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Dive Knife and Weights


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#1 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:26 PM

[Moderators Note - Isaac was originally responding to a thread about the Buffalo Run on the Citico River when the discussion began to turn to Snorkel Safety]

Looks like it was a fun trip, Casper, even though if you missed the Buffalo run. That video is pretty funny.

Nice photos Bryce - especially the rock bass. Snorkeling with all those hooks would be a little scary. It reminds me that I really need to get some kind of dive knife or line-cutting device to have on me while snorkeling. Do you use something?

#2 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:28 PM

I hate those damn hooks. I picked up a snook full of them 2 years ago. I can imagine a youngster with one of those stuck deep in their feet.
Jim thinks another run is due by it's always a mystery sync of flow, temperature, depth, probably moon and a misprinted sucker calendar.
I use to carry clippers to cut fishing line lures but stuck my fingers too many times with those rusty hooks. Never got lockjaw.

#3 Guest_trygon_*

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:01 PM

Isaac,
I usually don't carry any cutting tools while snorkeling since most of the sites are 2 meters or less in depth and entanglement hazards are not very prevalent where I snorkel. When diving I wear a trilobite, http://eezycut.com/, on my belt, a z knife on my right shoulder and trauma shears on my right hip.

#4 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:29 PM

Thanks Bryce. I need to get something like the trilobite or z knife. I often lay down on the bottom to get the best angle, and if I got hooked or tangled I might not be able to come up for air, even in relatively shallow water.

#5 Guest_trygon_*

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:24 PM

Isaac, you're right, it's probably a good idea to start wearing a cutting tool.

#6 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:50 PM

There is certainly a degree of danger in what we do. I have taken a few risks that i should not have. Drowning can be quick and easy. I worry of Isaac's use of weights but his photographs speak wonders. A quick knife is of great value.
I found a nice dive knife, stainless steel with a hard plastic sheath clip, in the Chattooga. Remind me Isaac and i will offer it to you. I think one of the guys in Deliverance lost it.

#7 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:41 PM

I had never thought of the risk. Pretty important. One of you avid snorkelers should post a topic on the risks. I will pin it. Also it would be great to have a topic about how you guys do it, gear, and what not. This is too rarely discussed in our sampling subforum. Combine them? Give us a general overview.

#8 Guest_trygon_*

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:04 PM

Being underwater is and of itself inherently dangerous. Beyond being in an alien environment one must learn, with experience, to manage the risks and learn and respect one's own limits e.g. if you're not comfortable in swift or deep water, don't go there, stay where you're comfortable. If it's too cold for you don't get in, know when to drop the weight belt, nothing in the stream is worth getting hurt or dying for. Situational awareness is very important, know where your hands feet and knees are going, if your foot gets stuck between a couple of rocks or in a cavity in a rotten log no cutting tool that you may have with you is going to get you out. I've been snorkeling and diving a very long time and take every opportunity I can to minimize the risk involved. I worry far more about the crazy local people that I may encounter in the middle of nowhere than anything I may do in the stream.

#9 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:57 PM

But those people are the most interesting.

Rule number 1. Take a buddy along. I go alone.

Rule Number 2. Tell someone where you are going. I don't know where i am.

Rule Number 3. After a meal, wait 30 minutes before getting in the water. I am always hungry.

Rule Number 4. Know where you are. See rule number 2.

#10 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:35 PM

But those people are the most interesting.

Rule number 1. Take a buddy along. I go alone.

Rule Number 2. Tell someone where you are going. I don't know where i am.

Rule Number 3. After a meal, wait 30 minutes before getting in the water. I am always hungry.

Rule Number 4. Know where you are. See rule number 2.


Rebel, for sure. :biggrin: Quite sure you are breaking all the safety rules Casper.

#11 Guest_trygon_*

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:30 AM

Matt,
He is a rebel and so am I. We both have a lot of experience in and under the water; that experience and the proper mindset is what helps us mitigate the risk factors. But there are things I always do: tell someone where I'm going, and call when finished, and never get into an overhead situation such as under a log jam or in a grotto, I always wear a wetsuit, there are a few more but I think you get the idea. Solo diving/snorkeling is a raging debate in the diving community that has been going on for years. If one has the proper mindset, experience, and equipment it can be quite safe, I've been going solo for the past 15 years, but I've been diving for the past 40. It is much safer than being teamed up with a new person that may be prone to panic or not understand the mission. I would not advocate any solo snorkeling/diving to any one. Snorkeling is a more dangerous activity than scuba diving in my mind because: it seems easy which breeds complacency and lack of attention, one may only have one breath of air to solve any potential problem. The most scared I've ever been was I Citico Creek when I misjudged the current, was ripped off the bottom and started tumbling downstream. I was finally able to self arrest by dragging an arm and sliding to the bank. Inattention can kill.

