We tell our students that although you have qualified as a diver, you should continue to progress your education as no diver can know everything. Choose some aspect that you want to brush up on, learn more and then apply. It may be that you are going on yout first boat trip and the skipper expects you to put up an SMB and surface underneath and you have never deployed an SMB, so what do you do? You talk to a member of the Dive Rutland instructional team and we teach you.
With a Dive Rutland trip booked next August to dive in Scapa Flow and my technical skills a little rusty.. yes I dive a twinset when I can but not as often as I would like and was very aware that I want to be better at some of the skill circuits than I was. Now was the time to start revisiting some of those skills. When talking about it with the team, Bridget mentioned that she would like to join me so, we did some research looking for an instructor who not just teaches technical skills, but one that actually dives a lot as a technical diver and could bring real life experience to the process and is well respected within the industry.
We chose Garry Dallas. While Garry is a well known and well respected sidemount diver, he is someone that studies kit and dives it, not as a salesman or ambassador but as someone who wants to know how it works and what it feels like, perfect for new and rusty technical divers. In addition to his incredible skill set as a sidemount diver and technical advisor, Garry has established a good relationship with Charlie, our own Dive Rutland instructor, why not go to someone that we know, and know to be good?
We were able to get a course, outside of an agency standard, outside of a certification in order to better our skills. It does not matter who the instructor is, anyone from any agency could be the person to help. So taking the mantra that you should never stop learning and bettering your skills we took ourselves off to the Delph Watersports Centre. A site that neither of us have ever been to or dived so lots of unknowns.
Saturday was spent on a little theory recap as well as looking at how to work out Trimix mixes.. something neither of us are qualified to dive but lots of learning points and a few things we can add into our Enriched Air Speciality. A speciality that heavily relies on computers but what happens if you know what the maximum depth of the dive you are going to dive is, but you do not get the mix you asked for… then when. A little calculation and you have it…
As well as looking at our own personal metabolic oxygen drills, that was very interesting.. now I would prefer to think the results showed that I was the fittest but apparently they show us that Bridget is brainy as she couldn’t get as far as me on no oxygen!
Then Sunday was spent learning some new drills as well as practising some others.. during two long dives. the second dive was 75mins..in less than 6metres of water.. if you can run the drills there you can run them anywhere.
Lots of positives in our performances but during the weekend frustration, apprehension and nervousness all felt.. feelings that all of our students feel and ones we can most definitely relate to.
Our next steps are practise, practise and practise and a total kit replacement for me! as we always say to you.. having the right equipment for the job is a huge part of the process and that was the running theme of my weekend.
We would like to thank Garry for all of his support this weekend, but we do recommend you practise your 'Dive Rutland Dance'!
So, whether you take a specialty course, or you decide to work with an instructor under our own boost program, the more tools you have in your diver toolbox, the safer you will be for it.
Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE