Fishnhunt New Zealands main hunting and Fishing Forum. millions of posts on fishing and hunting, dogs, 4x4 vehicles, outdoors and much more Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 Send TopicPrint
Normal Topic A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese (Read 2323 times)
davflaws
Donor Member
*****
Online


NOT Training for SAS Selection

Posts: 3257
Location: Whangarei
Joined: Nov 11th, 2006
Gender: Male
A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Oct 16th, 2019 at 3:21pm
Print Post  
There are scallops in Urquharts Bay. That's no big secret. You can get them if you can free dive to 8M. You can get them off the beach if you can swim out into the channel. But there is always a bit of tide. On the flood, it takes you upharbour and away from the shore. On the ebb, it takes you seaward and away from the shore.

And since I am old and fat, there's no way I can swim out and freedive for 20 scallops. Lucky to get half a dozen before I'm stuffed and the shore seems a long way off. So I SCUBA. Close to slack water. Swim out to the channel on the surface and SCUBA for the scallops and then swim back on the surface.

That is the scallops bit. The Swiss Cheese bit is next. The Navy use the idea when thinking about safety management. Even though a block of  Swiss Cheese is full of holes, there is no way they connect when it is in a block, so you can't shine a light through it. And if you slice the block very thick, there might still not be a hole through any slice. But the thinner you slice the block, the higher the chance you will strike a hole going right through the slice.

The first slice was the decision to dive at all at my age. I have a Medical cert and I'll wear the risk - decreasing it by allowing for my decrepitude.

The second slice was the decision to dive alone. I have done it for more than 50 years, and I have never been in any situation in which a buddy would have "saved" me. - A couple where a friendly face and some company was very good in the face of a long, hard, and freaky swim - but nothing survival critical.

The third slice was my Rt knee. It dislocates very easily in the water and my Rt leg isn't as powerful swimming as my L. So I wear split fins and that cuts the risk of dislocation.

So those three slices are fixed - I either allow for my decrepitude and keep diving or I don't. In fact I do. I reckon I will live longer on the balance of risk. But my gear is old. I bought most of it second hand a very long time ago. That is because  am a mean bastard, and people generally don't die from gear failure. But the rest of the slices are about that.

The fourth slice was my finstrap fitting. One of the four had been deteriorating for a while but had then crapped out totally. My local dive store had a replacement that "would probably be alright". I promised myself I would make it absolutely secure with a cable tie later, but it would do for this "little" dive.

The fifth slice was the fact that scalloping in shallow water uses 30-40bar, so I usually breathe my bottle out rather than maintaining the standard recommended 50bar reserve . 

The sixth slice was the BCD. There has been a nick in the outer Hypalon cover for years, but the bladder inside is fine. Or was.  Now there is a leak in the bottom of the bladder, and when I lie vertical in the water or on my back, air pisses out the rip in the Hyperlon cover. I found this out yesterday.

And when I was just about out to the scallops, I rolled over to do the last 50M on my back and heard the air pissing out from my BCD.  Shit, a leak! How bad? I have swum all this way - can I nip down and get 20 quickly and then go back on the surface?

Now up to yesterday, I had never heard of slicing Swiss Cheese. My model was Aunty Caroline's cardy - when it starts to unravel it just keeps going. So I thought about the tide, and the small amount of air in my bottle, and a swim back with a bag of scallops and a leaky BCD, and I decided to go back NOW.

So I did - and soon I was very glad - because the finstrap fitting that "would do" (slice four), suddenly wouldn't, and my fin came off my L foot.
So I had no fin on my good leg, a bad leg to kick with, a BCD needing topup about once every ten kicks, and bugger all in my tank.

When I felt the sand under my feet I was a happy lad!
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
headcase
Global Forum Guide
Donor Member
*****
Offline


Former Youngest Person
in the World

Posts: 26577
Location: Ponsenby
Joined: Jul 9th, 2007
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #1 - Oct 16th, 2019 at 6:04pm
Print Post  
Very interesting. I want to giggle but it all a bit too serious for that.  Good descision to turn round. It saved you to dive another day.

