Hi y'all. I just got back from taking the GUE Primer class with Douglas Mudry in High Springs Florida. I would like to do a trip report that comments on the class, and also some observations from other aspects of my trip; namely GUE and Extreme Exposure. I will write separate posts in this thread for various topics, to make my ramblings easier to read. And I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Before I start, I would like to say that the past week was truly amazing. It was 200% worth the cost and time of coming from Israel for this visit to Florida cave country. (even though I never entered a cavern or cave). I am putting this thread in Basic Scuba, not DIR, for a reason. I am on the Basic level, and my experiences and short term goals have nothing to do with Tech, which is the general connotation of DIR. This is one of the main points that I would like to make, so I am not burying this in the DIR corner. However, semantics aside, I use a single tank, no canister light, I do simple recreational diving but I happen to prefer a BP/W, and would like to be able to dive safely by using good planning and to also be able to handle the situation if something goes wrong. I am writing this for newish OW divers who would like to learn to be safer and more competent. I want to write about the side of GUE that serves people who do not have short term goals of cave or tech. The Primer course teaches only Basic topics. A little background: I took PADI OW this past Feb, followed by a few other PADI bits and pieces (AOW, Peak Buoyancy, Deep, and ANDI Nitrox). I was glad for these opportunities, but the bottom line is that I earned a handful of cert cards, but did not end up feeling like a competent and safe recreational diver. Maybe its the courses, maybe it's that I am not an athlete and don't pick up physical movements quickly, I am in my mid-50's and overweight (trying to deal with this), maybe it's that I haven't had experienced divers to buddy with, maybe it's all of the above, but thats how I felt. I learned about GUE on Scubaboard, and that seemed to be an agency which embraced higher standards, and most important to me, had the student keep working on a skill until they really actually mastered it. Primer sounded like the medicine that I was looking for to get my skills up to a level where I felt more confidence that I was competent enough to be a good buddy and keep myself out of trouble. So thats how I ended up signing up for a GUE Primer course. As long as I was coming halfway around the world to take a 2 day course, I asked the instructor, Doug Mudry, if I could also have some private instruction in order to make the most of my visit to the States. I was a little worried that a diver on the level of the GUE Instructors would not be able to communicate with a newbie, but that was not the case. While it is a little intimidating at first to be looking at perfect trim with perfect buoyancy control, while you are flopping about, Doug tried hard to put the students at ease and indicate clearly what reasonable goals for them would be (eg trim of 30 degrees). Also, he was a font of helpful suggestions.