TDI - Intro to Tech - Necessary?

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elan

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As far as Helium is concerned, I have not been past 126', where I was OK, not narc'd.
The question is: "Have you been at 126' on helium ?" If not you cannot tell if you are narced or not as there is nothing you can compare it with. Most people when they are drunk say they are sober. Recognizing narcosis takes practice and a lot of self awareness and .... honesty.
I start feeling narc at around 50-60ft diving on air or NX32. At 100ft I am indeed narced. That does not depend whether it's cold dark lake or a bright ocean dive. Although capable on solving issues. During one of my last dives of the season I had to tie the boot laces on my friends rock boots at 75ft. I was indeed narced but capable of completing the task.
This last fall we did 2 dives to 150ft. One dive I did on 18/45 the other on 21/35. I could tell the difference between these two mixes. 21/35 was a bit foggier.

The problem with not recognizing narcosis is that you do not adjust your expectations on how well you can solve issues. And that's where the danger lies.
 

kensuf

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Is intro to tech a necessary course to be successful in a tech class? No, but these skills are:

Buoyancy and trim - should have been ironed out in OW101, but more importantly, can you hold your buoyancy and trim while being task loaded?
Gas planning - do you know how much gas you need to keep in reserve for a 120' dive? Seriously, most people are stunned when they find out how much you really need.
Anti-silt techniques - you should have a Frog kick and Modified flutter, and more importantly, know when to use them.
Comfort and familiarity with the gear you will use in tech programs. Your first foray into sidemount or doubles shouldn't be your deco class.
Teamwork - oh man, I was so happy to see the TDI instructor update that said "teamwork will be emphasized in all tech programs." Teamwork makes the dream work.

If you've got these things down pat, then there's no real reason to take an intro to tech class. However, if there are question marks then maybe a gateway program is a good idea.

FWIW - I've personally found that people that go through such a program tend to do better in their tech classes.
 

Gandalf-the-Diver

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You don't think you were narc'd. As someone who didn't think he was narc'd for many years, you were absolutely narc'd. You just weren't aware of it. Put a little helium in your mix and do the same dive and you're response will be "wtf was I doing all this time."
Extended range air is stupid and dangerous. There's another thread about it right now. It's not only dangerous for the students, but it's dangerous for the instructor. Any GOOD tech instructor will talk you out of deep air imo. If an instructor is a big proponent of deep air I wouldn't use them.
You can do AN/DP in a single tank and be fine, but the point of this thread was to get advice on the best way to move to tech diving. The best way to do that is to dive doubles, learn them, get basic skills down, then start down the tech path. It will only benefit you in the long run. If you take an/dp in a single tank and a slung safety bottle and deco bottle, 5 years from now you'll realize how stupid of a choice it was.
Personally if you're planning to do an/dp and maybe add extended air, your money would be better spent on adding something like helitrox or recreational trimix (whatever tdi calls it).
When I was at 125', I wrote some stuff down on my wrist slate. At the surface, my writing was clear and legible. Hence my deduction I was not narc'd. I was not at that depth for long. I regularly dive to 90'-100' .
 

Gandalf-the-Diver

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If you want to learn some light deco with a single tank, tec 40 is right up your ally. If you want to get into technical diving, a single tank doesn't make sense.
It depends on your end goals. Extend your recreational diving, or starting down the technical road.
"Begin with the end in mind."
I have heard that somewhere before.
Extending my rec diving is more the end goal I am leaning towards.
 

Marie13

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The question is: "Have you been at 126' on helium ?" If not you cannot tell if you are narced or not as there is nothing you can compare it with. Most people when they are drunk say they are sober. Recognizing narcosis takes practice and a lot of self awareness and .... honesty.
I start feeling narc at around 50-60ft diving on air or NX32. At 100ft I am indeed narced. That does not depend whether it's cold dark lake or a bright ocean dive. Although capable on solving issues. During one of my last dives of the season I had to tie the boot laces on my friends rock boots at 75ft. I was indeed narced but capable of completing the task.
This last fall we did 2 dives to 150ft. One dive I did on 18/45 the other on 21/35. I could tell the difference between these two mixes. 21/35 was a bit foggier.

The problem with not recognizing narcosis is that you do not adjust your expectations on how well you can solve issues. And that's where the danger lies.

I start getting really narked around 110-115ft. 130ft? Mush brain. Started AN/DP/Helitrox this year. Instructor had me diving 20/20 for 115ft dives. 75-80ft END. Lovely clear head. Worth every freaking penny of the $4.60/cft ($90 per LP85).
 

boulderjohn

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Either way, many students have started to use things like cavern/intro to cave and/or AN/DP to learn the skills that they should have had prior to coming into the course and that is not fair to both the instructors and the students.
At one extreme, I have had students arrive for tech training looking like they were ready to teach the class--I almost feel guilty for taking the pay. At the other extreme, I have looked at them on our first get acquainted dive and thought "OMG!" I tell them that we won't formally begin the class until they firm up some of their basic skills. In the future, I am going to recommend that they take a class on those skills from me or someone else before they begin the tech classes.

