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Scuba diving dedicated site
I based myself on the wikitravel model to start a wiki (using mediawiki as well) dedicated to listing diving sites around the world and information pertinent to scuba diver. I'm posting this here hoping there may be people here interested in getting involved in that project as well. I've only been playing around for now (copying pages from wikitravel and modifing them), trying to learn how to set-up the wiki. If anyone is interested, you could leave me a message on this talk page. An e-mail through this wiki would work as well. --Charles
Scuba diving information is quite welcome on Wikitravel as well — many destinations like, say, Sipadan get practically nothing but divers. Jpatokal 23:09, 25 Jan 2006 (EST)
I agree, but I was thinking of something with detailed information for divers about specific dive sites. An article could be about the Empress of Ireland specifically rather than about the general Rimouski area and information useful to divers could include depth, water temperature, typical visibility, recommended experience level, etc... I'm not looking to duplicate wikitravel with more emphasis on scuba diving but rather to make something specific to scuba diving. In fact, I think it would be great to link back to wikitravel, seeing as divers may want to visit an area they are travelling to. --Charles
If the info gets really detailed then a "Scuba diving in X" type article is perfectly fine if you ask me... Jpatokal 02:10, 27 Jan 2006 (EST)
I see a few problems with this. One is that maybe not everyone on wikitravel agrees. If I base myself on the music sections of goals and non-goals, one could argue that detailed information about a sport should only be included if that sport is part of the local cultural color or identity. Scuba diving can be done anywhere there's water and as such, maybe should not be included in wikitravel in a detailed fashion. After reading different debates on wikitravel on what should and shouldn't be included I came to that conclusion, hence my working on a separate wiki.
More practically, the main-classification tree of wikitravel is geo-political, Continents>Countries>States/Provinces/...>Counties etc...>Destination. This might not be the best suited approach for a wiki dedicated to dive sites. I could see a main classification tree that's mainly geographic as more useful with links to the political regions in the particular dive sites articles. So in an article on the empress of ireland, there would be a link to the wikitravel article on rimouski so someone could know where they would be travelling to. Another classification tree by type of dive sites would also be possible. My point is that I could see several ways of classifying the dive sites, which would end up creating a much separate project inside the same wiki.
Also, divers could want information specific about scuba diving on the main page. For example, the news section of the main page could well have news on the state of dive sites, resorts and dive shops in areas affected by conflicts or natural disasters. That information would be very valuable for divers, but probably not so interested on the main page of wikitravel.
Finally, divers could potentially start to include articles on diving techniques particular to certain dive sites. I would guess that information is probably not wanted on wikitravel, but could be of use on a scuba diving wiki.
I'm starting to wonder if my posting on this section of a talk page was spam. In any case, it wasn't intended as such. I thought it would be relevant to invite certain wikitravel members since there were a few mentions on the wiki of wikitravellers interested in scuba diving and so on. --Charles
It's not spam, you haven't even posted the link (and you're welcome to do so!). While I see what you're getting at, as an avid diver myself I'd prefer to keep the info in one place -- no matter how hardcore a diver you are, you still need to get a taxi from the airport and find places to eat, drink and sleep, which is squarely in Wikitravel territory. Why not a "Diving portal" inside Wikitravel that provides a dive-oriented entry point?
Also, the whole classification tree thing is quite new and we're still working out how to classify non-destination articles, so don't worry about that just yet -- see Wikitravel:RDF for some discussion if interested. Jpatokal 06:47, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)
I agree entirely that there should be a lot of opportunities to access wikitravel content from a scuba diving wiki and the other way around as well. This would be the case for many other sports if there's interest in it (like this golf discussion). I could think of cyclo-tourism or mountain climbing as potential candidates. Anyhow, my point is not to make a list of the other possibilities. I'm really only interested in scuba diving right now.
I like your idea of the scuba diving portal page and close interrelation between the two "sections" if I can call them like that. I would be all for making it as seamless as possible. I would still like to see the scuba diving section retain a certain distinct character. Both for it's own sake and for wikitravel not get swamped by scuba diving related information (were that ever to be possible). I guess at this point, the question I have is whether this would be better served by a single server or two seperate servers. I have set-up a wiki on a different server and reserved a domain name (http://www.wikiscuba.org/). There really is nothing there right now except for a modified copy of the wikitravel main page and a few other pages. I was more playing around with the wiki to understand how to use it.
