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Fb2 Fatally Flawed - The Quest to be Deepest ePub

by Verna van Schaik

Category: Extreme Sports
Subcategory: Outdoor Sports
Author: Verna van Schaik
ISBN: 0620404728
ISBN13: 978-0620404723
Language: English
Publisher: Liquid Edge Publishing (January 22, 2011)
Pages: 200
Fb2 eBook: 1855 kb
ePub eBook: 1968 kb
Digital formats: mobi azw lrf lit

Fatally Flawed is an inside look into the world of deep diving. This is the story of how Verna van Schaik become the deepest woman in one of the most extreme sports in the world, cave diving

Fatally Flawed is an inside look into the world of deep diving. This is the story of how Verna van Schaik become the deepest woman in one of the most extreme sports in the world, cave diving. Hers in an unusual career, having dived with both Nuno Gomes (deepest man in the world) and Dave Shaw (she was the surface marshal for Dave's 280meter body recovery attempt). How do y Fatally Flawed is an inside look into the world of deep diving.

Fatally Flawed is an inside look into the world of deep diving. Hers in an unusual career, she has dived with Nuno Gomes (deepest man in the world) and was a key part of Dave Shaws 280meter body recovery attempt. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Publisher: Verna van SchaikReleased: Jul 14, 2010ISBN: 9781452330914Format: book.

Just finished reading 'Fatally Flawed' on Kindle. I read 'Raising The Dead' last summer and thoroughly enjoyed (if that's the right word) both books. After reading Fatally Flawed by Verna Van Schaik it is now a lot clearer to me about exactly what happened to Dave Shaw - a deep cave diver who died in the process of trying to recover a body of another diver who died ten years previously. Verna's true story along with Dave's, Don's and the rest of the crew would make an excellent fact based film/documentory. lt;< Return to first page.

Fatally Flawed is an inside look into the world of deep diving and the people who populate it. This is the story of how Verna van Schaik found a way to become the deepest woman in one of the most extreme sports in the world, cave diving

Fatally Flawed Women. Every woman Ernie Summers ever dated was fatal flaw. The pithy verse was far too clever to be the work of an adolescent mind.

Fatally Flawed Women. A case in point: the previous winter the thirty-five year-old mechanic spent time with a woman of Chinese background. Maureen Kwong held a masters degree in education.

Fatally Flawed is an inside look into the world of deep diving and the people who populate it. This is the story of how Verna van Schaik found a way to become the deepest woman in one of the most extreme sports in the world, cave diving. The story follows Verna's start in diving in 1989 when technical diving was in its infancy, follows her journey with Nuno Gomes as a support diver on his record breaking dives and culminates with her experiences on Dave Shaw's dive. It was this dive that allowed Verna to finally see past the carefully edited illusion that is 'being the deepest'. Suddenly her experience with the top divers in South Africa ( if not the world) gave her a unique opportunity to question who deep divers really are. What drives a person to place their life on the line ? Why do they want so desperately to be the deepest ? Are they fatally flawed ?
Comments to eBook Fatally Flawed - The Quest to be Deepest
This awkwardly written record of Verna van Schaik's feelings over the course of her record-breaking deep diving career simply does not do justice to her personal accomplishments, or the fascinating nature of this sport.

Fatally Flawed read like a personal empowerment journal, recounting Schaik's insecurities as she tried to break into a closed community of deep divers. I admittedly am spoiled by several recent reads about diving that crackled with personality and sharp prose, and detailed the planning and technical challenges of a dive (Blind Descent by James Tabor, is a great example). In contrast, you will learn almost nothing about deep diving from this book, and none of its characters - including Schaik, herself - achieve three dimensions. Worse, her prose is painful to read, peppered generously with "firstly" and "whilst," and weighed down with excessive rhetorical questions.

