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Cowboys & Indians

Kids are often playing the game and the cowboy, the hero and knight in shining armour on his white horse is always the winner. But is he? In the greater scheme of things?

Today’s blog is in Metaphor…so bear with me and hopefully I can tie this all up for you in my chain of thought.

Picture the scene, in real life or an old western movie, if you will, the big round eye always on his big horse (so he falls further when he’s hit) with his big gun and even bigger mouth, thinks he’s invincible in fighting the mighty scout warriors, the men that know the land and live off it. The wise scout warriors get a hit every time as they never reveal their position, knowing every crevice and corner of a hill side and masters of camouflage and ambush. Next thing, the hero, the mighty cowboy hath fallen, an arrow to the chest and about to be sculped.

The high horse cowboy on his trusty steed

This is pretty much how it is in the diving industry. I’ll give you an example: Our very own Instructor/Dive Master has been diving the Aliwal Reef for around 20 years (visiting once or maybe twice in a year, diving only a few times per visit). He used to be a cowboy… “I know this reef back wards, no one can teach me anything. I’ll show my divers what they want to see” That was until 2 years ago when he saw Cathedral for the first time. How can this be? He’s been diving Aliwal for all this time…ladies and jelly fish, when he was a cowboy and reached cathedral, he had no idea what he was seeing, he had no idea of current and which way to take his divers. He fell hard off his high horse and humbly took lesson from the local Red Indians: the local Dive Masters. These scouts taught him to read the winds – the currents – the ways of the mighty ocean. By this, he could determine the routes to take, the safety that would be involved in leading his tribe as well as the surrounding environment. Oh and did I mention, he can now almost guarantee a shark sighting almost every dive.

The point I’m trying to make is that we, the Coastal Red Indians, have a long battle with the Cowboys that have been coming as visitors and claiming to know our reserve. As a result, upon insisting on leading their own, have lost part of their cowboy saunter, coming back with wounded members of their cavvy. One such incident stays fresh in my mind where a certain cowboy against the advice of the local Red Indian did a 32m dive on the Produce wreck. A diver, after safely ascending to around 10m struck panic and shot to the surface, injuring herself and ending up in hospital for 2 days. Thus missing out on some epic dives for the rest of the week end and ending up with a massive hospital bill. She’s okay now – thankfully.

So the question is this ladies and gentlemen, your cowboys, your heroes, are they really the safest way to dive? The optimal experience? Or would there be any harm in allowing a Red Indian to assist. The Red Indian that scouts these reefs up to 4 times a day 365 days a year?

Guns a blazin’ or the quieter, more guaranteed scout approach?