Think back to some of the dives that you have done in the past.
Frustrating dives where you didn’t know where your buddy was at, where you gave up on caring, assumed they’d be fine and you would see them back on the boat.
You learned in your beginning scuba class about hand signals and direct active communication. What we were talking about in Episode 28 was passive communication, communicating without physically having to communicate. Meaning, when your buddy wants to know if you are OK and you are always in the place you are supposed to be in, or you are already doing what you are supposed to be doing… this answers the question as to whether you are “OK.”
Instead, so many new divers spend the entire dive looking left and right and up and down and back and forth to see where their buddy is and then asking each other, “Are you OK?”
“Yes, I’m OK.”
“Are you OK?”
“Yes, that’s why I asked you. To make sure you were, because I already was.”
“OK, then, because I’m OK. Are you OK… NOW, STILL OK??”
“Yes, I’m OK.”
“Are you OK, back?”
Remember back to when you were learning how to drive a car. One of the first things you learned to do when you sat behind the wheel of a vehicle was to adjust the mirrors. The rear view and side mirrors, when properly adjusted, allowed you to stay seated and driving the vehicle and still see all around you. Other cars approached from the back as well as both sides but you could focus on driving the car out of your peripheral. Occasionally you need to check your blind spots but overall you can maintain your progress without interruption.
Passive communication is a critical tool for a dive team to practice and develop. From the basic beginner through to the advanced explorer, these communication skills will enhance the performance of any dive team.
Always knowing, without question, where your team mates are. This is the core of performance buddy diving.
This is made easier by always putting yourself in a position where your location and awareness is unmistakable. Through organization, positioning, light signals, environmental aids and awareness; passive communication throughout your team will allow you to move along a dive without having to stop and ask, “Are you OK? Are you still here? Are you still OK?”