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Where When How May/June 2017 : Page 96

Relax | DIVE | Chill The reason that I mention this is be-cause it’s such a contrast to my ap-proach to diving. Oddly enough, as a diver I find it easy to abide by the rules. The reason for my dutiful obedience as a diver is because of my training. I learned to dive at a very young and impression-able age, and was taught by an incorrigi-ble ex-Marine Corps drill instructor and commercial diver who had turned the idea of not following rules into an art form. Suffice it to say that the Hell’s An-gels would have felt comfortable in my scuba course (and I wouldn’t have been that surprised to see them in it). The in-structor who trained me wasn’t the kind of guy you said no to easily, so when he said, “Hey kid, follow the rules or you’ll die!” I listened and never questioned his rationale. It seems that rules and diving go to-gether like spaghetti and meatballs. Never hold your breath, never dive alone, always do this and never do that make up a major part of scuba instruc-tion. In fact, as I escaped military service due to my draft status as a student, the only endeavor where I think I had to learn more rules than in diving was when I took my driver’s license exam. I am, of course, not saying that rules aren’t necessary. But it is interesting to watch, in an organized activity where ex-tensive training is necessary — like scuba diving — how common-sense sugges-tions can evolve into rules as binding as those Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. A case in point is a rule so in-grained in divers that few consider vio-lating it — openly, at least. The dictum I’m referring to has been part of a canon of scuba diving almost as long as organ-ized training has been around: Always make your deepest dive first. Not sur-prisingly, when dive computers came on the scene, this repetitive dive rule was expanded to cover multilevel diving. And today, “stair-stepping” — moving from the deepest to the shallowest part of a dive — remains as much an SOP as the buddy system or wearing an octopus regulator. So, it’s within this context of these rules and regulations that this article is part history lesson, and part reminder, that even in scuba diving, things change. The best possible diving in the Turks & Caicos. We provide a high level of personal service, professionalism and fun to a small group, on our fast, comfortable dive boat. Private charters and private guiding -our speciality. Instruction, rental equipment and NITROX available. Complimentary Grace Bay pick up. Call us at 649-432-2782 | Out of Harbour Club Villas & Marina Reverse History Before any of you old-timer divers start asking why such a sacrosanct rule could be called into question, let’s first exam-ine how we came to regard what have been termed “reverse profiles” as taboo. And since many of you may be very new to the diving scene, let’s start even fur-ther back with some definitions. The issue of reverse profiles is sometimes confusing because the term actually can have two meanings. First, a reverse pro-file can refer to a series of repetitive dives in which the deepest is not the first in the series. On the other hand, it can also describe a single multilevel dive that doesn’t follow the “stair-stepping” described earlier; and the diver finds him or herself in the deeper phase of a dive after completing a shallower seg-ment. Both procedures violate the deep-first rule. Now that we’re all on the same page, it may surprise you to learn that the 96 • • • • • MAY/JUNE 2017 “Where When How -Turks & Caicos Islands”

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