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.