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I am English, but spent time growing up in West Africa and the USA, before returning to the UK to complete university studies in Politics & History. After university, I was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Air Force, completing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as service in Cyprus, Qatar, Oman, Belize and Germany. My final 2 years of service were spend commanding a specialist Civil Affairs (CIMIC) team.
I learnt to dive during my college studies, gaining qualifications with PADI and BSAC. I progressed my diving experience during my military service, eventually becoming a BSAC instructor and PADI Divemaster, along with RYA Powerboat 2 (ICC).
When I left the military, I completed the PADI IDC and SSI Instructor cross-over and moved to Thailand, where I worked in several dive centers, eventually becoming manager of a PADI/SSI center on Koh Tao.
During my time in the Gulf of Thailand, I persued my interest in technical diving. I originally began my tech training back in the UK, under Mark Powell with TDI.... but switched to the DSAT system to complete the tech instructor courses aboard the MV Trident, diving virgin war wrecks in the 50-75m range.
After several years in Thailand, I took up an offer of an instructor position in Borneo, where I dived around the Sipidan/Kapalai area daily for 4 months.
Having completed my contract in Malaysia, I moved to the Philippines, where I set-up and managed a dive center in Subic Bay, exploring the host of American and Japanese wrecks daily and teaching a wide range of recreational and technical diving courses for 18 months.
I recently finished working on contract (non-diving!) in Kabul, Afghanistan and have returned to Manila, Philippines where I am involved in assisting start-up dive centers, whilst diving full-time to develop my instructor credentials in the fields of sidemount, technical and advanced wreck training
My diving interests are:
Deep/Virgin wreck exploration.
Nudibranch Identification and Surveys
To date I have dived in: England, Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Egypt, Israel, Oman, Ascension Island (mid-Atlantic), Belize, Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines.
I have completed 4600 dives (conservative estimate), of which approx 450 were accelerated decompression dives and 120 were technical/sidemount.
James Egan Layne, UK (wreck)
Tino's Paradise, Mabul (muck)
Barracuda Point, Sipidan (wall/reef)
Blue Hole, Belize (wall/reef)
Chumporn Pinnacle, Thailand (reef)
Zenobia, Cyprus (wreck)
USS New York, Philippines (wreck)
Big Boy, Thailand (unnamed Japanese war wreck)
I've started running some advanced recreational wreck diving workshops and thought you might enjoy a peek at the highlights of my last session. The workshops are flexible schedule and aim to extend the (basic/introductory) training provided at recreational 'Wreck Diver' level - without the full technicality and cost/training commitment of 'Technical Wreck' level courses. It's a non-certification workshop - the only reward is the skills
There is currently a strong debate about the need to differentiate between recreational and technical scuba diving. Some people believe that 'diving is diving' and question the need to draw a distinct boundary between recreational and technical diving pursuits. In doing so, the issue of agency-imposed boundaries and limitations on recreational divers is also brought into question.
I've met lots of good (great) above-water photographers that struggle with underwater photography because of their core dive skills and lack of environment specific photography knowledge. You can learn to be a good underwater
Streamlining your scuba kit, in conjunction with proper horizontal trim and correct weighting, will help improve your air consumption and reduce the effort needed to move through the water. The diver should critically examine their configuration with an aim to reducing their overall ‘profile’ in the water though minor tweaks and adjustments. Every small adjustment adds up to an overall noticeable improvement. In addition, to increasing economy in the
Speciality Diving Courses - Values, Benefits and Development
There is an intrinsic link between course value and instructor knowledge/motivation/teaching skill. That's the crux factor that determines whether any course is enjoyable and beneficial for the diver. Underwater basket weaving is a laughable example, but in all honesty, a great instructor is still going to make that into a great course...and vice versa.