TecRec 50 – looking from the outside in, by Scott Roberts

The thing that disappointed me the most about the PADI TecRec 50 Course I joined with Purple Turtle was missing out on meeting up with Scuba Dog (aka Mika), who I understand was not feeling too well. Well, that being said, the weekend itself was a great 3 days’ worth of diving at NDAC. I was there helping out Toni with the guys on the course (Kevin, Lawrence and Mike) and what a motley crew they were, but fun.

Day One and dive two of the TecRec50 course (the first dive was at Wraysbury a couple of weeks ago), longest dive of the whole weekend, we spent all the dive on the new boat at NDAC. The guys had a mission to tighten the line on the buoy and then on to the serious stuff. There were some bits that needed to be sorted out, had some shutdown drills to sort and cylinders that needed to be staged and recovered (not to close to a hole in the deck mind you, otherwise they do tend to fall in, luckily not this time so I didn’t have to go and get them).

Day two and three, things has started to warm up by now, the weather almost got summery on the third day. Even the guys started to look like tech divers.

So, dive three, deep dive no simulations on this one. A few things I know from this one. That jetty at NDAC is long (especially when you have to walk up and down three times carrying stages and kit), it’s good to talk and decide on how you are going to run your dive plan and that it’s always a good thing to stay on mission, even if it’s as easy as don’t go below 46 metres. It was still a great dive and the guys did really well, Toni was a saint with them, especially when someone forgot to change their gas computer on a switch. Thankfully she had a heated vest.

And now we are onto Dive 4, more walking up and down with gear. What can I say? No pain, no gain. Another deep one. So down to 48M, along the wall and up to the Wessex, all accomplished in 12 minutes or so. We finned off to the bus, not too slowly mind you. There were some tight fits going through windows, not saying anything about the stature of the divers on the course here at all, over to the plane (Toni did try and make a play about being a stewardess, think being an instructor suits her best), and then we were out, back pass the old Wessex and on to the new boat for our ascent.

Dive 4 itself was a great dive, relaxed and no dramas, the real difference from the others was the way the guys came together and worked as a team. There had been elements of it throughout the previous two days but during this one the guys actually came together, talking about the dive planning, how they were going to run the plan, and then on to the actual dive its self, executing it as a team. I think this is a testament to how much effort Toni put into getting the guys to think, work and act as a team, how planning is important and how communicating before and during a dive are fundamental elements of doing any tech dive.

All in all a great 3 days diving, give me more!