So why tec dive? Its a questions I get regularly asked, and seems to come up when I get asked what type of diving I enjoy. I love technical diving. For the love of the deep, no, for the safety, meticulous planning and in addition to that, I love exploring and pushing my limits. I have swayed many divers in the past to look at tec diving, with the primary reasoning behind it being that it adds an additional conservative aspect to your recreational diving. Plus, once you get bitten with the bug…
A good technical diver is someone that likes to push their limits slowly, the diver who comes to me and says, I want to do tec so I can dive deep, or “I just want to dive deep” isn’t necessarily the best candidate to take on a tec program as already they have the wrong mentality I feel. For that reason I have refused people on the course before.
But technical diving without the deep aspect? The first stage would be either the Tec 40 if you are looking at the DSAT route, or Deco procedures if going the way of TDI. As the name states, these are all about the procedures and getting into the mindset without going beyond the recreational depth limit. The principal of technical diving is redundancy, as in you are prepared for almost anything to be thrown at you and equip yourself as such. Apart from a back up brain which is provided by your team, you are carrying, back up mask, timing device, deco information, buoyancy, and independent air source. Whilst it may seem that it is a lot, it isn’t really. Put a mask in your pocket, a watch on your wrist and take a dive slate and you’re there almost. For the redundant air source you could be carrying either a pony bottle, a spare air or be in doubles.
Next you look at planning with regards to your air consumption. By knowing your air consumption you can conservatively plan your dive and make sure you have your air supply and a reserve. You do this by looking at your SAC rate which is your surface air consumption. You can calculate this by swimming for a set distance and a set time. Once you know your SAC rate you can have a good idea of your air consumption on any of your dives.
All of these principles are covered in the beginning of any tec training program so why not use that and then apply it towards your recreational diving? Want a slightly softer approach? Then you can look at the self reliant diver program. This a specialty diver program that looks at being self sufficient, so basically, all of the principles covered in technical diving, without the depth. Redundancy, air consumption, planning are all there. It’s a great way to get started.
So, if you are looking at improving your dive skills and becoming a more confident diver that either an entry into technical diving or self sufficiency could be your track.
Have a think about and push your limits!!