Namn: Lösen:
Mark Dougherty

Mark Dougherty

Vid tillfället för intervjun:
Ålder: 40
Yrke: Professor in computer science
Bosatt: Gagnef, Dalarna
Antal dyk: About 300 cave dives, unknown number of open water dives (I didn’t keep a log for many years)
Medlemsnummer: 15024

Hej Mark, allt bra med dig?
Yes, everything is just fine. I went diving and snowboarding this weekend and the living room floor is covered in equipment spread out to dry, which makes me feel very comfortable.

Vem är egentligen Mark Dougherty?
I would describe myself as an all-rounder. For example, my recent expedition to Greftsprekka involved winter mountaineering, vertical caving and cave diving all in one day. I find that variety very stimulating.

Du har ju blivit nominerad av våra läsare varför tror du att de är nyfikna på vem du är?
Well, I think my posts on the forum maybe stand out because I write in English, not because I have anything revolutionary to say! I suppose I’m also a strange mixture of conservatism (I still use an old-fashioned equipment configuration of twin independents mainly because I’ve always dived that way) and quite radical exploration (like diving at the bottom of deep and difficult cave systems).

När började du dyka och varför?
I became interested in diving when I met some cave divers on a caving expedition in 1989. I helped carry some equipment for them for a couple of dives and I was completely fascinated. They took me for a quick “try-dive” in a lake as a reward and as soon as I got home I started planning for a cave diving career.

Kan du kort beskriva din dykkarriär?
I bought my first diving equipment in 1990, most of it very second hand. A pair of 4l 200bar tanks which I still have somewhere, most of the other stuff has been thrown away. What happened next sounds almost unbelievable today, but I simply put the equipment on and went cave diving. So my first real dive was a solo cave dive, with no training of any kind. I don’t think I went very far in, which was probably just as well! Soon after that I joined the Cave Diving Group in Britain and was lucky enough to come under the mentorship of some very experienced cave divers. In 1992 I was examined and elected as a qualified diver within the CDG and this is still the only diving qualification I have.

In 1996 I moved to Sweden, but I had already been cave diving in Sweden, my connection to Sweden goes back a long way. But from 1998 until about 2006 I did rather little diving. I had two small children at home and I was trying to make a career in the university world. The years just after a PhD are really critical. Coming back to diving was quite a shock. Techniques had developed enormously and cave and mine diving was something much more mainstream. I’m still trying to catch up!

Har du några andra intressen förutom dykningen?
Well obviously caving is very important for me and I still participate regularly in “dry” caving expeditions. We go caving together as a family sometimes, which is always great fun. I’m also a pretty good alpine skier and snowboarder (at least people say I’m good for an Englishman, I don’t know whether that’s really a compliment!). I can sail and have a small racing trimaran, just another way of getting wet and cold. Another interest I have is music. I play the trombone and for a while I played in a band, but I just haven’t got the time to practice enough. I mostly play with my daughter now, who is learning the french horn and my youngest son has just started on the trumpet. In quiet moments (there aren’t many!) I write poetry.

Hur ser en perfekt dykdag ut för dig?
Well any diving day is a good day. If I have to choose, it will be a cave dive (what else!) and to be honest I prefer long, relatively shallow, dives rather than deep dives. A dive with a purpose is always more fun – it could be exploration, surveying, photography or acting as a support diver for someone else. There is nothing more satisfying than getting out of the water with a feeling of “mission accomplished”.

Har du gjort något favoritdyk som du vill dela med dig av?
The best dives I have ever done were in Labyrintgrottan, which is up in Artfjället. I dived there in 1993 a few days after getting married. Our honeymoon was a cave and cave diving expedition and Sofi, my wife, helped carry the equipment down the cave to the siphon. No luxury hotel, but unique surroundings! The siphon itself was absolutely beautiful, with crystal clear water and wonderful sand formations on the floor. I didn’t pass the siphon that year due to a technical problem, but I returned in 1994 and passed the first two siphons. The first siphon ends at a chamber with a small waterfall falling into the water – finding this from below, seeing the water bubbling and foaming, was probably the most exciting experience I have ever had diving.

Vad tycker du om
A fun community, with lots of very competent and interesting people.

Har du planerat nått kul den kommande tiden?
Just now I’m packing for a cave diving expedition to Bjurälven. This is jokingly known as the SKPP (Swedish Karst Plains Project). Another thing I’m planning for is to go diving in the sea. Amazingly enough I have never done a single dive in salt water. I’ve also joined the local diving club in Leksand and I’m looking forward to some “ordinary” open water diving – diving doesn’t have to be advanced and technical to be fun and easy dives are a good opportunity to fine tune equipment configurations and improve my trim (which sucks!).

Vad vill du säga till alla som läser detta?
In the old BSAC Sport Diving manual there is a section with the title “adventurous diving”. In this little section is more wisdom and inspiration than many entire books. Just a couple of quotations:

“Adventurous diving….means applying the attitudes of the pioneers of diving to our modern levels of attainment”

“What are the rewards? Essentially the pleasures are those of exploration of both the environment and our own selves”

Artikeln läst 6957 gånger.

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