Could we move this discussion to a page with more exposure to get more input? Also, how the hell do I get the time stamp after my name on a page?!?! (You can tell my wiki skills are not so sharp yet) -- Charles
So this is a big article and it covers a few different things. What should we do about it? Hypatia 22:01, 1 June 2006 (EDT)
For what it's worth, the reason it contains so much stuff about learning to dive is that I wrote it just after I learned, and I put everything in that I wished I'd known. I still think some info about learning would be merited, in particular: what certification means, whether to learn on your vacation, what the difference between a resort course or supervised dive and certification is. Some of the other seemingly travel relevant stuff is: liveaboard vs day trip, insurance, and, obviously, the destinations, which could probably do with their own article or index (ultimately a series of articles like Scuba diving in Australia). Hypatia 22:05, 1 June 2006 (EDT)
We need to double-check the brand names. I've never seen something called dramamine in Australia, and it's not usually those chemicals listed at the moment either. Hypatia 19:18, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
Also the reason I keep adding a note saying that the illness is worse than the side effects sometimes is on behalf of my dive buddy, who threw up 20 times on his first dive day and started trembling and showing signs of dehydration. For the sake of people like that we need to acknowledge that sometimes the medicines are worth it, particularly if you hit the sweet spot between effectiveness and drowsiness. Hypatia 19:24, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
I can't tell you what brand it's marketed under in Oz, but the active ingredient is either dimenhydrinate (Dramamine: very drowsy) or meclizine (Dramamine II: drowsy). - Todd VerBeek 20:28, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
So, I take "Travacalm", and it says the active ingredient is something called "hyoscine hydrobromide". Which of those two is it? Hypatia 23:54, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
Neither. Hyoscine is another name for scopolamine. Jpatokal 03:14, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Ah, that's prescription-only in the US (sold in patch form as Transderm Scop and tablet form as Scopace). Also popular as a date-rape drug (I'm told). - Todd VerBeek 12:06, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Ah ok, I've wondered about the patch, because I've never heard tell of it here. Yeah, it's pharmacy medicine here: you need to have a pharmacist warn you about the side-effects, but you don't need a doctor to sign off on it. I wouldn't know about date rape drugs...Hypatia 18:19, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Wouldn't recommend scopolamine if you're trying to get into someone's pants: mild overdoses cause hallucinations and delerium, while bigger ones kill. (This is why it's prescription-only, especially in tablet form.) Jpatokal 21:39, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Will definitely keep that in mind!Hypatia 21:44, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
I'd just like to say that I found the article very comprehensive and useful, so thanks very much! 22.214.171.124 21:24, 12 April 2007 (EDT)
List of destinations
One of the criticisms from the Star nomination was that "I think the index of scuba destinations up front needs a lot more work — it should cover all the biggies and give nutshell summaries..." (comment by Jpatokal 09:40, 27 July 2006 (EDT)). I'm of the opinion that two things need to happen here:
we need to add a number of destinations — there's certainly some missing from North America, and I'd imagine from the Middle East and Europe too
Asia already has an enormous list of destinations — 20 at my count — and while as a relatively untravelled diver I do recognise most of them, I'm not sure that Asian diving merits an exception to the 7±2 rule. So, my idea is:
start adding more destinations to under-covered continents, North America being the most glaring
OK, I've started Scuba diving in Asia and cut down the list of destinations on this page. By all means edit them, but we want the number of listings to stay at 9 or less. Hypatia 03:20, 10 September 2006 (EDT)
I created a travel topic Diving in Africa, then decided it would be better as Scuba diving in Africa, but have now realised that the original name is more concise and is unlikely to be confused, so would like to move back, but when I tried to move back, I got the message that the name already existed.What is the procedure here? I dont want to cut and paste as that would lose the history.
This must have happened before, so can someone who has dealt with it please inform me. Thanks, Pbsouthwood 12:38, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Much obliged for the quick action Stefan. Unfortunately as I feel my way into the dive guide structure I will probably be chopping and changing quite a bit, as there is less of a precedent to follow than for the regular guides. I would like to have as few hierarchical levels as conveniently possible, and I am not sure at this stage whether the "Diving in Continent" articles will be worth the trouble, or whether the "Scuba diving" topic should include the continent level and go directly to countries as the next level down. I am fairly sure that "Diving in Country" is a useful level, and also that "Diving in Local Region" within countries will be necessary for countries where the conditions vary significantly between regions, or where there are large nunbers of dive sites in each region. South Africa, USA, Australia and Indonesia come to mind immediately, and there are sure to be others. I'm afraid I will be troubling you sysops again. Possibly quite a bit. Comments and opinions would be welcomed. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 17:18, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Looking at the top level, you could maybe change the approach to adding continents/countries as they develop, rather than the other way around - it makes for some leaner articles. I don't mind the experimenting, it's for a worthy cause, anything that can open up divers eyes to wikitravel, is a good thing in my book, as most online resources out there are either too region specific or heavily trending towards rubbish. --Stefan (sertmann)Talk 17:30, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Certified supplies? Tours? Divemasters?
The article has quite a bit about certifying divers, and presumably the instructors on certification courses would themselves be certified at some higher level. But is there any certification that tells me where I can get air filled competently? There was a case in my area when I was a teenager where several people died because someone was using a gas-powered compressor and got carbon monoxide in the tanks. I assume this is extremely rare, but it seems an easy blunder to make.
