Posts by Slingador

    It's too hard pulling the anchor and trying to drive the boat in choppy seas, close to the reef… alone? :laughing:

    Exactly:)). Take that one step farther once you are out there together, why on earth separate??? Given the possibilty of being aboe to save eachothers skin should the worst happen?

    Reason #2.
    -When my buddy shots a fish, If im next to him, I can shoot the bigger fish that comes in to investigate. Happens all the time on my boat. Being. 20 yards away isnt. nearly as effective .

    Dan, don't get me wrong, there is a unique rush about diving alone that I relish and no doubt enjoy. I also agree with most of your assertions , however, hearing about dozens amd dozens of needless deaths over the years, has made me realize, as much as I would like to be Im not a fish. The sea is a cruel unforgiving misstres . Something. As basic as the redundancy of an extra set of eyes, hands, lungs to slightly increase the safety margin is what we need to preach.

    Yes our safety has evolved over time. Now its more imperative than ever that we focus on ways to avoid our loved ones getting that call. Is it more effort, yes, if implemented correctly it can also be more productive.

    The first thing I do when I want to dive, is call my buddies, who I call mostly has to do , with who is always there when Im surfacing.

    Perhaps a thread titled " Reasons I decided to buddy dive" would be a good idea,. Thats all im really trying to get at. Stay safe yall

    If im diving with someone that is always distracted, I mostly follow them around, rather than risk us getting separated. before I dive, I get their attention and ask them to please watch my back, When surfacing im looking for eye contact, If the are in tunnel vision mode, I give them an earfull, Literally every dive, fish or no fish. After awhile of you being exactly at the spot they surface, EVERY time, and being nagged not to wander off. Most people get with the program. The ones that don't often it only takes a frank conversation back ot the boat. It goes something like this, " Listen man, I didnt ask you to watch my back as a joke, it means be there when I surface, I have a kid, I wont. Dive unless you do your part, thats the deal". At time i feel nagging and inflexible but the alternative is unacceptable to me. I have an probably will dive alone, On those ocassions its a very last ditch decission and I think of incidents like this the whole time

    Some very nice posts most notably Gecko's. Problem is the sentiments expressed are idealistic. The reality is guys keep dying in greater numbers than ever, even after being exposed to all this information. And guys keep diving alone, even if they think they're diving with a buddy. In the end freedive spearfishing in the US is a solo exercise, no matter what kind of spin you put on it, no matter how stoked you are over a noobs first nice fish. The only true team spearfishing system is how they do it in Cuba, two divers one gun. And I'd rather have it this way. There's nothing like the confidence gained to deal with problems than venturing out on your own and discovering it all for yourself. Accelerated progressions because of freediving courses will continue to equal more deaths. If there's any superficial motivator for me to be more careful, it's the thought of not allowing a thread like this about myself to come to be, wouldn't want to give anyone the satisfaction.


    Going SOLO is the easy choice, But by no means is it mandatory. Claming that it is, is fairly obtuse. The secret safety mojo all the courses claim to bestow, in reality is very simple, at least the parts I think pertain to our community, NEVER dive alone. If. Chosing to do so, be fully aware, death is waiting for the smallest mistake, and the margin of error half.

    The style of diving , I chose to adhere to and foster in my buddies, is excarly what you describe the Cubans do, except with 2 guns, Being dirt poor and starving doesnt suddenly make it possible to buddy dive correctly, All that is necessary is the will. Comunicate with your partner before and after. Each dive, After a while it cam literally be. A mutal glance at the surface, Dont dive if your partner is distracted, dont be distracted when hes under. People in the US do dive like this, the reaponsible ones. Most of the guys I dive with are not noobs by any stretch, The fact , I take pleasure in having a first row experience when a pal lands a nice fish, or retrieve an otherwise lost fish, is what to me its all about. To some proving they have the biggest balls or land the biggest fish is what get them off, I like comming home to my kid.

    I am no Cameron and dont claim to be, but I can asure you, diving as a team, when done properly is more productive for a multitude of reasons, And when the inevitable happens , Hopefully you or your buddy will be prepared . We dive as buddy teams and never have a problem, Last year. We got wahoo 70+ lbs, Grouper 50+. Cobia 60+ . Not in some far off island, and not some fluke when diving the reef alone. A good portion of those fish were close calls where a second. Shot made the diffrence. Its your choice, No one is forcing you, make it at your owm perril.

    I am thankfull for all my buddies amd the comminuty in general. I am also sick of hearing about tragic losses that could be avioded by more people chossing to hunt as teams.

    I know you and Ben had a beef Dan but this behaviour is petty and doesn't serve the community. I agree with many points you make, but not this.

