• On your descent, follow the line all the way to the weight. If there’s loads of spare line, then you might be swimming over interesting things while you are still following the line. If the current picks up or changes direction mid-dive, then the line may well have moved but the weight won’t have.
  • When you get to the shot weight, take a minute. This is a good opportunity to fine tune your buoyancy, faff with your torch, check that your buddy’s okay and do a quick gas check. It’s also well worth taking a minute to notice where you are: what does the wreck look like around where you are. This way, you know where you are aiming to come back to. Also, have a quick look at how deep you are.
  • If you aren’t confident that you’ll find the shotline again, do a series of small “out-and-back” swims. You might not see quite as much of the site as you otherwise would, but setting off in different directions each time means you will normally cover plenty of it.
  • When you think you are near the shotline and looking around for it – make sure you look around to both sides and don’t underestimate the tunnel vision effect from your mask (I’ve found a shotline nearly behind me in the past) and it’s sometimes easier to see the shotline if you look up.
  • If you really want to come back to the shotline (if you are diving near shipping lanes, doing lots of deco or because the conditions are bad) then distance line is a really nice technique. Attaching a strobe onto the shotline can help make it a lot more visible underwater.

Article source – SCUBA magazine issue 63

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