What certification should I expect the guides on a boat dive to have? Is this where a "dive rescue" cert comes in? Pashley 09:19, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
Instructors are certified by the agency that issues the diver certifications that the instuctor claims for the divers he or she trains. There is a certification commonly called "Divemaster", but having a range of names with the different agencies, that certifies that the holder is competent to lead a dive group of divers who are themselves competent for the planned dive profile, conditions and equipment. However, what you get in charge of your dive depends to a large extent on local legal requirements and customs. Some places you can expect a divemaster, other places it could be anyone. Similarly with boat skippers. In South Africa you are not allowed to operate a dive boat unless you have a skippers certificate for the appropriate category of vessel, and a dive boat skipper endorsement. In some countries all you need is to know which end of the boat is the front and be able to start the engine.
Similar situation for filling cylinders. Some places require a certificate of competence, others just specify that you must be competent in terms of specified legislation, others require only that you can start the compressor and connect a cylinder without breaking anything too expensive. There are legal requirements for breathing air quality in many countries, including probably all of Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Japan. Probably others too, but not necessarily all and not necessarily enforced. In South Africa a customer may demand to see the record of the latest air quality test, and it must be less than 3 months old (less for compressors that are used a lot).
Rescue diver certification is normally a prerequisite for Divemaster training, but again, standards vary, and competence too. Rescue diver certification is also highly recommended for recreational divers, as there is not a lot of point in the buddy system if a diver can not rescue the buddy in distress.
It is probably worth adding a section on this to the Scuba diving article, and also to the regional diving guides, which is where it can be specified what you can actually expect from your divemaster or filling station in that region. I suppose this would go under the Understand heading for the region.
I hope this answers your question. If not, ask again. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 10:23, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
To teach diving for any of the major recognised certfiying bodies, yes you must be at minimum a fully qualified open water instructor . As for boat guides etc, I suspect different standards in different parts of the world. If you are a qualified open water diver though, at a minimum I would expect any guide on a boat (or elsewhere) to be a qualified dive master . Dive Masters are often qualified Rescue Divers as well . In practice in locations where I dive a lot, there is often a full instructor present as the boat I am for my fun dive is being combined with some teaching dives. On the air bottles - ouch - that's a very bad one. Not something I have ever heard of before. To fill bottles, you should be fully qualified to do so. PADI for example have a certification for this. --Burmesedays 10:31, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
It would be reasonable for a diver trained in a first world country to expect a qualified divemaster to lead dives, but is it realistic? I dont know from recent experience, but as far as I know this is not required by legislation in many places, though it may be recommended or even required by the certification agencies. This does not stop dive operators who are either not affiliated to an agency or dont care, from operating to different standards. My point is, dont assume, ask.
I have never heard of a PADI certification for filling cylinders. Could you point me to it? As far as I know it is not available in South Africa. Pbsouthwood 01:53, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
Peter, I was sure I had seen a piece about PADI having a minor course for tank filling procedures.... hmmm.... but digging around websites I cannot find it. You would know far more about this than me, and I suspect you are right. It just might have been a trimix or other technical diving tank course that got filed incorrectly in my brain (would not be the first time, nor the last).
The "ask don't assume" advice is certainly wise. I made the point in my initial reply that standards will be different in different places. I have to say though that in the 'third' world countries where I dive for fun (and learned to dive a fair while back), dive masters are always on an organised boat dive. I guess it will not only depend on where you are but which dive operator you trust. --Burmesedays 02:23, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
Concur, and you are probably relatively experienced in both travelling and Scuba, The majority would be less experienced, probably in both. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 06:20, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
Merge Scuba diving in Asia with Scuba diving
(swept from Travellers' Pub)
I would like opinions on a proposal to merge Scuba diving in Asia with Scuba diving. I am developing the impression that continental regions are not useful for the Scuba diving topic. I have already merged Diving in Africa with Scuba diving and country level regional articles, which are far more appropriate to travel planning, as one will in reality go to a country to dive, but not specifically to a continent. The continental information should be merged into the main topic Scuba diving, and the country level regional information into an article for diving in that country, such as Diving in Thailand. This proposal was made on 27 September in Talk:Scuba diving in Asia but has had no comments so far. Pbsouthwood 15:56, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
Definitely support; don't see any point in having region-level articles for activity-centric travel topics (at least, at the current state of Wikitravel). --DenisYurkin 16:03, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
Support for the same reasons already put forward.--Burmesedays 22:16, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
Scuba diving in Asia has had content merged and is now a redirect. Someone please check that I have not left any loose ends, and let me know if I have. Pbsouthwood 08:56, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
Underwater cabinet meeting
The Maldives had one, to discuss global warming.  Dunno if this fits in this article, or Maldives, but it seemed worth mentioning. Pashley 09:35, 18 October 2009 (EDT)