Deco Procedures Course

Thu, 04/29/2010 - 09:14 -                                Flickr Diving is sometimes like flying because in scuba gear you can almost glide though the water effortlessly without touching the ground. But what would a pilot say? Maybe because he has to go to 38,000 feet instead of twenty-five meters he would conduct a more detailed ‘buddy check’ or ‘flight plan’ as he might term it. Well people who like to visit dive sites for deeper and longer periods also have to conduct a type of flight plan. Have you seen these divers on your guided boats and cast an eye at their equipment? Does it look familiar yet not quite the same as yours? Then that’s because it’s still scuba gear but there’s more of it and it’s configured differently.


Can YOU go deeper or longer? Is it even necessary?

Ask yourself this; “What if my favourite recreational dive site suddenly became 20m deeper today than yesterday, would I still want to dive there?” Imagine if the SS Thistlegorm, now between just 14m and 30m deep was placed between 25m and 50m deep? With all that history and detail it would certainly still hold the same appeal. Well it’s already happened; a similar wreck from exactly the same era lies at those very depths just a few miles away. Many of our wreck divers are now acquiring the extra skills and training required to visit the Rosalie Möller safely.


Do you feel that it’s dangerous or difficult?


Maybe that’s because you are projecting your current level of diving and experiences onto deeper environments and durations would render you uncomfortable. All courses have depth limits but maximum depths are at the end of courses, not the beginning where you’ll find yourself in the shallows mastering your new equipment and becoming comfortable with some new skills. In fact there’s a myth about tech diving and depth... Did you know that the first two courses of TDI are within recreational depths? And that the deco course exceeds it by only five meters? That’s because the product isn’t just the depth or equipment but YOU and your personal growth as a well trained diver. Perhaps your former training has been a little below what it should be and maybe left you vulnerable in certain environments.


Take a look at what you can learn on a TDI Deco Course at Sinai Blues:


  • How to think like a pilot
  • 6 ways to deploy an SMB
  • How to rescue a tech diver
  • How to safely halve your deco stop time
  • Where all the secret tech sites are around Sharm
  • 4 ways to deal with a free-flowing regulator
  • How to call a boat from underwater
  • How to dive with extra tanks
  • 2 ways to use your ears as depth gauges
  • Where to get discounts on tech gear
  • How to plan a deco dive
  • How to remove ‘depth fear’
  • How to achieve the buoyancy of a fish
  • Learn advanced and interesting theory ‘way outside the manual’
  • 3 different ways to measure your breathing rate
  • How to use ‘rich’ Nitrox above 40%
  • Making the most out of your dive computers

As you see, tech divers don’t just ‘chance their arm’ but acquire a very broad range of skills and knowledge. Here are some comments from previous guests.


“Not only am I now a good deco diver but I’m much more knowledgeable and comfortable about my recreational diving too. I didn’t know there was so much you could do.”

“They used to tell me ‘don’t go into deco’ like it was a dirty word. Nobody told me I could go away and actually learn it. Now my dives are deeper, longer, far more interesting and much safer because I have new knowledge and skills. It’s not difficult. I don’t know what all the fuss was about.”

“My friends told me before the course that it would be like a ‘boot camp’. Well nothing could be further from the truth. The training was thorough alright, but professional, fun, laid back and highly effective. I have lost all my fear about depth and using extra equipment - I wish I’d done this year’s ago.”

“I spent an hour inside Thistlegorm last week and I only had a ten minute deco stop. It’s the world’s best underwater museum and I felt like a kid in a candy store.”

“I used to think tech diving was for big strong blokes but when you’re in the water everything weighs nothing anyway. It’s your brain that you use, not your muscles. Can’t wait to be back for more.”

“I feel much more in control after my tech training. Nothing is left to chance and I can now deal with so much more. Funnily enough, there is less to deal with now that I’m a better diver.”

“I always thought a twinset would be heavy and cumbersome. Most of the time I didn’t know it was there but I’m glad it was. All that spare gas! I feel so resourceful now and finally I can send up an SMB without losing buoyancy.”


About the course

This is the first course in open water in the TDI curriculum where dives requiring a series of stops on the way to the surface can be planned and conducted. 4 dives are required for the course or at least 6 when combined with the TDI Advance Nitrox Course. Max depth for the course is 45m, not too much of an increase beyond the Basic/Advanced Nitrox depth limit of 40m. The big difference is really the potential to increase bottom time, rather than depth. A diver with an average breathing rate would be able to conduct a 45m dive for a 25 minute bottom time (with a set of twin 12 liter cylinders) leaving a safe gas reserve at the end of the dive. The NDL at this depth is less than one third of this time.

Dive sites between the 30m-40m ranges that once had to be left after 10-15 minutes of bottom time can now be explored for 30 minutes to an hour of bottom time.

Theoretical knowledge and the development of technical diving skills gained in the Decompression Procedures Course will prepare divers for a whole new world of diving.


Who can enroll on a TDI Decompression Procedures Course?


  • You must be a minimum age of 18 years old
  • You must have a minimum certification level of an advanced open water diver, adventure diver or equivalent
  • You must have a minimum of 25 logged dives
  • You should possess the relevant level of health and fitness for scuba diving
  • The course duration is 3 days (5 if taught in conjunction with the TDI Advanced Nitrox Course)