So it is up to you. If you already have those skills, then the introductory class is not needed. If not....
 

rddvet

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When I was at 125', I wrote some stuff down on my wrist slate. At the surface, my writing was clear and legible. Hence my deduction I was not narc'd. I was not at that depth for long. I regularly dive to 90'-100' .
Not trying to intentionally be a d!ck here, but sometimes you've got to be direct for people to understand something. Based on your response and one of your responses to rjack, it seems like you've already got some things figured out for yourself in your mind. You came here to ask a question of people with more experience, so you should think about their comments and understand you may not know what you're talking about. Trust me I was there at one point and thought I wasn't narc'd or knew better than others and now know how much of a fool I was. If you don't listen and try to understand what people who have come before you are trying to explain, you won't get far in technical diving.
I did a cave dive to about 145feet and tied in to explore off the line in a low bedding plane. Everything went great and the video showed I looked perfectly normal in the water. 2 years later I did the same dive with helium, and realized I had no idea what I was doing on that last dive. This section of cave is the last place you want to be coming off the line looking around and I honestly couldn't even recognize any landmarks in this section from my last dive.
My wife had about 80 full cave dives in Ginnie, which maxes out at around 110 and averages about 80-90ft depths. She knew large sections of the cave like the back of her hand. The first time she dove ginnie on helium she ended up calling the dive early because she felt uneasy and uncomfortable on the dive and wanted out of the cave. I had no clue why. When we surfaced she told me that on helium she didn't even recognize where we were and it freaked her out. The cave she knew like the back of her hand suddenly didn't look like the picture in her head.
So go do a dive on helium in a year or two and come back to this thread and tell us if you feel the same way.
 

Wibble

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In the beginning there was the Mediterranean resort where I "did my PADI" on a two week vacation. Have always swam, snorkelled played on the sea, was really easy. Came back later that summer and did that other PADI course and a load of dives. Wow, 30-odd dives, such experience. Then dived in the UK, struth, what a difference. Cold, drysuit, tides, current, rougher seas, SMBs, poor visibility at 3m/10ft and darkness — had only experienced a minimum of 20m/60ft in the Med!

Suddenly realised that I wasn’t advanced after all, even though my plastic card said I was. It was also plainly obvious that a single tank was not enough as loosing a buddy was real.

The dive shop I was using wasn’t interested in anything outside of the PADI recreational syllabus and definitely "no deco". I heard of an opportunity to do a GUE experience day, none of the others were interested "my buoyancy is fine" one said. So I went alone.

OMG. The in water demo. OMG. The guy was on a 6m/20ft platform and was hovering without moving. OMG. Have never seen that before, completely flat In the water just inches above the platform and not moving vertically. Then he finned, not with the flappy up and down leg thing but using a frog kick. Wow. Then he stopped at the end of the platform using his fins, no hands, not even touching the platform for stability. Then he…. finned backwards without using his hands. This is witchcraft, never in all my extensive 50 dives experience had I ever seen anything like it. Then he turned around by finning only. Arrrgh, a magician!

Chatting with him afterwards he said that I should be diving like that. Needless to say I signed up for a GUE Fundies course on the spot.

Fundies was a horrible experience for me. My core skills were crap. Every skill I did was bloody hard work and rather random. Quite rightly I got a provisional pass.

Following six months of practice I still hadn’t mastered enough to pass the assessment. Was disappointed but knew it was fair. Fundies had taught me how much effort I had to put in.

Another six months of practice my skills were finally up to scratch. By then the shine had gone from the GUE way; am really not keen on the regimentation and rules, especially over the minutiae of kit configuration.

I owe GUE a massive debt of gratitude for showing me how one could be: actually how one should be. The PADI mob I used to dive with are all OK divers, diving within their envelope. Not all of us are content with being "good enough" and that most certainly isn’t good enough for the rigours of technical diving.

Still haven’t passed Fundies and have no interest in trying. It’s not the plastic that counts, it’s what you’ve learned that matters.
 

AJ

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Still haven’t passed Fundies and have no interest in trying. It’s not the plastic that counts, it’s what you’ve learned that matters.
Same story here. Thought I was good until I did Fundies. Have passed tech rating after three tries. Wanted to go for Tech 1, so I needed the cert. Otherwise, I would not have cared about the cert. Stil practicing skills every dive to get better.

Funny thing is, I don't want to dive GUE CCR so I have no use for the Fundies cert anymore. I did however prepare me for the next step that is JJ-CCR. Without it I would not have been ready to take that step.
 

Gandalf-the-Diver

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The degree of narcosis and the self-awareness of it is the difference.
This is a very fair and accurate statement. I find I am pretty aware of and about, narcotic effects I might be undergoing. A miss-spent youth is probably more responsible for that.
I have vivid memories of the glass cloud sponge fields I visited at 126', also the fully mature California Sea Lion that looked me in the eyes, from 2' away, at 120' deep. My mind was aware enough to think to myself, write something on my wrist slate to test myself.
I spend a fair number of dives, hitting the 90'-100' depth range. Not once have I felt anything. My AOW instructor was pissed that nobody got narc'd when she had us do math with her at 100'. So far I have done maybe a half doz dives, deeper than 110', the deepest being 126', off Senanus Island in the Saanich Inlet, Vancouver Island. (there is a You tube video of the dive site, search cloud sponges ... the reason I went that deep, to see them)
None of my dives, have I experienced any narcotic effects, and I find I am pretty self aware about the subject. I have not been diving long, but I have 240 dives under my belt in 15 months.
 
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