadily rose up the ranks to rescue diver level.

However whilst diving on a wreck 25 metres down, the debris tube inside my tank either became blocked or broke, and jammed my first stage,cutting off my air. Also to add insult to injury, I had just fully exhaled and so had absolutely no air! As you can imagine this was all quite scary, but I did manage to keep my cool and whilst using my buddy's occy, surfaced slowly and I'm here to tell the tale.

However on pretty much every dive since I've suffered slight panic attacks or anxiety of some sort. I'm desperate to overcome this and get fully back into it,so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Sledmere

A: Thank you for your question.

Finally a serious one!

Firstly, let me congratulate you on dealing with a very serious situation so well.

Fear and apprehension should actually not really be a major problem for you to overcome now as you have dealt with the most dangerous situation any diver can get into. Having a NO AIR situation is everyone's nightmare scenario.

Have you ever thought of using a redundant air source? There are many options available to you today.

The simplest is to carry a pony bottle. I would "stage" it in a tech kind of way. Rather than having it on your back, you could sling it on one side of your BCD. As long as you have some D Rings on your BC you are laughing. You will need advice here and a small amount of training to use the system efficiently.
Halcyon Eclipse Infinity
The other way is to go down the tech route. You don't have to spend a million bucks these days and the fact that you have TWO cylinders on your back with TWO air sources will let you really chill on a dive. You don't have to sign up for 100m diving and be as strong as a horse and the training is not militaristic anymore. There are really good programmes designed for all levels of SCUBA divers. You will also benefit from some of the more advanced skills that are taught that will deal with your experience and show you many ways to overcome the problem. A great starter course would be something like the IANTD Deep Diver or Advanced Nitrox Course and DSAT and TDI do a programme called Intro Tech Diver which is basically, learning how to dive safely in double cylinders.

If you need any further help, please do e-mail me and I shall try my best to guide you down the best route.

If you've got a problem, and if we can find him, maybe you should email Auntie Toomer. You might also like to check out The Diving Matrix.
Denney Diving

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