10 March 2006

Pre-Dive Checklist

Scuba diving is full of opportunities for embarrassment, as perhaps you've noticed. Does your diving protocol include sometimes stepping off the boat without weights?

Mine too. You'd think we might learn eventually to run down a checklist of all the gear we're going to need in the water before making that giant stride. You know the kind of thing: Weight belt on? Check. Air on? Check. But somehow paper checklists get lost when you need them most. And who wants to do paperwork when there's diving to do?

PADI Course Director Ned Branch doesn't use paper checklists for recreational diving. "I tried them and forgot stuff," he says. "I'd skip something, thinking I'd get back to it later." But paper does have its place. When he dives his complicated closed-circuit rig, he uses paper and pencil to be sure he's got everything. And people differ. If you feel more comfortable making those tick marks with a pencil before every dive and have the discipline that takes, do it.

I don't. On ordinary dives, I need a substitute for the shopping list that's hard to screw up and impossible to forget: a no-pencil, no-brain reminder of all the equipment we must have and all the things we must do to avoid embarrassment--something, well, idiot-proof. And I don't mean those acronyms and trick phrases that instructors love so much. I can't remember them either.

Instead, I like the "checklist" that's always right at my fingertips because it's my own body. Each part of it--my eyes, ears, mouth, chest, stomach, hands and feet--suggests a piece of essential gear or a predive ritual. By always making a head-to-toe body scan of my predive checklist, I haven't forgotten anything important. Lately, at least.

Visit Scuba Diving's Ultimate Pre-Dive Checklist for the full article and find out how it can work for you...

Source: www.divester.com


Post a Comment

<< Home