24 April 2010

Tech Certified

I am now a certified Technical and Advanced Nitrox Diver. After my dive on Friday we went back to the shop to finish up the theoretical segment of the course, and then I took the exam. And oh, what an exam! I didn't keep track of how long it took to do the 50 questions, but it was hours and hours. This exam was no joke. At times I felt like it was somewhat unreasonable, but I passed. With a 96%, in fact! I missed a couple on topics that we didn't thoroughly cover in class.

It's a bad photo!

With the successful completion of the Don Quico dive and a passing score on the exam, I was certified. A certification with IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers) is not a small feat. They will fail you. It's not like recreational certifications, for which if you pay, they'll give you a card. No, an IANTD certification means something. You can pay for the course and leave empty handed. Denis has a client scheduled to come back in May for his third attempt!

Being certified, however, by no measure means I'm an accomplished technical diver. It will take dozens and dozens of dives like the Don Quico to reach that level. It just means I've achieved a level to being able to pursue technical dives on my own. The best thing about a certification like this is that if I find other IANTD divers out there, I can be fairly confident they are good people to dive with. Unskilled and unknowledgeable divers are weeded out in the certification process.

And now I'm exhausted! Diving like this alone is tiring, but add in the classroom time and it really takes a lot out of you. But I have two more days in Santo Domingo and a lot of things to see. No rest yet!

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