Side saddled tanks like mad underwater cowboys, sci-fi face masks and re-breathers in addition to my personal favourite, the hard hats (which always makes me giggle), seem so far removed from the diving that I know and adore I ask myself do I really know how to dive at all?
Tec diving, a term that i only began to marginally understand recently after the feeling of not knowing what on earth is going on got to me.
First of all i guess i should start by defining what technical diving actually is. PADI describes it as the following:
“diving other than conventional commercial or recreational diving that takes divers beyond recreational diving limits. It is further defined as an activity that includes one or more of the following: diving beyond 40 meters/130 feet, required stage decompression, diving in an overhead environment beyond 130 linear feet from the surface, accelerated stage decompression and/or the use of multiple gas mixtures in a single dive.”
however I found this handy table which displays the information much better in my opinion.
|Deep diving||Maximum depth of 40 metres (130 ft)[note 3]||Beyond 40 metres (130 ft)|
|Decompression diving[note 4]||No decompression||Decompression diving|
|Mixed gas diving||Air and Nitrox||Trimix, Heliox, Heliair and Hydrox|
|Gas switching||Single gas used||May switch between gases to accelerate decompression and/or “travel mixes” to permit descent carryinghypoxic gas mixes|
|Wreck diving||Penetration limited to “light zone” or 30 metres (100 ft) depth/penetration||Deeper penetration|
|Cave diving||Penetration limited to “light zone” or 30 metres (100 ft) depth/penetration[note 5]||Deeper penetration|
|Ice diving||Some agencies regard ice diving as recreational diving;PADI others as technical diving.NAUI|
|Rebreathers||Some agencies regard use of semi-closed rebreathers as recreational diving;PADI others as technical diving.NAUI|
|Solo diving||Recreational diving requires buddy system||Solo diving[note 6]|
So advanced training, danger and responsibility. Sound like a potent mix for those who want to take the next step in not only challenging themselves but of the boundaries which we have discovered about ourselves and the ocean.
If this sounds like your cup of tea then be sure to learn more on tec diving as i do in the upcoming posts on many things tec.