Valentines Tech Expedition: Intro To Technical Diving
Experienced dives graduate from the TDI Intro to Tech course in Thailand
Koh Tao, Thailand – Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Yvonne Fries, Helen Artal, Thomas Hallstrom and Duncan Tyler from a TDI Intro to Tech course conducted by TDI Instructor James Thornton-Allan and assisted by Andrew Cavell and Ash Dunn over various dive sites on Koh Tao Island in Thailand.
The TDI Intro to Tech course is designed to introduce the foundation control skills of buoyancy and trim which will be built on during the rest of their training on the way up to TDI Extended Range which is the fourth level in the technical diver curriculum. The skills train a dive to maintain perfect control in a set of technical diving gear while keeping a constant horizontal body position in the water without the use of hands. The skills learned include unique skills like fining backwards and neutral buoyancy skills like no mask swim, regulator exchange, air sharing, long hose use etc.
While this course is not a prerequisite to become a technical diver we feel the skills learned are essential. One of the early goals in our training is to avoid contact with anything other then the equipment you carry once you enter the water. In Koh Tao there are a lot of buoy lines or permanent lines which may be tempting to hold on to during simulated stops but prevents the diver from focusing on controlling themselves in the water. In instances where the down line may not be available it’s essential a future technical diver be intimate with their diving equipment and how to use that equipment effectively.
The students were also exposed to air consumption calculations, basic dive planning without the use of a computer that tracks no decompression limits which is based on the philosophy of “Plan the dive, Dive the plan” which has fallen by the side recently with the advent of gas switching computers. Although the students will be provided with a gas switching computer later on it’s this course which teaches them how to rely and trust a dive plan which might be their back-up decompression information in the future.
In the end the students conducted 4 dives and received their certification after a final exam. The divers will progress on to their Advanced Nitrox course tomorrow. More information regarding the intro to tech course can be found here: TDI Intro to Tech Diver Course