At your age why dont you go out and buy a complete new set of gear. Treat yourself. You deserve it.  Smiley
  

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
SF90
Donor Member
*****
Offline


I Love The FishNhunt Forum

Posts: 2149
Joined: Jul 14th, 2014
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #2 - Oct 16th, 2019 at 7:44pm
Print Post  

Enjoyed that ............  Smiley

Dave's the same age as me, we know we're getting on a bit, but still think we can do it - and we actually don't know we can't until you hit that .... "Oh, shit !" moment  Undecided

Another thing is we've got shit happening with health - blah, blah, blah ......... and we don't want to spend large because we don't know if we're going to live long enough to get value from our 'expensive' purchases.

Going in on your own is a bold move, don't think I'd have the balls to do that as I had an ear drum pop diving for crayfish when I was younger - and I didn't know which way was up - had to be assisted out of the water and once ashore I was seriously disorientated and nauseous, couldn't stand up.
But - if you're confident and there ain't know one else to go with - what are you gonna do ?

Sitting and wondering is no fun, but scallops is a 'no deal' for me - they're unbelievably horrible  Tongue

  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
X-POACHER-YEAH RYT
Donor Member
*****
Offline


Have you ever hunted Middle
Earth?

Posts: 4541
Location: WELLINGTON
Joined: Jun 3rd, 2008
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #3 - Oct 16th, 2019 at 10:25pm
Print Post  
Kenny Rodgers.... "Know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em".   =   Know your capabilities, especially when you pile the years on, good decision Dave, and a salutary lesson to us all .  I can't dive any longer, at my age now, spent a bit of time on the Pauas , over fifty years ago . Old diving mate of mine continued over the years, getting a feed or two for himself and friends, last time he was only wearing two woolen jerseys and long trou, mask and flippers. He didn't make it back to shore, where a mate was waiting for him, disappeared, never to be found. We reckoned the Pauas on the South coast got him, they did, one way or the other.
  

Get as close as you can, then get a bit closer.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
.threeoeight
Forum Senior
****
Offline


I Love The FishNhunt Forum

Posts: 834
Location: stewart island
Joined: Jun 27th, 2009
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #4 - Oct 21st, 2019 at 10:53am
Print Post  
Cheap insurance could be one of those bright red safety sausages and a float line you can tie off items to and provide a buoyancy aid.
Learnt early on in my dive career to dump your weight belt at the surface if things go wrong.
By the way I gave up diving after getting the bends.
And still have no desire to do it anymore.
  

Its the nut behind the butt, that counts.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
davflaws
Donor Member
*****
Online


NOT Training for SAS Selection

Posts: 3257
Location: Whangarei
Joined: Nov 11th, 2006
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #5 - Oct 21st, 2019 at 3:17pm
Print Post  
Very good advice. I have a sausage and plan never to need it. I was bent on the WUC Labour Day trip to Mayor Island in 1970 and have no wish to repeat the experience. Arrogant, ignorant and bulletproof. Sliced my cheese real thin in those days.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
ICEMAN
Forum Font
*****
Offline


I Love The FishNhunt Forum

Posts: 5541
Location: Fallow country
Joined: Jul 13th, 2011
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #6 - Oct 21st, 2019 at 5:51pm
Print Post  
Loved reading every word, I think anyone who has spent a bit of time around water can relate.
ps I have a suasage and never get to use it as well.

The best bilge pumps I ever saw in action  were  frightened men with buckets.

Stay safe mate, I know half the fun is in the hunt, but scallops are pretty cheap really in the long run, half a kilo for about $40
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
XRhunter
Forum Guide
Donor Member
Staff
Online Forum Guide
*****
Offline


I Love The FishNhunt Forum

Posts: 1210
Location: Central North Island
Joined: May 30th, 2014
Gender: Male
Re: A cautionary tale of scallops and Swiss Cheese
Reply #7 - Oct 21st, 2019 at 8:10pm
Print Post  
Great yarn thanks Dave. Know exactly what that feels like. As we all get older (groan!) doing what we have spent a lifetime doing without a metaphorical care, we suddenly find our body is challenged. Its quite scary, and makes you rethink everything you do.
Reminds me I should replace my fin straps. Originals only lasted 2 years so I cut some out from an old tractor inner tube. Still solid as, some 20 years later Roll Eyes
Our Scallop harvesting days in the Sounds was always initiated by eating the first scallop of the season underwater Wink
You've reminded my that I must finish off a yarn I begun a while ago.....
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send TopicPrint
 

FishnHunt - New Zealands Famous Hunting and Fishing Forum Since 1995 » Powered by YaBB 2.6.11!
YaBB Forum Software © 2000-2019. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design By Alan Simmons - PRism and all rights are reserved from 1995 and onwards