There is no better example of these failings than Schaik's account of Dave's Shaw's final dive - a well known tragedy for which Schaik had a front row seat. Despite her insider's perspective, Schaik seems not to have interviewed the many other divers at Boesmansgat that day. Instead, she focused the action through a lens of her own feelings, describing the challenges to her leadership on shore, and second-guessing the planning and prep work by the deep divers. The Wikipedia entry for this dive contained more facts in one page than Schaik described in twenty.

In sum, though Schaik's success in a difficult field is laudable, this book is underwhelming, and I do not recommend it.
This is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in deep sport diving, and in particular, an "insiders" perspective into the small world of deep technical diving. I agree, to a certain extent, with other reviewers who would have liked to see more technical details, dive plans, gas mixes, run profiles, and decompression schedules; but those technical details are not the mainstream theme of Fatally Flawed - The Quest to be Deepest by Verna van Schaik. Instead of being a deeply technical book, this is a deeply personal book by van Schaik. The author candidly takes the reader on her personal voyage to become the deepest sport diver in the world and "tells it like it is". She does reach that goal and is the current record holder for the deepest dive by a woman, 221 meters on open circuit scuba.

Diving to 221 meters on open circuit (in a cave) is quite an extraordinary accomplishment. However, what makes Fatally Flawed - The Quest to be Deepest by Verna van Schaik special is the fact that she was an insider (part of the support team) to a number of famous divers in their quest also set world sport diving records. Yet, unlike the vast majority of books on sport diving, van Schaik departs from glorifying divers who take risks to set records. van Schaik examines the testosterone driven male ego, their motivations, their tribal behavior in a behind the scenes look at diving, while at the same time weaving in her views a female deep diver in a sport traditionally dominated by men. Truth is often more interesting than fiction as they say, and this is certainly the case in this story. Is it a great story.

Before purchasing this Kindle book, I read a few negative reviews and these reviews caused me to delay my purchase for about a month; however, I was glad I went ahead and bought this book, because the book is very good and is very unique. A few readers were critical of a number of editorial typos. Yes, there are a few typos here and there, but my view is "so what" as I felt very fortunate to be reading the first hand account of a female diver on her successful quest to be the "deepest woman" as she calls herself. I really enjoyed her insider perspective and female view into the mind of the technical diver; and I was surprised at her candor and honesty in such a small sport community.

van Schaik "names names" as they say; and there are those who might be offended by her courage to write her personal opinions and views. I think that she shows both heart and courage in both diving in her writing style. Her book was refreshing to read. van Schaik does hit hard in a number of areas (she does not hold much back); but in retrospect, that is the heart of her story. Her story is certainly a story worth reading; and I would recommend this book to anyone, not only divers, who want to read a direct first-hand account of someone who sets a very difficult goal in a potential deadly sport and achieves her goal(s).

Could be book be better? Yes, I think that there are some minor typos and grammatical mistakes; and yes in my Kindle version the images of all of the dive plans in the appendix are missing. However, these are minor annoyances in relative terms; and so I gave van Schaik 5 stars for writing an excellent story about her quest to be an elite athlete in a very dangerous, extreme sport. It is a privilege to read the story of such a fine deep sport diver and world record holder; after all, this story is not science fiction in our modern world, but if written 100 years ago, it would have certainly been science fiction then. Well done and highly recommended.

This book might just surprise you as it did me.
In Fatally Flawed -- The Quest to be Deepest, South African diver, dive instructor and prolific tech diving blogger Verna van Schaik describes how she set a new world record for deep diving by a woman (725 feet), what led up to it, and how she views the whole drive and obsession to set ever more extreme records. Van Schaik was also surface marshal for Australian rebreather diver Dave Shaw's fatal attempt at body recovery at the Boesmansgat cave in early 2005, and so readers learn how she experienced the discovery of the body, which took place just days after her own successful record dive, and then the subsequent ill-fated recovery mission.

Van Schaik, who started diving in 1989, specializes on deep and cave diving and presents an entirely unusual picture. Whereas most dive books center on achievements, adventure, equipment, technology and the pursuit of records, van Schaik's "Fatally Flawed" looks at the motivation behind it all. She relates her doubts, her feelings of not being taken serious as a woman and her fears of not measuring up in a man's world. She is both drawn to idols and heroes, and yet feels betrayed when the heroes turn out to be as flawed and ego-driven as anyone else.

