Go ahead without the opportunity to turn around. Hoping to find a boat running. A story of letting go ...
Diving in the current | Washing machine
When I started drift diving did not exist. For the good reason that the Zodiac who could have followed us on the surface was anchored and that we were all at the bottom… It was like that. No question of missing the anchor chain on the way back! This is how we learned underwater orientation. That we also learned, in a current of more than 5 knots, to scramble on the feet of Breton kelp until we reach the saving chain.
Of course, these “commando” techniques were poorly suited to mass “recreational diving”: we lost a lot of people! We therefore developed the lazy technique, known as “drift diving”. To avoid too long fin runs against the current, it was a question of submerging a group with more or less force at point A while the boat tried to follow the bubbles on the surface and find itself on time. said at point B for recovery.
From point A to plane B ...
But finding myself at the end of a dive in the open sea, in a cluster under a frail parachute like children under their balloon, while waiting for a hypothetical boat has never seemed to me to be the height of psychological comfort. Lost at sea, yes ...
Lost and sometimes abandoned. Unfortunately, accidents of this type are numerous. I told in the book narcosis how an unfortunate drifting group ended up on a desert island, surrounded by giant monitors ...
It is also surprising to note that the means of locating lost divers have not changed much. Still no Sarsat beacon as standard on blocks and diving vests… So of course, most of the time we find the boat. Maldivian sailors are experts in this regard: they know the depths better than we do, just by reading the skin of the sea. And they know how to cover our last bubbles with the benevolent shade of their dhoni.
Because, joking aside, how can you give up the extraordinary experience of drift diving?
How can I forget all those wonderful places I drifted into? So, let's drift ... In the pass of Rangiroa, stiff as I in the infinite blue, with dolphins, sharks, mantas ... Maldives on Ari Atoll, in the company of giant stingrays… Au Mexico, in the Yucatan current; an exciting dive where it was possible to stop in a wreck, in the shade of the current, in a carangorama. Before letting go again, caught up in the blue, in the wake of the turtles ... Egypt, between Ras de Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef, in the middle of the shoals of scales. In the Gulf Stream, off the Guadeloupe, with the sperm whales, in the vortices of Komodo, between two oceans, almost apnea… I still get high! And you ? What was your most beautiful drift?
See you soon for a new definition of Scuba Bécédaire. The irreverent lexicon of diving, but not only. Because sometimes ...
Francis Le Guen
Thrill seekers will find their happiness at Canada. At British Columbia, in the Sechelt Rapids (Skookumchuck Narrows). At this point where Jervis islet narrows towards Sechelt, the tidal current reached 16,1 knots (nearly 30 km / h). We practice stall diving ...
And finally, this dive in the Gulf of Morbihan, in the 7 current nodes, filmed by Philippe Abalan : not the drift of “Mickeys” either! 😉