TDI - Intro to Tech - Necessary?

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Wibble

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AJ:
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.
Ended up going down the TDI route with a good instructor. Most of my diving's solo, even though it's with a bunch of people on various boat who also generally dive on their own (probably as much to do with local conditions as attitude).

Have dived with GUE divers which is kind of fun, but you're very much beholden to the whole synchronised team diving thing. If you're the type of person who's interested in looking at a blenny/whatever for 10 minutes, there's a team pressure to move on.

Their rebreather... odd. Rest of the world dives with "normal" rebreathers with a couple of 3 litre cylinders and a side-mounted bailout. GUE like to be different, maybe it's the equivalent of bikers who like agricultural Hardly Davidson crap; demonstrate your commitment to the club. Inverted stages make shutdown drills a bit easier; donation of gas is just hauling out your bailout regulator, yet all of this has to be like open circuit...

Choosing a rebreather is part of the fun. No rebreather is perfect as each have their benefits and drawbacks -- quick Revo plug here! Doing your MOD1 training is fun too. Then practising with other people or just diving solo off a boat.

And what's wrong with sidemount? It's a very good tool for a lot of jobs, even general purpose boat diving. It's particularly good for mounting bailout cylinders on a rebreather so they're out of the way and streamlined. Don't want them snagging inside a wreck.
 

Wibble

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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.
The first time people drink, they don't know how intoxicated they are as the effects are subtle.

Classic drinking and driving; I simply don't drink at all when driving because I know it impairs my judgement.

As I mentioned above, you should try and get yourself a chamber dive. A mere 40m/130' and you're off your face.

Training works around some of the effects of narcosis, but you cannot get around the subtle impairments without helium.
 

kensuf

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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.

Sounds like you have it all figured out. Really, the utility of helium is marginal, no one gets narc'ed. Selling you on helium is something Big Scuba is doing as simply a way for the dive centers to cash in on trimix sales, because there are huge profits to be had in trimix sales.

BTW, the above was what we call sarcasm. I think I'll go do a couple of shots of tequila and get behind the wheel of my car since I don't get drunk either.
 

ginti

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@Gandalf-ish, for your information, if you knew it - it wouldn't be narcosis. Some people may "feel something", but most people don't feel anything; anyway, almost no one knows for sure before comparing it with helium. But even if they don't know, they still are under narcosis effects.

The problem is that there are only two ways to realize how ("how", not "if") a diver reacts to narcosis:
(1) make the same dive with and without helium and compare the feelings;
(2) have a problem underwater and discover their own inability to sort it out properly (potentially ending up in a dangerous situation)

Frankly speaking, I don't really understand why you don't want to try option (1). It is just a try, and then you can decide whatever you want. If you don't go for that option, I sincerely hope you will never have to discover how much narced you are the hard way.

Cheers
 

ginti

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@Mergulhador do Delray, you should go for drysuit diving precisely because you don't want to feel cold :) That is the very purpose of drysuits.

Besides this point, I believe you already understood that in your case, an intro to tech (or equivalent) course is probably a good idea. To give you an idea of what you need to learn, have a look at this document, page 3, section 2.2.3.8 (B):

The instructor is the big problem, but others have already given you the same suggestions I would give you - so good luck!
 

Lorenzoid

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@Mergulhador do Delray, you should go for drysuit diving precisely because you don't want to feel cold :) That is the very purpose of drysuits.

Besides this point, I believe you already understood that in your case, an intro to tech (or equivalent) course is probably a good idea. To give you an idea of what you need to learn, have a look at this document, page 3, section 2.2.3.8 (B):

The instructor is the big problem, but others have already given you the same suggestions I would give you - so good luck!
Emphasis on "to give you an idea of what you need to learn." As in, roughly the subject matter that constitutes the prerequisites for tech training. We should point out to @Mergulhador do Delray that GUE's standards are particularly rigorous as such prerequisites for tech training go, and it's entirely possible, probably even common, to begin DP with skills that don't quite reach that level of precision. Different instructors may have different ideas of what is good enough to begin.

That said, the way my GUE instructor explained all the rigor is that you can't go wrong by stacking the odds of success in your favor. The better prepared you are for DP (or in the case of the GUE path, that would be Tech 1), the more you will get out of the course, because the fundamental stuff will be on autopilot and you can focus on absorbing the new material: deco procedures.
 

Wibble

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Emphasis on "to give you an idea of what you need to learn." As in, roughly the subject matter that constitutes the prerequisites for tech training. We should point out to @Mergulhador do Delray that GUE's standards are particularly rigorous as such prerequisites for tech training go, and it's entirely possible, probably even common, to begin DP with skills that don't quite reach that level of precision. Different instructors may have different ideas of what is good enough to begin.

That said, the way my GUE instructor explained all the rigor is that you can't go wrong by stacking the odds of success in your favor. The better prepared you are for DP (or in the case of the GUE path, that would be Tech 1), the more you will get out of the course, because the fundamental stuff will be on autopilot and you can focus on absorbing the new material: deco procedures.
Disliked the "you must configure your kit this way" attitude of GUE. Really hated the "you don't know enough to form an opinion" answer too.

Example: wanted to wear two computers. Apparently can't as "your backup is on your teammate's right wrist".

Standards are great, but there's way more to diving than conforming to the standards and rules. Enjoying the dive for a start. Maybe using kit that suits the mission. Even diving solo... or sidemount...
 

ginti

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Really hated the "you don't know enough to form an opinion" answer too.

Example: wanted to wear two computers. Apparently can't as "your backup is on your teammate's right wrist".

I have never received an answer like that one ("you don't know enough to form an opinion").

There are reasons why not to wear a course during a course, but in your life, you do what you want.
 

rongoodman

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Disliked the "you must configure your kit this way" attitude of GUE. Really hated the "you don't know enough to form an opinion" answer too.
GUE standards and practices make perfect sense when you consider diving to be a team endeavor. In order to fit in you are expected to conform to pre-existing practices and configurations. Nobody is picking on you, but they want everybody on the same page. For bigger projects it's a necessity for efficiency and safety.
 

KevinNM

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The only thing the Padi deep course did was show me how narced I was at 135. Instructor had two puzzes, one mechanical, one ‘find the number in sequence’. The mechanical one was fine, within 1 second of time at 10 feet. The one that required complex thinking took 200-300% longer and was absurdly frustrating.

And if you think you have this diving thing down, spend a few minutes in the water with a good tech instructor. I thought I was OK and then I did a class with Mer and it was like she was suspended on wires, holding her position totally still, not moving up or down or forward and back.

I’m moving all over and she’s just calmly observing and spinning in place to watch me. The video she took showed all these absurd things I was doing to try to hold position.

The Dunning-Krueger effect is real, and a lot more people are on the peak of Mt Stupid rather than the plateau of knowledge than they think. Tech diving is dangerous and expensive, don’t choose instructors because they are easy, cheap, or won’t make you buy all the gear the other guys insist on.
 
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