I love scuba diving. It gives such a wonderful sensation to move yourself through the water column in three dimensions, having left behind you cell phones, emails and all the chores leaving you with heightened senses just for your diving and your thoughts, along with the sights and incredible adventures that sometimes unfold right before you.
Starting back with my first Open Water course to get my first certification for scuba diving, back in 1999, along with my introduction to my diving I began acquiring knowledge and reading material on scuba diving from any source I could get and it wasn’t long before I got acquainted with a pioneering and technical wreck diver by the name of Billy Deans. Now, Billy Deans always had a saying, with his Southern accent, which was: “Cause Two Is One And One Is None”.
What Billy Deans was referring to is the need for a scuba diving to have redundancy in case of something going wrong, such as in case of equipment failure or similar. As an example a scuba diver would be wise to have with him/her on every dive two lights, in case one didn’t work, got flooded or the batteries died on you, two masks and two buoyancy compensators. You would also bring a primary regulator (this is where you breathe off) and in addition a secondary regulator. Should one malfunction you would have another in reserve in your secondary which could get you safely out of the dive. Along the same line a wise diver would always bring at least one buddy who would in fact have the same equipment requirements, in which case you would actually have redundancy in each other. As an example, should one of you run out of gas for what ever reason, the other diver should still have able gas remaining for the two of you to get out of the dive safely.
Billy Deans also talked about bringing a small mirror with you on your dives, so that in case you got hung up in something and you would not be able to see what was going on. An example of this could be that you might have gotten hung up by example filament left overs from fishermen which might have snapped on your regulator posts behind your head (can easily happen on wreck dives) – well, then you could bring out your mirror and use it like you use your mirror in your car to see what was going on behind your head so that you could fix it or possibly cut the filament and get unhooked. So while I never brought a mirror with me on my dives, I certainly can appreciate bringing redundancy and back up.
Recently, when I went to the Bahamas to support the sea trials of the new Triton submarine, the Triton 3300/3, I got reminded why back up is a great thing as I was unpacking my dive gear getting ready to get in the water to video-film one of the submersions of the submarine and unfolded a completely shattered dive mask.
Fortunately, I usually bring with me at least two dive masks, so I could carry on my diving. Now, I was also among several other divers who each had their gear with them and not everybody was in the water at any one given time, so I could have borrowed a mask had I needed to, but the situation still illustrates the point: The need for Redundancy & Back Up.
A few weeks later and I travelled to Bimini, another part of the Bahamas. Upon arrival with a small airplane we continue by car for a few miles and then jump on a small ferry ride. Upon de-boarding said ferry, just as one foot is still on board and the other is on terra firma, the buckle that keeps the strap on my expensive Canon camera breaks and the camera drops, hits the railing and bounces right off into the water perfectly hitting that small gab between the boat and the land. The camera including my favorite lens sinks to the bottom and gets completely submerged and a few minutes later we could see through the crystal clear water how the last air from inside the camera and lens bubbled out, meaning salt water was now completely in the system.
Fortunately I had brought another identical camera with me as I really wanted to bring home with me some great shots from above and below the water surface of the beautiful scenery that Bimini can offer. I had redundancy. I had back up. Only problem was that I was being completely stupid the following day when I was going to use the dry camera for underwater photography, as I forgot to have in place the all important o-ring of the underwater housing. I had actually not brought with me an o-ring at all as I had grabbed an underwater housing that I haven’t used yet and that I really hadn’t prepped either. So as you can imagine shortly into my dive and after having snapped a few shots, I wanted to check what I had gotten so far. I looked at the housing to view the review pane, but noticed that it was foggy. I turned over the housing to view the large dome and saw this was foggy which did not spell good things. Tipping it upside down, yeah, there is was, loads of water. I had managed to flood my back up camera too!
So Sometimes Even Two Is None!
So my best cameras and my two favorite lenses flooded and an underwater housing with no o-ring. No underwater photos to bring home with me (and yes, we saw great things, from sharks and beautiful fishes and even hand fed stingrays). I did have, believe it or not, a few extra cameras with me on the trip (I’m adamant about getting my photos), so I did get some nice top side photos with me home from the trip. But imagine getting the chance of playing with submarines and exploration vessels and cool dives and great locations and scenery, and then not be able to participate or bring home with you the documentation that you wanted due to mishaps along the way. What a blow. Therefore redundancy and back ups are great. Which bring about the question; “What are you to set yourself up with redundancy and for back up for your business? For your income stream(s)? What if something should happen to you and you were incapable of working? What would your situation look like? What emergency plans do you have in place?
One of my business partners and great friends recently and quite unexpectedly to himself and everybody else, discovered that he had a serious heart condition that needed surgery. Yes, one of those surgeries in which your heart will actually get stopped for a little while and in which they cut your whole chest open including through the breast bone. We never expect situations such as these happen to us (perhaps to someone else, but never to us). But all of a sudden you find yourself there. Or in my case, all of a sudden my good friend was right there in such a predicament. It certainly got us all thinking. What if? How well are we set up? How well have I set myself up? How will my family be catered for in case..?
Perhaps you should ponder the same questions and get squared away with your back up plan. Better safe than sorry.