Technical Diving – A Beginning
The beginning is always the hardest , I mean where do you start? I guess I’ll start with my certifications. Back in May of 2014, traveled to Playa del Carmen, Quintanaroo, Mexico to do my first technical course. After looking at his website and several reviews, I decided to take the course from Frank Gutierrez. Another reason that I chose Frank is that he was certified by both PADI and TDI to teach the TEC 40 and 45 from PADI, and Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures from TDI. With my instructor chosen, it’s time for Technical Diving – A Beginning.
It turned out to be a good choice, in not only the instructor, but the location. It is always a hazard when traveling that the weather turns to crap and the dive gets cancelled. The location turned out to be fortuitous as we were blown out the entire time we were there. The good luck came as we were able to dive the cenotes in order to do the class. I’ll post more about the cenotes and Playa del Carmen in the travel section, but suffice it to say we had a blast.
I learned a lot from Frank and I hope he is doing well. The only thing he forgot, is that I took the class using a sidemount rig, but when he put it into the system he put it in as a regular class and not sidemount. That is alright as I am not doing enough sidemount diving to feel experienced enough to call myself a sidemount diver, and as I have recently fallen in love with rebreathers, I probably won’t put in the time or effort to become an expert at sidemount. I only have so much time.
So the question that I get asked and I know a lot of divers ask themselves, why do I progress past recreational and get my technical diving certs?
It’s one of those things that everyone has to answer for themselves. I wanted to do it for several reasons:
- I’m a bit of a geek and I enjoy all the calculations, planning and of course the toys.
- I enjoy wreck diving (I’ll post more about that later)
- I wanted to be able use 100% O2 for the accelerated off-gassing, although I usually use 80%.
- If I wanted to go into deco on a dive (with planning of course), the dive operation doesn’t get upset.
For me, depth is simply something to do to get to something. For instance, when I am diving walls of St. Croix, I tend to spend most of my time at 60 feet. It is where the critters are. However, if there is a wreck such as the ones in the St. Lawrence seaway, I will dive to the depth I need to do the wreck.
Rebreathers and more wrecks.