Are you a member of another club, or an independent diver?
You can still take advantage of many of our Dive Trips and Training Courses, when places are available.
Although some of our club members are active technical divers, C-Divers, as a club, do not teach technical diving – but with our extended range diving done at club level, this can give members the experience to go forward should they wish to take up technical diving training with one of the external training agencies, for example:
• Technical Diving International (TDI)
• International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD)
• National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI)
These are only some of the agencies on an ever-expanding list instructing technical diving. All have their own slant on training, and we would advise that anyone going forward should make their own inquiries and research before deciding on which one they choose.
What is Technical Diving?
Again, as in extended range diving, there are differences through the agencies as to what they consider to be technical diving, and this would dictate the training involved.
In general, as in extended range diving, any diving undertaken outwith normal sports diving can be classed as technical diving.
Having expanded your skill and knowledge and choosing to go further in your diving career; whether it is deep penetration in wrecks or caves, ice diving or diving to extreme depths, it should only be undertaken after careful consideration, as the risks can increase dramatically.
By the time you get to this level of diving, your knowledge and preferences in diving equipment will already be at an advanced stage. Most of your previous kit-buying mistakes will have been made (and now off-loaded on eBay) and your kit should be configured just the way you want it.
Cylinders, wing and harness, stage cylinders will already be part of your equipment. Superior regulators, torches, reels etc. all to suit your preference. You may also now have a mixed-gas computer, which can be an advantage for the type of diving you now want to attempt.
Mixed gas diving
We know the benefits Nitrox gives us, and also its limitations regarding depth. The next stage in deeper diving is to replace part of the Nitrogen in our gas mix with the inert gas Helium; to reduce the narcotic effect of the Nitrogen. This also requires specialist knowledge and will be covered in the technical training.
Planning of dives now requires a very thorough series of calculations with regard to gas mixes, depth and time. Although there is software on the market that can do this for you, you should still be able to do them as a safeguard.
We all learn to dive on Open Circuit scuba equipment (OC) This means that the gas we breathe from our cylinders is inhaled through the first and second stage regulators, processed in our lungs, and exhaled through our second stage into the water and up to the atmosphere – an open circuit.
The other way is by use of a rebreather unit. Simplified, this is where we breathe gas from smaller cylinders in a closed circuit (CCR) The gas is breathed in through a one-way regulator in a loop system, processed in our lungs and exhaled through the regulator back to the unit, where it passes through a dry chemical to remove the toxic, waste gases. It is analysed electronically and oxygen is added automatically to replace that which has been used, at a level to suit the depth at which the diver is at. This gas is then re-breathed in the closed circuit. Other gases such as Helium can also be added. Re-breathers have been around for many years, but with modern technology and manufacturing methods are becoming more efficient and reliable – although, as in open-circuit, they also carry risks.
It is a big commitment, both financially and training-wise, to purchase one of these units, and again, advice and research should be undertaken before taking the step.