Sunday, July 29, 2012

Submerged TV Trailer!!!!!!!

I am very excited to announce a new project that we will be involved with over the next couple of years:

It's called Submerged TV, and it is a TV filming project focusing on sunken wrecks, underwater caves, and unusual extreme diving locations around the world.  Our first filming project involves a cave location in our own back yard - Rick Springs in Logan Canyon, Utah.  More to come soon on this.

In the meantime, please check out our launch trailer on our dedicated YouTube channel above!

Hope you enjoy it!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Is CCR diving less expensive than open circuit?

I have a lot of divers ask me if CCR is appropriate for them.  Aside from the many benefits of CCR, ie. no bubbles, better underwater life interaction, warmer dives, improved decompression efficiency, longer bottom times, better streamlining, less weight, there is also one major advantage to CCRs over OC when doing deep Trimix Dives - PRICE!!!!

When doing deep technical dives, CCR really starts to shine with regards to expense especially when doing multiple dives.  Can you imagine refilling all of these tanks between each dive with expensive helium based mixes and O2 based deco mixes.  A typical 3 man deep team, can easily carry and use several hundred dollars worth of gases on each and every 100 meter plus dive, quickly making this a rich man's sport!

Although the initial investment in CCR diving can be steep - anywhere from $5000 to $15,000 depending on the unit, plus training expenses, over time the CCR will pay for itself several times over with gas saving alone!

These tanks shown above are simply bailout tanks for the team, and were only filled once and used over multiple days for 14 deep dives.  The savings were exponential in comparison with what an OC diver would have spent!  Better efficiency, comfort and cost savings to boot!

What's not to like!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

More time in Cave Country on my Hammerhead of course!

I had the opportunity of spending 10 days in Cave Country helping to teach another CCR Cave Course earlier in the month.  With 3 CCR cave students, 2 Instructors and an Instructor Trainer, it was a large fun group!  We spent a lot of time in the water and did some great dives!  Lot's of time in Ginnie Springs, Little River and Peacock Springs!

We did several long dives - 2hrs or more, and for a cave diving course, were able to help the students see parts of the caves that many seasoned OC cave divers rarely visit!  We did have a few exciting moments, like when we did the Lips Bypass in the Devil's system.  (Truly not recommended for CCR divers unless they happen to be diving sidemount CCR! )  July Springs was beautiful as usual, and the Hill 400-Rollercoaster circuit was lovely as always!

Mike Robinson (Utah) , Mats Ytterstad (Norway), and Doug Dobransky (Ohio) all passed and completed the course with flying colors!

Had an awesome time with my oldest son Joshua and hanging with Phil Short.  All in all, it was a great time and I can't wait to get back there again soon!  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

CCR Trimix Training

Occasionally, I will repost a post I have made on one of the technical diving forums.  In this case, this is from Rebreather World.   The thread was a discussion about different training standards and methodologies.  One of the participants in the thread made the comment:
"On top of that I do feel that if you are OC trimix trained, it seems rather ridiculous to be paying another $2000 or more (by the time you add up instructor fees, boat trips gas etc) to be able to use trimix with your unit. Seems like a good cash cow for the training agencies."
Here is my response to his post:  

I just thought I would jump in here and offer a little insight as someone who sits on the training advisory panel of a major training agency. Offering a CCR Trimix cert is certainly not a "cash cow" for a training agency! Quite the contrary. At $15 per certification fee, it is without a doubt a money loosing proposition for any agency!

The low numbers of these types of certs offered worldwide combined with the cost of development of the training materials, curriculum development, liability insurance, legal expenses to defend themselves from divers that cack themselves, marketing, etc. etc. all create an environment where a CCR Trimix course for a training agency is most definitely not a profit center.

I don't mean to imply that training agencies are altruistic non-profit charities, however the upper level CCR courses are certainly not where they make their money! Believe it or not, it is not even a profit center for those of us that teach these kind of courses! It's much easier to make money cranking out OW divers dressed in pink split fins and snorkels! We teach advanced level CCR courses because we personally enjoy this type of diving, enjoy seeing other people learn how to do these types of dives safely, and enjoy the challenge of pushing the boundaries of technical/recreational diving.

