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There comes a time in the diving life of every humanoid when you think to yourself: What kind of a diver am I? Am I any good? Or am I the subaquatic equivalent of R'n'B: bouncing along like a happy simpleton, causing horror to other divers/the nation by destroying reef systems/allthat- is-good as I go whilst remaining convinced of my broadspectrum popularity and continuing right to dive/live?

Whilst contemplating this issue (and amidst the wailing, gnashing of teeth and rubbing of soil into your hair), most of you will have cursed the very Gods Ltd. plc (No Human Too Funny-Looking™) that created you, for not also providing a simple quiz you can take to properly discover the truth regarding your diving abilities.

However, there will still be some of you (ocean-breaking bumheads, for the most part) who will consider the concept of such a quiz unnecessary, declaring that there is a type of diver for every type of diving and that it is simply a question of finding something that suits your experience level. This view is straightforward, egalitarian, and more wrong than anything conceived of by any other human being in the whole of history. How could you be so unforgivably stupid? Diving conforms to a strictly regimented castesystem with a hierarchy of divers ranging from top-quality professional uberlords down to funny-looking oceanbreaking bumheads and if you want to know where you fit into it, London Diver Magazine's quiz is clearly the only solution.

Others of you still believe that true personal revelation is possible only through contemplative introspection and that ham-fisted, pseudo-scientific quizzes cobbled together by the office junior during a hasty, hungover lunchbreak are a ridiculously contemptuous insult to anyone who would waste their time perusing them. This opinion, as with the vast majority of the incorrect beliefs you've harvested over the years comes as a direct consequence of the pencil you inserted into your nose when you were six and never managed to retrieve. We know what's best for you and only someone as stupid as yourself would be stubborn enough not to believe it.

Now, take the quiz and learn:

Question 1

A friend calls you and asks if you'd like to dive somewhere just down the road from your usual spot. Whilst being unfamiliar to you, it's a place they've dived once or twice before although it is a little more challenging than your regular site. What preparations would you make?
A) Just take along the usual equipment. It's not far from your regular haunt and your friend can lead the way on the dive.

B) Get hold of a site-map if available and check the local conditions including current etc. Don't forget a buoyancy check if you'll be using different equipment.

C) Hire the British Hydrographical Survey to make detailed depth measurements of every point in the site and spend a year collating tidal data, observations of current, flora and fauna, and anecdotal reports from divers. On the day, inform all four emergency services of your intentions and have an extensive in water and surface support team to monitor the progress of the dive with all the latest technical equipment. Ensure unswerving familiarity with every aspect of your dive kit, having tested it in a variety of simulated and actual environmental conditions, and carry at least three backups of every item during the dive. Prepare a will and record an emotional farewell to family and love ones on video, just in case.

Question 2

You're diving a familiar site with a friend you dive with regularly. What kind of buddy check do you perform?

A) None. There's not much point since you know both your own and each other's equipment so well, plus you can navigate around the site in your sleep.

B) A quick once over before you get in, just to make sure there's nothing new and that everything works properly. You can't be over familiar when it comes to safety.

C) Obtain extensive testing and specification details of every item of your buddy's kit before dismantling each piece into separate components and reassembling it whilst blindfolded and exhaling constantly. Then submit your buddy's personal details for a thorough background check by the police and medical authorities. Exhaustively practice bailout procedures and safe entries and exits during the eight weeks it takes for the results to come through.

Question 3

Whilst kitting up before a 20m plunge, a diver asks you to switch their oxygen on for them. How do you respond?
A) Switch their air on. They might have used the incorrect name for the gas, but their intention is obvious.

B) Check that they meant to say air and not oxygen. Whilst being fairly sure this was a novice's error and they're not actually a technical diver, it's always best to be on the safe side.

C) Highlight their error by replacing their primary cylinder with one containing pure oxygen. Offer helpful remarks at their funeral about the whole episode setting a tragic example, accompanied by a detailed presentation on the physics and physiology of oxygen under pressure.

Question 4

A fellow diver on a liveaboard has similar kit to yourself but prefers to configure it differently. What do you do?

A) Nothing. Horses for courses and all that.

B) Exchange notes and perhaps try out their way of setting up to see what advantages or disadvantages it offers.

C) Kill them in their sleep.

Question 5

You are on a first date and the subject of diving comes up. How do you react?

A) Mention that you're a diver yourself but quickly steer the conversation back on to the interests of your date.

B) Spice up the conversation with a few brief accounts of some of your more exciting diving experiences.

C) Launch into a detailed and exhaustive description of the minutiae of your diving equipment peppered with a laboured account of the dynamics of your dive club, dive boats you have known, and the changing facilities at Stoney Cove. If you are forced to recount any details of actual dives try to make them angry anecdotes about unprecedented levels of silt at Wraysbury. Do not allow your date to be rude enough to change the conversation.
London School Of Diving

Question 6

Your seven year-old daughter saves up her pocket money to buy you a snorkel for your birthday. What do you do?

A) Make a big fuss of her and promise to take her snorkelling next time you go on holiday, before stashing the snorkel in the recesses of your dive bag and forgetting about it.

B) Take it with you on every dive even though you won't use it. It's probably the most touching gift you've ever received.

C) Shake your head wearily and sadly at yet another platitude received from someone who just doesn't understand diving and doesn't understand you. Perhaps laugh hollowly and spitefully at the futility of the present before snapping the snorkel in two by way of a poignant demonstration regarding the value of money. Then abandon the family in order to go on a diving expedition to Leybourne Lakes for 12 years.

How did you do?

Score 1 point for every A, 2 for every B and 3 for every C.

17 points or less.

You are an ocean-breaking bumhead. It is astonishing that you are still alive to read these words. Your attitude to diving is reckless, slapdash and entirely lacking in due care: the same attitude that your parents took to contraception. I'd place money right now on you becoming a diving fatality next time you even think about water, except the odds are so low I'd end up owing the bookie cash when I won the bet. The fact that you were able to become a diver in the first place brings shame on the agency and instructor that certified you and one can only hope you will leave your dive gear unattended on Kings Cross station for 16 seconds so that the police can destroy it in the correct fashion.

18 points.

You sir (or lady if they allow them to dive these days) are a credit to divers and to humanity. If everybody approached diving in the same way as you, there would be no diving accidents, there would be no decompression illness, there would be no setting up of gear in unconventional ways, there would be no war, no famine and no disease. The fact that you exist is, for many of us, the reason we dive. It is the reason we breathe and eat, the reason we get up in the morning and greet the sun, the reason, indeed, that there is a sun. By diving as you do, you are setting an example to all of the way life should and can be, and letting those who would dive differently know that their way will not be tolerated and that they will never stop us diving. You have an IQ of 347 and like sherbet.
Nautilus Lifeline

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