So, you have done your PADI instructor training and now you want the next step. Where to go and what to do? As a PADI instructor you can teach all core courses, open water, advanced, rescue and divemaster but what about specialty training. Specialty training? With specialties integrated more and more into core courses, for example search and recovery, and deep into divemaster training it only seems logical that you would need to teach those specialties no? This week, at Go Pro Costa Rica we headed out gear laden (Yeah!!) to train for our specialty instructor programs. We looked at both deep and search and recovery specialties. As the only Tec Rec center in Costa Rica we also like to add that little bit extra to our deep training so started our class with a basic discussion on equipment set up,deco tanks, rules and dive planning as a “pre Tec” class if you will. Sun was shining as we headed out and all 4 students were looking forward to trying something different with their back plate and wings, and deco bottles hanging off the side, ready to go. We headed to Punta Quepos, a pinnacle dive site which bottoms out at around 130ft (40m), perfect for this. As we hit the sand at the bottom, rainy season has bought us slightly lowered visibility which adds that additional challenge! We ran though our drills, checking out pressure affected objects, and timed skills, to see how narcosis affected everyone. It went well! Challenge on, navigate back to the reef, at depth in reduced viz, fun!! But everyone rose to the challenge, well done! Thumbs up, end dive, deploy SMBs and go up for our 8 minute simulated deco stop. With everyone hovering in a good horizontal position breathing off of there deco bottles, picture perfect.
After a chill out on the boat, dive 2 of our search and recovery specialty training. This time we are looking specifically at a Jackstay search. This is a good practice for team work, communication, organization and is a very thorough search pattern. It is a search pattern conducted by divers swimming along a search line – the jackstay. The idea is to have 2 fixed lines on the side and a movable line in the middle to which the divers searching will swim along. Divers need to be well trained to attempt this search, hence is used later on in the search and recovery course and is invaluable training as part of the search and recovery specialty instructor training course. After a detailed plan and discussion session everyone set off with their specific roles to lay out a start swimming the pattern. It went very smoothly , thanks to good planning and allowed invaluable practice. Underwater knots were once again practiced and the final part, once again practicing lift bag techniques, including filling from your exhaust valves!! Another technical dive skill. Great work guys , next part of specialty training, equipment workshops.