As to whether a CCR Trimix course is necessary for an OC Trimix training student - this age old argument will continue to rage on for the next several decades, or at least until helium prices make OC Trimix diving obsolete! My thoughts as an Instructor Trainer on both sides of the equation, is that "you don't know what you don't know". I don't believe I have ever had a CCR Trimix student that finished one of my upper level CCR courses that felt as though it was a waste of time. These courses are about a lot more than just the theoretical physics behind CCR Trimix. In addition to learning and practicing the "whys and how to nuts and bolts" of CCR Trimix, the student has the opportunity to be mentored and tutored by hopefully an experienced instructor in a safer environment than just "figuring it out on your own". You also hopefully establish a life long relationship with someone that you can return to with ongoing questions and mentoring. When you reach upper levels of CCR diving, it becomes quite lonely trying to find educated fellow divers to be able to have meaningful discussions about diving theory, practice and equipment! Of course, I guess you can always depend on RBW or other forums for this type of education! 

If a CCR Trimix student comes away from the class having learned just one or two more helpful hints in keeping themselves alive in what is most certainly an extreme environment, the $2000 is most certainly well spent IMHO. I think the secret is to ensure that the student picks an instructor that is able to offer them a professional and enlightening ongoing experience!

OK, now removing myself from my portable soap box!

Safe diving to everyone, however you are trained!

Warm regards,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Open Water Divers in Caves

This spent this last week cave diving in Cave Country, Florida.  I saw something at Ginnie Springs that was truly amazing!  I am coming out of The Devil's Eye, when I notice that there are two open water divers down past the sign.  To make maters even more amazing, they only had one light between the two of them, and to top it off, one of them was towing a float with a flag on it, attached to a long yellow nylon rope inside the cave!  Wonders never cease to amaze me.

I escorted both of them out of the cave, took them to the surface and tried to explain to them just how dangerous their actions were.  Their response to me was "It's OK, we're local!"  Like this is some kind of excuse for dangerous behavior!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dive Addicts in Cozumel

Just returned from a great week of diving in Cozumel with 28 divers from Dive Addicts,

Even though this was just a recreational open water dive trip, we had a great time!   We stayed at the Fiesta American, and all-inclusive resort located on the South end of town.  The in-house dive operation, Dive House, did a great job, and we were very satisfied with the service and the level of the dive operation.  The boats were large, spacious and comfortable with a covered roof for those of us that wanted a little protection from the sun. 

The rooms were nice at the resort and the facilities were more than adequate.  The large swimming pool was great for after diving relaxation, and the meals were pretty good as well. 

The only complaint I really had during the week was the stinking mosquitoes!  They were out in mass, and I came home with 53 mosquito bites that were just driving me crazy! 

The diving was typical Cozumel drift style, with all dives being led by very competent dive masters.  Of course, the beautiful walls and swim-throughs are always spectacular, and the underwater life was as good as I have ever seen it in Cozumel.  I’m assuming that due to the currents, the fish and crustaceans grow to bigger than normal size.  It seemed like almost every species we saw was enormous!  

On our last dive of the trip, we had the opportunity to spend a couple of minutes with a giant Loggerhead turtle, which was the largest turtle I have ever seen underwater!  It’s head was at least 12 inches across if not larger and its shell was at least 5 feet long or longer.  It must have been very old, as its back was encrusted with barnacles and marine growth.  The turtle must have been near blind as it kept swimming and bumping into us! 

Great trip.  Cozumel as usual was pretty decent diving!  Easy to get to, and the price tag for the week was less than a thousand dollars including lodging, food and diving.  Not bad!  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interesting Deep Saturation Diving Project in New York City

Thought you might enjoy this article in the New York Times about work on the New York City water system:

(Thanks to Eric Dasque for the link!