June Advanced Nitrox/Deco Course Enrolling Now

I’ll be starting a TDI Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures course at Gilboa Quarry in northwest Ohio on the weekend of June 28 and 29, 2008. This initial weekend at Gilboa should cover the bulk of the academic study and at least two skills dives. Remaining meetings will be scheduled after completion of the weekend’s activities.

This course is the entry level technical course in the line-up of TDI courses. Graduates will be proficient divers capable of planning and executing simple staged decompression dives using nitrox and oxygen to optimize decompression obligation.

The course consists of: classroom sessions, skill dives conducted in the quarry, and “graduation” dives conducted in the Great Lakes. This combination course consists of approximately 8-10 hours of classroom work, at least three skills dives and at least 3 “working” dives.

Prerequisites
Candidates for this course should have experience diving in the conditions in which the course is to be conducted (e.g. Great Lakes). They should have a fundamental grasp of buoyancy and trim, and be familiar with the gear they will be wearing for the course. An advanced certification from SDI or another recognized agency and basic nitrox certification is required. The majority of candidates for this class wear a backplate, wing and double cylinders, but a single large-volume tank fitted with two first stages is acceptable. For a full equipment list, please ask.

Course fee is $850 per person and includes all textbooks, handouts, cards (upon successful completion of course objectives), and the instructor’s time and expenses.

Please e-mail questions to rick@greatlakestechdiving.com.

Advertisements
June Advanced Nitrox/Deco Course Enrolling Now

Intro to Tech Course, Gilboa Quarry, 4/19-20/2008

I taught a TDI Intro to Tech course yesterday and today at Gilboa Quarry near Findlay, OH. Two students were eager enough to sign up for a course this early in the season and it provided a great opportunity for them (and me) to get back in the water and practice up on some skills.

Intro to Tech is a weekend-long course designed to introduce the curious diver to the more advanced world of technical diving. Technical diving is loosely defined as scuba diving that takes place beyond the scope of “normal” sport scuba diving. Dives requiring staged decompression stops, mixed gas diving, diving in an overhead environment or dives deeper than 130′ are all technical dives. Dives of this nature require very specialized equipment, techniques, procedures and planning. In the Intro to Tech course, I explain why tech diving is different than “recreational” diving and we explore some different types of equipment and learn about dive planning.

I met up with Randy and Bob Saturday morning at the quarry and we retired to “the apartment” to do our classroom work. The apartment is one of the lodging facilities available for rent at the quarry. We settled down around the kitchen table and spent the next several hours talking about diving in general and technical diving in particular. After our classroom work, we relaxed on the front deck and enjoyed our lunch in the sunshine. After lunch, we headed to the water for a shake down dive to get used to each other as a dive team and put into practice some of the pre-dive planning and dive protoccols we had talked about. The dive went well despite a chilly water temp of 42 degrees. We exited the water, had a dive debriefing and called it a day about 5.

Randy, Bob and I met this morning at the quarry for 2 more dives. Their team communication and buoyancy skills were better than on Saturday’s dive. We did some other skills, like dealing with an out of air situation and deploying a surface marker buoy (SMB) before taking a break to get out and warm up. We spent much of our last dive just swimming and working on buoyancy and maintaining horizontal trim in the water. At the end of the dive, Randy deployed his SMB and we did an ascent using his line.

It was a great weekend and I had fun diving with Randy and Bob. Hopefully they had a good time and learned a thing or two along the way.

Intro to Tech Course, Gilboa Quarry, 4/19-20/2008

White Star Quarry 4/13/08

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ve been anxious to get back into the water and get this dive season going. I did a brief dive at White Star Quarry 3/31 and decided to go back Sunday April 13. I was going to dive with my friends and frequent dive partners Marshall and Renee Allan. Besides just shaking the dust off out dive gear, Renee was trying out some new dive gear (new doubles, backplate and wings). I was field testing a Pinnacle Evolution drysuit. Despite the fact that it’s the middle of April, Sunday morning brought us a rain/snow mix with a temp of 35 degrees F. There were a handful of divers at the quarry and quite a few fishermen. Visibility was only marginal; about 20 feet. Water temp was 42 degrees F. We had a nice 45 minute dive. Everything went well, but I could sure tell that I haven’t been diving a lot lately and need a few more practice dives to get back in the groove. I was nice and toasty until we got out and I changed back into street clothes after the dive. I’m looking forward to more diving, and hopefully warmer weather. Here’s more info about White Star Quarry in case you’re not familiar with it.

White Star Quarry 4/13/08

Winter Summary

Not surprisingly, I don’t do much diving or teaching over the winter. These non-diving months are spent presenting at shows, planning trips and courses for the upcoming dive season and doing equipment maintenance.

This winter, I attended and had a booth at Shipwrecks and Scuba in Sandusky, OH back in November. I also presented at Our World Underwater in Chicago in February. My dive buddy Marshall Allan presented our video of the Gunilda while I presented a program about Great Lakes wreck diving called, “Great Lakes Wreck Diving: What’s Your Next Step.” The Gunilda video is a documentary Marshall I produced to tell the story of the sinking of the luxury yacht Gunilda which sank in Lake Superior in 1911. The yacht was owned by William Harkness, a millionaire whose family made their fortune investing in Standard Oil. As you can see from the picture above, she is a beautiful ship. She lies upright and very intact in 260′. My presentation about Great Lakes wreck diving discussed the various options available for those who dive (or want to dive) wrecks in the Great Lakes. We discussed types of wrecks in the lakes, deep diving, penetration diving, and mixed gas diving.
The rest of the late winter/early spring was spent organizing courses and trips. Quite a lot of time and effort goes into planning these little excursions. So far this season, I’m planning two weekend trips to Harbor Beach, MI in Michigan’s “thumb”, a 5 day trip to Presque Isle, MI (between Alpena and Rogers City), and a 4 day trip to the 1000 Island region of the St. Lawrence River. And those are only the “major” trips. I’ll add many weekends at local quarries and several more Great Lakes weekends before all is said and done. So I’ve spent many hours coordinating divers’ schedules with charter boat captains’, making motel reservations, arranging for tank fills and dealing with a whole host of other details that go into planning dive trips.
So after a long winter, I’m ready to do some diving. Now if we can only get winter to end and spring to begin!
Winter Summary

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog! I’m going to give this a try this dive season and see how it works. People are always asking me where I’m diving, how the trip went, what’s up with courses and all sorts of other things. I’ll attempt to post information about those topics, plus anything else I think may be of interest to divers, particularily Great Lakes wreck divers.

Thanks!

Welcome!