Van Schaik describes the lure of depth, the progression of deep diving records, the dangers involved, and the price people pay for a record. Is it a quest to be accepted, respected and loved? She wonders what drives people, including herself, to risk their lives this way. She relates her own history of diving and seeking acceptance in dive clubs run by what she terms "Scuba Gods," and how she joined the Wits Underwater Club with the legendary deep diver Nuno Gomez. She relates feelings of inadequacy and doubt, and how she felt she was excluded by Gomez because she was female.

We learn about the Wondergat sinkhole and its challenges, and expeditions to Boesmansgat, the third largest known water-filled cave in the world, where Gomez dived to 750 feet in 1994 and van Schaik was a shallow-water support diver. However, when Gomez goes back for a 930 feet dive, van Schaik is not invited. Devastated, she strikes out on her own with deep diving at Guinas Lake in Namibia, and then at Badgat, a flooded asbestos mine with many challenging interconnected levels. In 2001 she reaches first 463 feet at Badgat and then 610 feet at Boesmansgat, but by now the female deep diving record was at 692 feet. All the while, doubts persist as do feelings of inadequacy: "I had set out on this quest mainly to change how it felt to be me and to all intents and purposes now that it was behind me, I was still the same scared and unsure person I had always been."

With the record sort of broken (at Boesmansgat's altitude of about 4800 feet, a 610 foot dive equates to about 720 feet at sea level in terms of decompression obligations) van Schaik seeks to leave the world of records behind, but finds that "without my obsession my life was totally empty" A new record attempt is planned and van Schaik has a scary situation at Badgat at a preparation dive. Yet, despite more doubts and frustrations the dive at Boesmansgat takes place, now with Dave Shaw and Don Shirley as support divers. Van Schaik successfully reaches 725 feet and a new women's divers world record, but her thunder is quickly stolen when Dave Shaw, on a record rebreather dive (888 feet), finds the body of Deion Dreyer, a diver who had gone missing ten years prior.

This is where rebreathers come into play, a technology that van Schaik initially views with suspicion as not well suited for deep diving due to equipment failures and the greater chance of carbon dioxide accumulation under exertion. Yet, Shaw's success appears to make open circuit scuba obsolete. Unable to participate in Shaw's subsequent body recovery dive that's reserved for rebreather divers, Van Schaik is asked to be surface marshal instead. The dive becomes a tragedy when Shaw is lost and his primary support diver, Don Shirley, gets seriously bent on his way back up.

The disastrous event further shatters van Schaik's illusion of glory and heroes. She feels "the list of things Dave could have done and did not do is long" and she is appalled that Shirley did not call the dive after an incomplete dive computer repair the night prior practically guaranteed failure at depth. Disillusioned, van Schaik comes to see these heroes' attempts as ego-driven chasing after glory, as deeds to be admired but not worshipped. "I can truly say men are aliens. I do not understand them and I do not understand their rules," she states, and regrets that those seeking female role models mostly find women who are clones of men as opposed to women playing by their own rules.

The closing chapter of "Fatally Flawed" describes van Schaik's moving into rebreathers, a technology she now finds "infinitely appealing" and which she credits with being far less limited than open circuit diving. In fact, her next goal is to exceed her own record on a rebreather.

While the essentially self-published "Fatally Flawed" lacks the polish of a commercial production, it is a very compelling look into a woman's approach to deep and technical diving. It's a dive book about one woman's self-doubt and constant struggle instead of male bravado and story telling, about feeling the need to measure up and prove herself over and over again, perhaps without ever finding any definite answers. Yet, van Schaik's girlish doubts and struggles notwithstanding, she is alive and well, without ever having suffered any hits or injuries on any of her record dives. Maybe she's the real hero. -- C. H. Blickenstorfer, [..]
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