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Old 15-07-2010, 09:17   #31
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
This is an aside. Not related to the Caribbean at all and just for some folks how may be reading this wondering about the rest of the world.

There are some weird rules we have bumped into re scuba and even snorkeling so its more than just the Caribbean.

Beware!
In Greece (hey, that rings a bell - I'm sure I know someone who's there right now), some friends of ours had their boat confiscated because they had SCUBA gear and spear-fishing gear on the same boat. They never used both together. They were all environmentalists working at an Aquarium; so would never want to use spear-guns whilst on SCUBA.

BEWARE!!
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Old 15-07-2010, 09:58   #32
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On the other hand, there are many experienced divers who don't collect cards. They are usually the best divers, in fact. But how do we know who they are? That's why a line can't really be drawn, and unfortunately we all suffer because of the few bloomin' idiots who don't know their limits.
My point would be that you don't need to know who they are or draw a line if the divers are not diving from your boat or with your dive service. If I am diving from my own boat with my own equipment and otherwise obeying the local diving laws (no spearfishing, using mooring bouys, etc) it none of your concern what level of certification or experience I have.
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:03   #33
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I agree entirely. But how to distinguish between qualifications and experience?
I think log is a very useful tool. Not just experience, but what kind of experience they have. I also usually talk to people to get a feel of their approach to diving.
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:08   #34
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My point would be that you don't need to know who they are or draw a line if the divers are not diving from your boat or with your dive service. If I am diving from my own boat with my own equipment and otherwise obeying the local diving laws (no spearfishing, using mooring bouys, etc) it none of your concern what level of certification or experience I have.
Agreed. In a manner of speaking. But we love reefs, and we like (some) people a little bit too. We don't want either to get hurt or killed. That would have repercussions amongst the rest of us who are sensible. Such as entire countries enforcing blanket "no independent diving" laws.

Oh yeah, that's happened already in some places, which is the whole point. And all because of a few idiots (and I don't mean you or I, or any other of the divers on this forum who are all great, but just idiots) don't know how to dive safely.
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:09   #35
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. . . if you do a day trip there, because they want to see you on a few of the easier dives first to make sure you're not a stroke.
. . .
Did not know George I. was on the list :-)
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:13   #36
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Lightbulb Where the line should be...

I'm a genius - this just hit me like a bolt of lightning...

We can ban all divers from diving independently except those who are members of CF - because we're all very sensible people and very clever divers who can be believed when we say we are "very sensible people and very clever divers".

That's it!!!!
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:25   #37
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Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
Agreed. In a manner of speaking. But we love reefs, and we like (some) people a little bit too. We don't want either to get hurt or killed. That would have repercussions amongst the rest of us who are sensible. Such as entire countries enforcing blanket "no independent diving" laws.

Oh yeah, that's happened already in some places, which is the whole point. And all because of a few idiots (and I don't mean you or I, or any other of the divers on this forum who are all great, but just idiots) don't know how to dive safely.

I would suspect that these laws have much more to do with pressure from local dive businesses to increase revenues than it has to do with some diver managing to kill himself. Can you present any evidence that these laws were enacted in response to a safety issue?
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:35   #38
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Good grief, Captain Bill, just as the US government does not indulge in conspiracies, neither does the diving industry.

In many areas divers are restricted in certain areas in order to protect the reef. The proportion of divers who visit an area without booking through a centre is very low, and at the end of the day, we also make money through selling you air and equipment, so we don't want to alienate you!

We are grown up professionals who are sworn to help spread the word about safe diving practices. By educating the majority, and banning idiots (or educating them too, we wouldn't like to be seen as biased); we can improve the mortality rate of both divers and reefs.
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Old 15-07-2010, 10:51   #39
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Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
Good grief, Captain Bill, just as the US government does not indulge in conspiracies, neither does the diving industry.

In many areas divers are restricted in certain areas in order to protect the reef. The proportion of divers who visit an area without booking through a centre is very low, and at the end of the day, we also make money through selling you air and equipment, so we don't want to alienate you!

We are grown up professionals who are sworn to help spread the word about safe diving practices. By educating the majority, and banning idiots (or educating them too, we wouldn't like to be seen as biased); we can improve the mortality rate of both divers and reefs.
I don't for a minute believe that local businesses don't put pressure on local governments to set rules that maximize their revenues. Dive operations are businesses and I'm sure they take what ever prudent steps they can to enhance their revenue including getting laws enacted that help.