    I think we can all agree this happens too often, and tragedy is always best avioded when possible, if it serves to cause one diver one day to be actually watching out for his buddy, or someone who was gona go alone, make the effort to have someone to share the experience with amd it saves someones life its worth.

    I try my hardest to be strict on the buddy system, waiting till 2 divers are ready to hit anything deeper than 50, not inviting back anyone that tend to wander after being told, Seeking out and cultivating relationships with like minded people that want the same things, to have fun and above all come back home.

    The statement that buddy diving doesnt work is iresponsible, it behoves us all to make it WORK. Granted sometimes its tough, nearly impossible but ALWAYS do your best
    Do i dive less because I will rarely go it alone now a days.? Yes. Is it more rewarding, hell yeah, High fiving your buddy after stonning a fish, Fending an unseen sark off his 6, or saving a fish of a lifetime as it shakes free still green, oh yeah and saving his life, makes the added efort. Worth it, Theres even people i dont like, that i would take as a wingman imstead of going alone. No one really ever talks about mentoring younger divers, its a great chance to increase the margin of safety, when done correctly. In the last 2 years my crew and I have had no trouble landing our share of nice fish, even under my rules, that by Somes logic should be a handycap.

    An attentive partner and teammate in the water is never and should never be considered or be advertised as a hindrence or crutch, thats just bananas, and the facts prove it.

    A few of my buddies first wahoo amd fish we 2x as rewarding for me than if I had shot them myself. Especially since my deal is, I will take you, amd cover gas, but the 1st fish you shoot is for the boat:)). With 1 upgrade in case the 2nd is nicer;). All the ones after are upto the diver discretion

    Ben shot his first Grouper in the double digits on my boat, I was way more stoked about that fish than had I landed it. For me it would have been very very sad to see him go. Probably would have made me more wary and made it less enjoyable over all

    Back to what yall are really interested in.
    This dive literally took place during my lunch break. From 11:30 to 1. Blessed by freakishly devine conditions, my. Heart yearned to make love to my mistress ( the sea ) I had been resigned to wait to dive after my engaments were over later in the week.
    When George mentioned hed show me a spot he liked if I could sneak away, my ears perked up. I threw up a smoke screan and George and Sophine Swoped in to ruscue my from my inhumane working conditions;) on the short ride they briefed me and gave me some amzingly interesting history on the island.
    One of my first in person impressions of Georges skillset was checking out his rigging. That instantly put any nervousness to rest, his gear is the stuff of textbooks, and ive seen alot of gear. Not store bought stuff, heavy duty ninja shit, he makes himself.

    When he handed me the Koah for our dive, I knew it was upto me, the gun was Dialed in to a razors edge of deadly precision.

    As we swam to the spot, I thought to myself:
    George said to look for Ceros, I turned my head and saw a pack of em. As I decended they spooked some, but the Koah found its mark striking the lateral line as he quatered away. My day was made!!! Some time was spent basking in the joy of the gift I just received. I Experienced to best shore dive for me ever, visiting world class dive sites from shore.
    My paranoia and the speardiver suits ability to make a diver disapear caused me to over react bit when I saw George go down and not come up. After he swam along a path I wasnt expecting. I hope Sophie didnt get to. worried.

    Just after our joyfull reunion, George tells me to swim down and look for a mutton. From his lips to Gods ears. Again the fish was leary of my presence, he was on his way outta harms way, when once a again the Steele workhorse delivered the second stone shot in as many trigger pulls. I give thanks!!!

    By then my time to play had run out. George again graciously catterd to me and got me back in record time, even with a tire change, my absence wasnt even a blip on my bosses radar!!! Next time we go, cell phones off, no more pesky work.

    To summarize:
    -best lunch break ever
    -best shore dive ever
    -most enjoyable tire change ever
    -most informative drive to divespot EVER
    -best experience with another divers gear Ever.
    -first time I got back to a kitchen and filleted a twicking mutton.
    I could go on and on, when I get my ape act together I will post a few more pics.
    Hope yall enjoy. I certainly am!!!

    Let me start by saying thankyou!!! To George. All around stand up guy. He was instrumental in making this trip come together for me. His help was much more than I could do justice to in a few lines, his graciousness allowed me to line my proverbial ducks just rite. This trip was first and foremost a work trip, and possibly my best ever. George practically held my hand and opened up his home to me. I cant say enough good thing about him. I am proud to have a guy like him to call a friend. He and Sophie are like "Ariel and Eric"of Antigua, freaking MerPeople Royalty!

    Thanks chief!! My thoughts exactly. The suit just blows away others. Im a huge puss when it comes to cold. Hella nice yj. Havent landed one in a long time. Sometimes after hour and hours in the blue dessert chasing ghosts I question my sanity and wish I could talk my buddies into some laid back reef diving. Heres a pic of one of those rare moments. Big ups to my buddy Jose for taking this pic.