Sunday, February 28, 2010

It must be in the genes!

My two year old granddaughter is hard at work studying for her upcoming cave course!  Her father is in the middle of finishing up his Full Cave course, so I'm sure she comes by her fascination honestly!

Next up will be Intro to CCR diving!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ice Diving with Dive Addicts at Deer Creek Reservoir

This past Saturday, we spent the better part of the day ice diving at Deer Creek Reservoir in Utah.  With air temperature of around 23 degrees fahrenheit and water temperature at approximately 36 degrees, this kind of diving is really only for the hardiest divers!  In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn't actually dive, but was there to provide surface support and snap a few pictures!  (too stikin' cold for me!)

The four divers were Josh Thornton, Michael Thornton, Mike Nygard and Rich Cherian.  We left Dive Addicts about 8:15 AM and got up to Deer Creek about 9:00 AM.  It took us about 45 mins. to cut the hole in the ice and then we had to struggle a little bit to get the triangular piece of ice pushed underneath one side so that we could get the divers in the water.
We split the divers into two teams so we always had 3 surface support while there were two divers in the water.  One of the surface support was always geared up and ready to splash if there was a problem that required his help.  Both divers were tethered together with a climbing rope that was anchored to 3 points of the triangular opening using ice climbing screws and carabineers.

The set up for the dive is the hard part.  Hauling out all of the gear on sleds, marking the spot, drilling three holes in the ice with an ice auger, cutting the ice with a chain saw and then finishing off with a lumberjack hand saw with lead weights on the end that sticks in the water, moving the ice slab out of the way, anchoring the ropes, gearing up the divers, helping them into the water took approximately 3 1/2 hours before the first dive even started!

The dive profiles were approximately 110 feet deep for 29 mins.  At an altitude of approximately 6500 feet,  under the ice, this is a fairly serious dive!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Teaching an Advanced Trimix Class

I just started teaching an Advanced Trimix Class this week to a group of 4 tech diving students.  These 4 are all students who have taken previous classes from me so it is fun to watch them progress and develop as  technical divers.

I really enjoy teaching Advanced Trimix because it is the highest level of open water training and as such the students must be prepared virtually on every level for extreme diving, including physically, mentally, and emotionally.  These types of dives are very demanding and as such, the training is equally demanding.  

We spent the first night in the classroom talking about what would be required in the class, and beginning our academic discussions.  In this particular class, the academic sessions are typically more discussion than lecture, because the students usually have a firm grasp of the basic academics and now we spend more time discussing various alternative view points and procedures.  The classes are usually quite stimulating.  

Fortunately, these 4 students are local, so we can take some time spread over a few weeks to really dig into the academics as well as the practical - the diving.  Our first dive will be a shallow dive at the Homestead Crater where we will do an assessment of their current skill level as well as string together some more involved complex multiple failure drills.  It is usually a somewhat stressful time for the students due to the volume of skills and drills, but ends up being a lot of fun and makes for memorable discussions afterwards!