With respect to restricting the number divers or what they are allowed to in certain areas, I don't have a problem with this either. If they have no touch regulations, mooring bouys only, no spearfishing, etc. I will be happy to comply with such rules. I don't even object to having to buy a dive permit to help pay the costs of preserving the marine park. What I do object to is the government requiring me to buy any services from a private company that I can adequately provide myself.

I suppose you would feel the same if you were to take your boat to one of these countries and they were to require that you charter a local boat and only sail it under the supervision of a local captain. You know boats sink or might run aground or even crash gybe which might kill or injure you or the reef. After all there are plenty of idiots and underqualified people out there boating and they should only be allowed to operate under the direct supervision of a professional. Do you now see the absurdity of these local laws.
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Old 15-07-2010, 11:16   #40
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Do you now see the absurdity of these local laws.
I absolutely and uncategorically (the spell check says that's not a word, but I think it is) agree with you on all the issues you have discussed.

Did you hear about the British family with two kids who bought a boat then set off around the world, got as far as the Bay of Biscay, hit a storm and all died? That was very sad. The outcry was because they had no training or experience. That was an idiotic (if tragic) loss. Do I believe sailing should be licenced? No.

Did you hear about the guy who had his finger bitten off by an eel whilst SCUBA diving? He was an idiot for poking his idiot finger near the mouth of an ell who had been fed sausages on a regular basis by idiot tourists diving with and idiot dive centre.

The world is, unfortunately, full of idiots. When I am World President, I will introduce a worldwide test to separate the idiots from the people who have the ability to operate their brain cells. They will be allowed to dive (independently), sail (independently), ride horses (independently) and bikes (independently), fly kites (independently) and skate (independently); and all the rest will be condemned to a lifetime of watching Eastenders and Coronation Street.
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Old 15-07-2010, 12:09   #41
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all the rest will be condemned to a lifetime of watching Eastenders and Coronation Street.
That should solve the world overpopulation problem as most will be volunteering to leave. By the way, my dictionary says absurdity is a word. But then again I do use Microsoft Word for a spell checker and I'm not sure how much you can trust it.
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Old 15-07-2010, 16:05   #42
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i think we should just take all rules/regulations and safety laws out of the equation.let the problem sort itself out. protecting idiots is for idiots.
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Old 15-07-2010, 16:52   #43
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I was at Saba last year. I think they only have 10 mooring balls on the lee side of the island and anchoring is not allowed. The dive moorings are for professional dive operators only and they only allow diving with professionals. Saba is one beautiful island at night. It is unreal how the land rises so straight up from the sea. Unfortunately, it is really difficult to get on the island due to surge.

Has anyone in the States ever wondered how you can justify a law mandating seatbelt use when your passed by a motorcycle rider without a helmut? Laws that are designed to limit our freedom when we are the only person who would be hurt I can't support. Of course every dive operator would love to have it mandated that you can't dive without a professional. Personally, I think that is BS.
White and red balls are for the 'professional' dive boats only. The others are fair game. The yellow are for boats up to 60', first come first served (best not to take a local's favorite, though).

And I've dived off an inflatable I owned when I lived there, and a Capri 21....the Saba Marine Park website says that you have to dive with a pro but I think they mean you have to dive off a boat....not off the beach (nobody in their right or wrong mind would want to lug diving gear up from Wells Bay - the beach - anyway. My car had trouble with the grade).
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Old 15-07-2010, 16:58   #44
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Saba doesn't surprise me. Very small island, the entire place is a marine park, and only 2 operators on the whole island. In their case at least, I'd say it's more for environmental reasons. They don't even take you to the deeper cooler dives, like the pinnacles, if you do a day trip there, because they want to see you on a few of the easier dives first to make sure you're not a stroke.

So, do you at least get a cheaper rate if you're using your own tanks and gas?
There are 3 operators on Saba - Sea Saba, Saba Divers/Scouts Hotel (both in Windwardside) and Saba Deep (in Ft. Bay, under "Inn 2 Deep".

I know that SeaSaba gives you a discount if you use your own gear, also if you trained with them, are more or less a local (there's a medical school on Saba), etc. Lyn and John are pretty savvy businesspeople, and just nice folk to boot. I'd be willing to bet that if you had ALL your own gear and only needed a boat ride they'd work a good deal for you.
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Old 15-07-2010, 18:48   #45
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Did not know George I. was on the list :-)
Oh, so you know George? My isn't this a small world.

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