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Sunday, January 6, 2013

POST 1037; JANUARY 06, 2013; NAPLES, ITALY (1958)

Cardinal Rule # 1 of SCUBA DIVING is:


Notwithstanding Cardinal Rule #1, I spend many a weekend and many a night diving alone in the waters surrounding NISIDA ISLAND. 

Upon receiving my certificate for "free diving" skin diving, I am invited to join AFSE SUBAQUA CLUB, which entitles me to use of the advanced technological equipment - of British Design - and training, as well as the Air Compressor used to fill our bottles with of compressed air. 

Sponsored and led by officers of the British Navy, we have the very latest SCUBA diving equipment and training.   I actually purchase my own set of bottles and the HEINKE Regulator (with by-pass), so that I am free to embark on my own excursions...alone, of course, expressly against Club regulations.

Upon completion of training and final tests, I am invited to enter into the INSTRUCTOR phase of the club agenda.  I am given eight young teenage boys (12 - 14 years old...dependents of NATO military officers).  Under Club auspices and guidance, I train these boys in both free diving and SCUBA diving.

Much of our training is accomplished from the beach and my stone tower at NISIDA Island.

Our final free diving test is conducted at the stone tower.   I instruct them that I am going to dive to the bottom, sit with a rock in my lap; they will each in turn, follow me down, grab a handful of sand to prove they reached the bottom...then, and only then will I return to the surface.
Not only does everyone reach the young man dives down, sits beside me with his own rock, and I resurfaces with me.
For SCUBA graduation, I invite Club members to witness "my" boys in their underwater navigation test.  We drive to my private training ground, NISIDA Island, where we all swim out to the stone underwater which everyone is astounded.  Each graduate first swims away from the tower, having someone hand them their diving equipment...which they put on while treading water.

I then give the boys the test parameters:

Objective:  Swim with their "Buddy", a racetrack route from the bottom of the stone tower, following the bottom - from 75 to 125 feet deep - among the many large rocks; each pair of divers will in turn, lead for five minutes - using wrist compass - , then move to the back of the line...with the objective that the final pair will arrive back at the stone tower base from where we began.

We will rise to the surface with buddies in stages - as dictated by the decompression tables -.  On the final ascent to the surface, each diver will share air from his buddy...demonstrating rescue techniques.

My boys execute their test the pride of our entire club.

The club organizes a group dive off the Eastern shore of the Island of Capri.  A Tank Landing Craft - with flop down ramp - is provided to carry all the people - families are invited - and diving equipment.  To my surprise, Joanie asks to join us - together with little Bruce Jr. -. 

We form into small groups, each diver with a buddy.   Every diver reaches the bottom of the Bay of Naples... a depth of 200 feet.  A lunch - with Wine - is provided by the club, which we enjoy while anchored off the Blue Grotto.

Bruce, Jr, regrettably, trips over something, falling onto a diving bottle.  His front tooth is shoved back into his mouth.  One of our divers is a doctor, who pushes the tooth back into Bruce's resets with no problem.

Finally, Joanie and I enjoy an outing with others...

* * * * * * * * * *


This information is derived from the Internet and is used here for the sole purpose of informing readers of reference information to enhance the above story.  It has been 50 years since I last strapped on SCUBA diving gear...and I profess NO expertise in modern diving techniques, requirements, training. or regulations.
Dive Tables
Atmospheric Pressure
Nitrogen Narcosis

   #1            #2           #3

Effect of Excess Pressure - descending in an airplane

Graphic images of changes in (ATMOSPHERIC) air pressure:
Bottle represents human body.

#1:  14,000 feet elevation - bottle closed (starting point)
#2:    9,000 feet elevation - increased air pressure... partial squeezed
#3:    1,000 feet elevation - increased air pressure... fully squeezed

Sea Level:      1   (Normal)          14.7 psi
At 34 feet:     2                             29.4 psi
At 68 feet:     3                             44.1 psi

"One" Atmosphere is the weight of Atmosphere on the Earth's Surface
= 14.7 pounds per inch.

For every 34 feet one descends into salt water,  one Atmosphere of weight
is added (which compresses the body)...breathing compressed air equalizes pressure INSIDE the body to that of the surrounding water.

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