PADI Self-Reliant and Sidemount

It has been a while since I posted anything.  Anything at all.  I have been very busy and have had nothing to say – honest.  I have mostly been focusing on Scuba and Hockey while I rebuild the workspace following a flood.  It’s not having a workspace that has been holding me up from any technology projects.

On the Scuba front, I completed PADI self-reliant while I was in Bonaire.  It was an interesting course and I was put under a lot of stress under the water.  I am somewhat concerned that I am either good at handling stress or too docile to care.  I guess I just tend not to panic and while that’s a good thing, it’s important to at least stop, think and act.  I wonder if I am slow at such things and indeed docile, on the other with hand all the training as a pilot…I tend to be focused on the task in hand rather than worrying about it.

During self-reliant, I used a pony bottle.  Now I have been using pony bottles for a few years anyway, but I’d never thought about the alternatives that much.  It was put to me during the course that sidemount could be considered an alternative to a pony bottle as a alternative air source.  Yes, alternative.  Redundant, no.  My pony bottle is alternative and in theory redundant because it’s there as backup.  In sidemount diving you use both bottles and dig into your entire air supply.  It’s needed, not redundant.  I am disciplined enough to dive with enough reserves to meet the same goal though.

I have never really been interested in sidemount diving before.  Not that I think it’s bad or not useful, it’s just that in the diving I do I have never seen a use for it and in life I’ve never chased anything just because it’s what the cool kids are doing.  Sidemount has kind of had that image from time to time and it’s just not attractive to me to be that kind of diver.  I want to use the right tool for the right job.  Yet I’ve seen some ‘tools’ doing sidemount diving for one tank boat dives and so on.  While there are some benefits in this scenario, I don’t see the point in slugging to AL80 off of a boat for a 45 min dive in open water with a buddy.  At least take smaller tanks.

However yes, Jeffrey at Dive Friends Bonaire has me kind of interested in scenarios where I think Sidemount would give me the alternative air some of my dives need, while perhaps trying out a setup that appears to have a number of benefits.  I guess I’ll find out soon.  Watch this space.