"Too hell with monkey diving!" I said. And said it again. And again.
(For any who may not know: this is the practice of wearing a single sidemount tank.)
Why on earth would you wear a single tank on your side, like a schmuck, when you can just wear it on your back like the entirety of the recreational world?
Fucking sidemount craze. That's why.
Perhaps 10 years ago or so it was entrenched as the cool, new, hip thing that all the kids were doing. Every manufacturer and their subsidiary were releasing sidemount harnesses. Plenty of money to be made, plenty of classes to be sold, plenty of acting superior on social media to be lorded.
"Bloody silly," I thought. Because I'm cynical and contrarian. Always have been - likely always will be.
Cut to this week. Working pretty comprehensively through recreational sidemount with a student who has legitimate reasons to consider it a better and more comfortable configuration. I feel it would be unforgivably remiss to deliberately disregard the existence of monkey diving.
So we reconfigure some regs (by moving a single hose). We reconfigure the harness (by adding a single weight to one side). We jump in the water (myself in my standard sidemount kit, student as a monkey) and swim around.
And all the sudden I find myself thinking...
"That looks pretty fun. I kinda want to do it now."
We started to discuss the pros and cons of diving that way off a boat. And for the very first time in my life the thought crosses my mind...
"Diving sidemount this way off a boat makes a bunch of sense."
May my boat owning/captain friends forgive me and may god have mercy on my soul.