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What Next for Dive Training? October 18, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Training.
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I went on a training binge last year, completing my Divemaster (actually completed in March, but close  enough), DSAT Tec Deep Training, Wreck Diving Speciality (it was a great course, with a couple of extra dives tagged on the end, which I’ll describe in a future post), Drift Diving Speciality, and Night Diving Specialty. This qualifies me to be a “Master Scuba Diver” in PADI terms but I don’t have a compelling reason to spend the thirty bucks for the card. It’s not like it gets me anything, although PADI says it puts me in a class of distinction.

But now I’m faced with the question of what to do next. It gets harder from here. My local dive shop can offer me (a) more specialities, although I think I’ve done all the ones I really want to do, (b) Gas Blender – might do that over the winter, but I already understand the principles of partial pressure mixing, or (c) Assistant Instructor, which I’ll probably do also if I can fit into my schedule, and it looks like my dive shop is going to offer it soon.

After that I’m done with my local shop, and there’s several options.

  1. Instructor. Getting on in years with a busy full-time job and a blog to write I don’t know whether I want to do it. I like helping out in classes and so on, and it’s fun helping people learn to dive, but I wonder if it’s too late to get much value out of it. Then again, there are people much older than me who have qualified, including one guy at 70 who’s featured in the Undersea Journal. Assistant Instructors are allowed to do some teaching so I suppose I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve tried it a bit.
  2. Trimix. Let’s me go deeper and remember what I saw. Could be a lot of fun and useful even fairly close to home. The Jodrey, for instance, is barely doable on air, starting at about 140′ and going down to 240. In the darkness and current  narcosis is all the more apparent. However, the cost of Helium is climbing as the world is running out of it, and $100 for a 20 minute dive is starting to get up there. NAUI seems to have a good program – and I find it interesting that being a non-smoker is a prerequisite, at least at one training facility.
  3. More Technical Courses. PSAI (run by Hal Watts) runs some interesting courses, including one that dives air down to 240 feet under close supervision to really come to terms with Narcosis, while at the same time helping you perfect your deep diving technique. Sounds extreme but I like the idea of training well past the limits I’d actually consider diving outside a training environment. Technical Wreck diving is another one I’d consider. Deep wreck diving is probably more dangerous than cave diving, but my wife has developed a healthy fear of me going into caves diving but doesn’t have the same perception of wrecks.
  4. Rebreathers. Not ready for them, or more to the point, I don’t think they’re ready for me yet. There have been too many accidents with them for my liking, and the discipline required to use them is beyond what I’m prepared to take on for the moment. If I started getting involved with diving below 75 metres or so, I’d consider changing my mind, as I think there’s a safety crossover point down there somewhere between rebreathers and open circuit Scuba.

I can’t think of much else. The other option is forget more training and just go diving. We’ll see.



1. Going for PADI Assistant Instructor « Chronicle of an older diver - November 3, 2008

[…] As I mentioned before – I have no intention of changing careers to be an instructor. However, do a little on the side will keep me out there diving, and provide a diversion from my office job, […]


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