Time-Shift: Veritas liberabit vos
The truth shall set you free

Posts Tagged ‘Instructor’

Technically complete

Monday, June 5th, 2023

Not to long ago (2020) I started my journey into technical diving. After my basic technical training (DTSA TEC Basic 2020) and my training for mixed gases (DTSA Nitrox** 2021) I also did a Trimix certification (DTSA Trimix* 2021) and a gas blending course (DTSA Gasmischer* 2021). So I had a very busy few years.

The eventual goal has always been, to also become a technical dive instructor. Although I already had a Nitrox TL* certification, the Nitrox TL** is the real entry into technical diving when it comes to the instructor side. This year, the course finally was offered and luckily for me, right at my doorstep. So on the 14. of April I made my way to Hemmoor to be “judged” by a Team of Nitrox TL*** in regards to my capabilities and skill level. Because this assessment is necessary and has to have a positive outcome in order to take part in the exam at all, I was understandably nervous.

On the 14. of april, the weekend began with a demonstration of the different techniques (frog, back, heli and flutter kicks, Valve drill and surface marker placement), continued on the Saturday with us pupils showing our stage skills (Bottle rotations, gas changes, re-storage of the stage) and culminated Sunday in a deep and long decompression dive with multi-gas changes. Even though most of my dives went quite well, when we where called into the room with the TL***s one by one to get out evaluation, I was still nervous. Luckily the instructors did have the same impression as I and were quite satisfied with what they saw. The final exam was to be in June, so I had at least a little time for a bit of practice.

Other then previous exams, especially the instructor courses, this exam was to be a little bit different. Because our job, after proving on the Friday of this weekend that we had gotten our stuff together, we were supposed to actually lead a DTSA Nitrox** course with real pupils. Basically proving our instructor capabilities on the subjects 😀 . Luckily for me, I knew most of my pupils from previous courses, so it wasn’t to hard to establish a rapport in the group. Other then the TEC Basic courses, there is no preparation weekend for the DTSA Nitrox** course. So the pupils immediately jump into the exam and have to prove that they were able to improve on their TEC Basic experiences from the past.

All in all, the weekend went rather well. Us instructors managed to keep the pupils alive and they managed to keep us happy. So after some challenging weekend, we all went home happy and with new capabilities (and responsibilities). This basically concludes my dive instructor training, as a Trimix TL* or Trimix TL** is out of reach by now due to insanely high helium prices. Maybe someday I’ll add the dot to the i and become a CCR instructor? But that is very far in the future.

At long last

Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

It’s been a while since I started my voyage to become a VDST TL** and the journey was anything but a straight line. Especially because of the corona pandemic, there have been multiple delays and cancellations on courses and exams :-(. But about a month ago, I finally took the last steps towards becoming a full blown dive instructor stared my voyage to the dive resort Gulen (Norway).

The weather was unfortunately very unpleasant the first few days, but one of the reasons for me to do the exam in Gulen was to test my metal. I got what I wished for… Never the less, all the exercises where there to prepare us for the coming courses and to press upon our future students a rich amount of personal knowledge and experience in harsher conditions. So as the course continued and the exercises got harder and plenty, we certainly gained both of the former.

About the middle of the third day, weather became much more palatable and we enjoyed both the scenery and the warmth of the sun in Norway. We also had some spectacular sunsets and very often were up far to long (the sun is up very long that far up north and sometimes you forget the time talking about diving, wrecks and.. well diving)

Also now with the weather improved, we finally where able to do what we came for: wreck dives! The gulen area does sadly lack a rich fish life (probably all eaten up by now) but the wrecks are plenty and spectacular! The first 2 wreck dives I sadly had to sit ashore, as I had troubles with my ears ;-(. Day 4 finally was the day that I got into the water for some wreck diving!

The wreck diving and also so diving at the house reef continued for the next days. By the time we were close to the finale, all the divers and instructors started to look a bit rough around the edges. Also the first pieces of equipment had their failures. Every now and then a diver came out rather wet in their dry suit :-D.

Finally (and much faster than everyone thought) the last day and the final dives were in front of us. A final dive to the Frankenwald as a “fun” dive was finishing up the course for all the participants successfully. Not everyone got their certificate yet, as there where requirements missing for some (corona made it rather difficult to get everything in order in time). But everyone was happy non the less. The challenging environment meant that only participants with solid diving experience where participating, which made the whole experience very pleasant. It was instructive and challenging but most important: It was a lot of fun!

This concludes the sports diver part of my instructor training. The instructor training for technical diving will follow most likely next year.

Veni, vidi, vici

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

About 2 and a half years ago, I started my long term goal of becoming a dive instructor in my dive club. Last saturday this plan was brought to a successfull end in Deep Blue Diving Fuerteventura.

In order to get there, me and my TL* aspirant buddies had to endure quite some hardships. Apart from exams under water, we also had to show that we are capable above water, both as an exam, but also since the weather conditions where anything but favorable. More than once we had to cling desperately to the boat, getting our equipment in, while the atlantic ocean was hitting us with high waves and howling wind.

In the evening, though beat and tired, there was stuff to learn and dives to prepare for the next day. You could often see us playacting out how a specific excercise should work out under water the next day. Every now and than it worked out quite differently. But due to our good teamwork and the stubborn will of everyone to see this thing through, in the end, we all managed to achive the wanted result.

Very tired but glad no to have faltered, we all landed in Stuttgart on Thuesday. I came to Fuerteventura to get my TL* license, but I came home with much more than that: A bunch of new friends :-).