ScubaDog wrote:Does a pony actually increase your safety any more than good skills would. I think Andy might be the one to ask about that
My opininon, for what it's worth. It takes one of two preventable foul ups in order to resort to using the pony - not managing your gas, and losing your buddy.... Both qualify as "major" issues.... my rule is three minors or one major, you're out of there.
Every diver should always maintain a minimum gas reserve that allows them and a buddy to always make a safe ascent to the surface. In the event of an equipment failure leading to gas loss, you should be able to share air out of where ever you are, and up to the surface. The pony really provides a contingency for the event that either lose your buddy (or your buddy chooses to not help you - bad buddy choice!) or your buddy doesn't have enough gas to help you out.
Does it make you safer than good diving skills? Not sure there is really a straightforward answer to that - some kiwi (kai moana) divers are never going to get their diving/buddy skills up to the point where the pony is a secondary option, so in their case yes. But in many cases, learning a few simple rules about managing gas and paying attention to their dive/buddy would be more beneficial.
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and chill, diving is fun, mucking around with kit is fun, but not as much fun as I am about to have - diving some WW2 wreaks off Palma de Mallorca on Saturday. Had to rub that in as I just left cold wet Auckland and now sitting in 28 sunny degrees in the Med teaching for the week Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Git! Though I will not be too jealous, I am off to Ningaloo Reef tomorrow!!!