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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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April 1997 Vol. 12, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Readers’ Rants, Raves, & Retorts

from the April, 1997 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Not Around My Neck, You Don't

Fred Calhoun (Maynard, Mass.) doesn't like some of the advice -- or orders -- he's getting from dive instructors: "If I read another piece that advocates wrapping a mask around one's neck, I'll scream. I am weary of reading the comments of pseudo-instructors suggesting (directing, actually) that the place for a mask when it's not being used is wrapped around the neck. I am very sure that none of these people scuba dive -- they certainly don't teach real-world scuba diving -- else they would not advocate such a dangerous situation as ensnaring the regulator mouthpiece with the encumbering straps of the mask and snorkel. This is a classic example of loquacious cocktail scubas, with little to do but talk with themselves, inventing some new hoop for people to jump through. It is sinful that so many so-called 'instructional agencies' and scuba publications allow the broadcasting of this unsafe practice."

Will someone tell me again why we are not supposed to put our masks on our foreheads? Has anyone actually lost a mask by doing so?

It May Not Be in the Ocean, But It's on My Wall

"My pet peeve," writes John Wible (Atlanta), "is photographers who search for the ultimate representation of underwater life -- they see it, then destroy it. Forget about rules for saving the reef. They kick, squirm, lose all buoyancy to get THAT picture. The life and well-being of corals, sponges, and gorgonians all take a back seat for THAT one great shot."

I've seen lots of responsible underwater photographers (my dive buddy is one), but I've also seen the kind you're talking about. In fact, even though I was disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, I did get so outraged once that I physically jerked a photographer off the reef. Once back aboard the dive boat, he never said a word, but on the very next dive, sponges and corals were floating up around him again as he wedged himself in for that one great shot.

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