Thailand – Australia – United Kingdom

Archive for January 15, 2011

Decompressed in Thailand

Junior technical divers discover the art of staged decompression diving.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of David Tipping and Ian Jordan from their TDI Decompression Procedures course conducted over 2 days in the Gulf of Thailand on Koh Tao by TDI Instructor James Thornton-Allan.

As sport divers planned decompression is not something that we do or have been taught. The TDI Decompression Procedures course prepares you for planned staged decompression diving. With a maximum operating depth of 45m/150 feet, this course is your first step beyond the normal sport diving limits. Your TDI Instructor will provide you with valuable information and skills, among the topics covered are

  • Kit set-up
  • Equipment requirements
  • Decompression techniques
  • Decompression breathing gases
  • Gas management
  • Contingency planning

The TDI Decompressions Procedures course form the foundation of all other technical courses.  After these two courses and some additional experience, the stage has been set for you to move onto additional technical levels. Some of the materials you will be using include the TDI Divers Guide to Decompression Procedures, US Navy or Buhlmann Air Decompression Tables (made of vinyl for easy in-water use and storage)

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Two tank are better than one!

Sport divers discover the great world of twinset diving with a tech course.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Michael Tait, Steve Wiltshire and Anthony Mure from their TDI Intro to Tech course conducted over 2 days with 4 dives in the Gulf of Thailand by TDI Instructor Ash Dunn.

Many divers find all the adventure they need in recreational dives to 100′  / 30m or less. But some feel that maybe they are missing some skills that technical divers have such as “horizontal decompression stops”. Or maybe you linger at the top of the wall, looking down into the inky abyss? Does the idea of penetrating a wreck, with only your lights and a guideline to lead you give you good goose bumps? Do you think you’ll never be happy unless you’re flying past a pinnacle at 200 / 60m’ on a scooter? Technical diving is about having fun, just like any other pastime. But, like anything worth doing, it requires perseverance and hard work. This class is designed for the diver eager to learn some basic technical diving skills which can help improve their recreational diving ability or want to begin building a strong foundation to start pursuing the challenge of technical diving.

Maybe you want to learn something new or you want to improve your safety by learning to do horizontal air sharing drills. Regardless of your motivation, in this class you will be introduced to the technical diver’s toolbox. You will learn to hover motionless, move forward and backward, turn around without disturbing the bottom. You will learn to air share gas with your teammate in a reasonable and efficient manner. You will learn to ascend, making appropriate stops while deploying a surface marker to alert the boat and support team of our predicament to basic use of a deco bottle. In the classroom, technical divers need to know which gas to choose and why, how to plan a dive (including Decompression techniques), from the back of the truck to a bench on the boat, and how to ensure that everyone has a great time and gets home safely. Intro to Tech isn’t about showcasing the latest equipment, or rushing you into the next class. It’s about working to develop skills that will improve your dive, and thus propel into a world of exploration. If this sounds a bit more than you had envisioned, or you are unsure about your preparation, please feel free to contact us, or see our Essentials class.

The Intro to Tech class is designed to be taught over a three (2) full day period, with 8 hours of class and 4 open water dives.

Day 1. Typically the class begins with a 3 – 4 hour initial session consisting of introductions, a power point presentation including video tape of the skills to be evaluated throughout the class. Following a break for lunch and then a 3-4 hour of hands-on equipment fitting, review of gear configuration and a discussion of the pro’s and con’s of various equipment choices. Once the gear in properly fitted and configured the class then focuses on the “dry runs” of the skills and some practice before entering the water. Dry runs allow the student to practice the skills on land, before entering the water, under the watchful eye of the instructor(s). Skills include evaluation of divers trim, proficiency and precision buoyancy control, perfecting propulsion techniques (including learning how to kick backwards), fine-tuning equipment configurations, refining underwater communication, utilizing a team diving approach, and effective dive planning. Afternoon begins with students conducting 2 (two) dives, putting the skills and concepts discussed the previous day into practical use while the instructor demonstrates. Finally, 2-3 hours of lecture brings the day to a close.

Day 3. The third day is similar to the previous day wherein the student will commence with conducting the additional skills and improving on the prior days performance, during 2 (two) more dives. The last dive of the class is an evaluation dive, where their performance will be analyzed and evaluated. After lunch the class will conclude with final will lecture session and student performance review and final evaluations.

You will be evaluated during the class to obtain the TDI Intro to Tech Certification. This Certification will allow you to continue within the TDI Technical or Overhead Training curriculum. Our focus is the complete dedication to your diving skills, knowledge & in water practice.


Nitrox, blended, not stired!

Compressor Operator and Gas Blender course provides essential skills for nitrox blending.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of James BenFell from his TDI / BSAC Compressor Operator and Nitrox Gas Blender Course conducted over 3 days at the Big Blue Tech – Technical Diving Centre on Koh Tao off the coast of Thailand in the Gulf by TDI & BSAC Instructor Ash Dunn.

The 3 day course consists of compressor operator technician followed by gas blender technician building directly on the skills previously learned.

The physical skills include the operation of a scuba diving compressor, filter changing and packing, filtration chemicals, oil changing, Yoke and Din valve use, emergency procedures and an indepth knoweldge of the inner workings of a compressor.

After the compressor skills were competed James discovered the world of mixed gas blending using both continuous flow methods and partial pressure. James completed the fills using a digital pressure guage and analog to get the accurate mixes followed by the lazy mans nitrox method of contrinuous flow where the nitrox comes into the compressor already mixed.

The theory for the nitrox blender course is quite substantial and involved, there’s more calculations and formulas then most would expect but being a young lad right out of school James was able to grasp the studying and methods quite quickly.

James continues on to his regulator service technician and visual inspections course to help enhance his knowledge to gain professional diving employment.