19 April 2010

Technical Diving

** The wi-fi in the hotel is not working tonight, so I'm writing these posts in Notepad, and I will transfer them to the blog next time I get the chance.

Monday I begin my technical diving course. I'm not really sure what time, because I don't know when the shop opens, but I'm just going to show up sometime between 8 and 9 in the morning and hope they are open.

If you are wondering what interest I have in "technical" diving or what technical diving even is, I'll explain here. While there is a world of difference between technical and recreational diving, most technical divers are still diving for recreational purposes. Technical diving is not commercial diving (diving to carry out tasks, usually construction, underwater). Technical diving simply allows divers to push beyond recreational depth and time limits through more rigorous training, more thorough education, and by using special equipment to mitigate hazards. The purpose is to allow divers to explore "riskier" environments (such as deeper depths, caves, and wrecks).

Pretty much anybody who pays for a recreational diving course will receive a recreational diving certification. In as little as two days, a monkey could become a SCUBA diver. (And based on what I saw in Sosúa, some monkeys might actually make better divers). You are taught not to go beyond a certain depth and not to stay beyond a certain amount of time, but you are never really explained the reasons why. In technical diving, you learn how to surpass these "recreational limits" and remain safe.

In this course, I will be taking just the first few steps into the technical diving world. I will be using twin tanks, breathing gases other than air (namely Nitrox in mixtures from 40 to 100% oxygen), learning decompression procedures, and extending my depth range to 170 feet. I've already read several books on this stuff and understand most of what the course will cover, but there's no substitute for actually being trained by a professional.

Most of all, I hope the diving on this side of Hispaniola is better than it was on the other!

No comments:

Post a Comment