#12 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:37 PM

Bryce, I am not giving you guys a hard time. I am a bit of a rebel myself, I put aluminum foil in the microwave once.

I still do think it would be nice to see more threads on snorkeling. I think you guys could really help people out who are interested, but are somewhat insecure. I am one of those people. I get a bit anxious while snorkeling alone. Being disconnected from the world above is very foreign.

#13 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:46 PM

Being disconnected from the world above is very foreign.


As an overconnected, business all day, salaried, company man I have to say, that is one of the best things about snorkeling. The feeling of being disconnected from the world as I normally live it and being totally present and focused on the underwater natural world is what I am always trying to create (by going over and over, and by taking pictures, by recreating a small piece in a glass box, etc.)
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#14 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:20 PM

I often wear heavy weights to give me negative buoyancy. It is very helpful for photography reasons but increases the risk. I think just about all of my scary snorkeling moments have been associated with the weights.

However, the average snorkeler just floats at the surface, and I really don't think there's much risk involved. I would say it's less risky than normal swimming since you can just float instead of having to actively swim, you don't have to rise up to breathe, and you are more aware of your underwater surroundings. Bryce and Casper have already mentioned some good basic rules like going with a friend and staying out of swift current. Also, don't forget sun protection for the back side of your body. I prefer to just wear a wetsuit or shirt rather than to hassle with a lot of sunscreen.

As for equipment, all that is really needed is a mask and snorkel. The most important thing is to get a mask that is properly fitted to your face. You won't last long snorkeling with an uncomfortable, leaky mask. It's best to go to a dive store for this since they will let you try on different masks and help you find one that fits your face well. On the other hand, the snorkel really doesn't matter all that much. You can go with a cheap one as long as it's comfortable.

There's also optional equipment that can be helpful. Good foot protection is important. I like hard-soled neoprene dive boots. They keep the gravel out, protect your feet from cuts, and keep your feet warm. I hardly ever wear fins. They aren't useful in shallow streams, but they are in deeper, open water. A wetsuit will keep you warm in chilly water and protect you from the sun and scratches. Anti-fog solution for your mask is nice.

I get a bit anxious while snorkeling alone. Being disconnected from the world above is very foreign.


It can make me feel uneasy as well. The mask takes away your peripheral vision and the water takes away your hearing. I don't like feeling unaware of what is happening around me. I usually raise up and look around every few minutes to make sure nothing is going on. Snorkeling with someone else or having someone watch you from shore can really help to ease your mind. On the other hand, like Michael I really enjoy becoming completely absorbed by the amazing underwater world right in front of me. Nothing takes me away from the stresses of life like snorkeling does.

#15 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:22 PM

Matt, you mention discussing snorkeling in the sampling subforum, which brings something to mind. It seems many here mainly use snorkeling for observation, but I actually think snorkeling could also be a very useful sampling technique that is currently being underutilized. The habitat disruption that some common forms of sampling like riffle kick seining cause has bothered me for a while. If the goal is just to see or record the presence of fish, then snorkeling is certainly a great alternative. You might see more species than you would with a net, and it's less work and more fun. If the goal is to capture fish to photograph in a phototank or take home, then many species of riffle-dwelling darters, minnows, madtoms, sculpins, and crayfish can pretty easily be caught with a hand net or corralled into a container while snorkeling, avoiding the habitat disruption and bycatch of kick seining. Of course, snorkeling is not a viable alternative to kick seining in all situations (for starters, you need water with decent clarity), but there are many times when it could achieve the same goals without as much disruption to the species and habitiats that we care so much about.

#16 brannon67

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 04:43 PM

I love being disconnected from the world above when I snorkel or dive and photograph. Thats why I do it, to get disconnected from the world above for sure. Its a different world underwater, and thats what makes it so special. Its where I dont have to deal with the fools and idiots topside, and thats what its all about and Its relaxing to me. But I try to be as safe as poossible otherwise.

Edited by brannon67, 04 December 2014 - 04:44 PM.




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