The World of Tec Diving
I was asked to write a blurb on Tec for the shop website blog, comments and replies welcome.
From my first ever diving experience upon the Ocean Spirit out of Cairns QLD in 1994 the ocean had my attention as I marvelled at her beauty and rich diversity. My curiosity and imagination reeled as I wondered what lied over that ledge, down that wall and further and beyond the azure haze of deep tropical water.
I have always ventured further on my quest for new discoveries which inevitably necessitated further training and equipment to pursue the mysterious depths beyond accepted safe limits.
My sojourn to the Mecca of wreck diving in the Pacific island Chuuk Lagoon had me awed and inspired while diving on the San Francisco Maru peering at wartime relics in the forward hold at my record depth of 56.4 metres. I love diving wrecks and deep ones are all that better preserved. My “Lust for Rust” was further engrained in my addiction to deeper diving.
Tec Diving was born and evolved out of the insatiable desire to penetrate further and deeper. The use of more than one tank, guide reels, mixed gasses, redundant regulators, multi gas computers, comprehensive dive checks and plans with pertinent sundry equipment and a cool headed wary attitude etched the norm and basic requirements for technical divers.
So what is Technical Diving? Put simply … Technical diving is any diving that exceeds the accepted safe limits of recreational diving executed with appropriate equipment and training.
However, it is NOT just diving past 40 metres and returning to the surface. Nor is it simply donning a set of twins or a stage to increase your gas supply.
The deeper and longer we dive thusly dictates the substantial resources required for successfully executing and exiting safely from the planned diving mission.
As a general rule any technical dive requires 1. A dive plan, 2. A gas plan, 3. A decompression plan, and necessarily in that order as the dive plan will greatly influence the latter.
So a good dive plan must first be determined to be sensible, practical and achievable. Sensible because the risk must be weighed against the proposed outcome. There is nothing at the depths of the ocean that warrants the cost of human life. Practical because the mission has a material objective outcome deemed worthy of the dive and related resources. Achievable because stretching divers and resources beyond planned and specified limits almost always ends unfortunately. In other words, skills, resources and experience must equate to the task. If you feel I’m painting a canvas of risk, danger and detriment and possibly trying to dissuade the average recreational diver, then you’re right.
Technical diving isn’t for everyone, nor should it be the goal of every diver. If you’re the type of diver that enjoys a few summer dives at your local dive spot, or a few warm tropical dives while on holiday then technical diving is probably not for you.
Conversely, if you’re frothing for deep adventure and have a keen curiosity for the many exotic creatures and features of the beckoning abyss then technical diving might be your next favourite endeavour. A well planned and executed technical dive to a historically significant WW2 wreck lying at 60 metres while capturing some intriguing photographic footage can offer some of diving’s most exhilarating experiences and rewards. I still get goose bumps when watching my video production of wreck diving in Chuuk Lagoon.
What does it take to become a Tec diver? Well its primarily a matter of attitude and this will largely determine your suitability for the mandatory vigilant discipline and rigorous training associated with technical diving. Having graduated the Padi Tec programs I can endorse course contents and the contributors from not only Padi’s knowledgeable Technical Diving Division, but from the many and diverse technical divers and agencies around the world.
So if I’ve stimulated something that summons you to delve into a deeper diving experience, come into the shop and talk Tec with us. We’re a full Tec centre with instructors that will take you from the discover Tec experience to the level of mixed gasses and unlimited decompression.
Scuba Steve PADI Tec Deep Instructor