Flickr Too often in diving we’re told not to go deep or go into decompression. Well in recreational diving we shouldn’t. With a single tank and limited time we’d soon be in trouble if we broke limits. The problem is that denying the means doesn’t dampen the desire. The curiosity we have for what is down there is a healthy and natural human reaction.
If your favourite wreck or reef was suddenly placed at 40-45m deep instead of 30m then you’d probably still want to visit it. Now the depth and time available will conflict with your recreational qualifications.
So, is that it then?
Far from it. Technical scuba diving agencies also recognise these recreational limits but provide the additional training through structured courses to reach new depths and time durations. They work just like your previous training:
- Start in the classroom
- Learn about new subjects
- Become comfortable with the equipment at about 6m deep
- Practice new skills in the shallows
- Increase depth, time and your development gradually
- Put your new knowledge to use at sea
- Continue diving with a sensible and structured approach
That’s right - you don’t reach the maximum depth until the END of the course. Depth ISN’T the product. The product is the development of you and where you can go.
The good news is that when you take a beginner level tech course ALL of your diving improves. Why wait several years prising information from reluctant dive guides when you can have a big injection of knowledge and development in one hit? This ‘spike’ of learning reverses back into recreational and sport diving; you’ll be surprised at what you can learn on tech courses:
- How to call a boat from underwater
- How to reach previously ‘forbidden’ places
- 4 ways to deal with a free-flow
- How to stay 3 times longer on your favourite wreck and come up with over 100 bar
- 6 ways to deal with tank or regulator failures
- How to halve your deco stop time, safely
- 2 ways to use your ears as depth gauges
- How to achieve the buoyancy of a fish
- 6 ways to deploy an SMB
- Master your underwater lighting equipment
- Know more than the dive guide leading you
- How to read a computer without a mask
- Improving your air consumption (making your tanks last longer!)
- How to reduce tiredness by using Nitrox
- How to dive with 2 tanks
- How to escape from an entanglement wearing tech gear
- How to double your dive sites in one course
- Learn advanced and interesting theory ‘way outside the manual’
- How to rescue a tech diver
- How deco training makes you TEN TIMES better at recreational diving
- How to handle multiple tasks and procedures at depth and stay in control
- Learn proper finning and streamlining techniques
- How to dive with air and Nitrox on the same dive
- Learn a new language underwater – advanced hand signaling
- Learn where all the secret tech sites are around the Red Sea
- How to safely dive with 50% or 100% Nitrox
- Attain superior and professional level underwater skill development
- How to plan your dives on a PC
- And…how to produce effective bailout and redundancy plans
As you see, tech divers don’t just ‘chance their arm’ but acquire a broad range of skills and knowledge just like soldiers, pilots, captains or anyone else in occupations of increased responsibility or higher risk environments. You can do it too, with a bit of dedication and commitment. You’ll be surprised at what you might find out about yourself.
The list of courses follow a natural progression of diver education from recreational Basic Nitrox Diver to Trimix Diver. Read about each course, some reasons for doing it, what you’ll learn and how you can put them to good use. You can start when you like and progress as you see fit. The important thing is to know that the training is there if you ever want it. Never do anything for reasons other than your own.