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2007 trimix 2 course with Andrew G, Vancouver, BC

Discussion in 'Trips and Marketplace... DIR' started by mark gottfried, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. mark gottfried

    mark gottfried Guest

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    Vancouver, BC 2007
    Trimix 2 with Andrew Georgitsis report,
    Around Christmas last year three fellow divers and I decided that we wanted to take our Tech 1 level of diving, a step further. Two of us had GUE Tech 1 training and all of us had full “trimix” training from other agencies such as IANTD, TDI, and ANDI.

    Our initial thoughts were that we would enroll in a GUE Tech 2 course but doing so raised several issues. The first issue was that our instructor choices were limited. I don't care what people say but it is the instructor and not the agency that makes the course. Of course the constraints that agencies place on their instructors in terms of curriculum, standards, etc., do play a significant role, but it is my belief that in training of this nature, the instructor becomes the primary consideration. Our second concern was that we wanted comprehensive training that would result in us feeling trained and competent to conduct dives at 250 ft level with multiple deco and stage bottle configuration after the successful completion of our course. Here we identified what we felt was a flaw in the current GUE Tech 2 curriculum.

    At the end of the GUE Tech 1 course a student is left with tools to become more proficient in diving back-gas and ONE AL40 deco bottle (50%). The student is not shown two-bottle work, let alone instructed on it. Moreover, they are never shown the mechanics of using a stage bottle and the inherent complexity this creates. For people who think that it is simply a matter of using a bottle under their arm....well, “they don't know what they don't know”. This raised what was in our eyes a major flaw in the standard Tech 2 curriculum: that is, even if a diver has all the single bottle, Tech I, deco skills completely solid, how do they go from one deco bottle with a 150’ range to three bottles, a 250 ft depth range, and the ability to deal with all the failure implications of having 5 regulators to keep track of, your buddies five regulators, deco, situational awareness, environmental conditions, etc in a five day period? Only two things can occur...the diver is going to fail the course or they end up passing a severely watered down version of it. I believe that it is impossible to teach and evaluate that set of skills in five days.

    Enter Andrew Georgitsis and his approach to teaching this material.
    In January 2007 we set up a series of two to three day weekends and started our training. We started with a full day of Ratio Deco also known as 'Deco on a fly'. Amazing stuff...for those who think that this simply about 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 ratios, you are sadly mistaken. We sat through hours of theory, both past and present, deco modeling, deco set- up strategies, gas considerations and a lot more.

    This was followed by two full days of two-bottle work. The shortest dive was 140 min in 46 degree water. For those “YouTube” show offs...give this a try after two hours in 46 degree water with thick gloves and we'll see what the bottle whipping looks like!

    Six weeks later, we did a couple of check out dives to the Tech 1 level...150 ft 25 min, but this time with two deco bottles, followed by more Deco theory.

    Six weeks later we started three-bottle work with the shortest dive being 150 min. Please keep in mind...if you carry three bottles you have to be able to proficiently handle six bottles...yours and your buddies. Give that a try...and remember that now you have two leashes! On that same weekend we did two experience dives with a max depth 170ft but this time with three bottles.

    Six weeks later we started with two full days of ascent failures with three bottles or more, depending on how many failures your buddy had. Now you had ten regulators to keep track of, a deco schedule, up-line etc. I think you get the idea. Couple this with running a line on a bottom with failures in the 90-100’ range and you really have your hands full. Despite all the punishment it was great fun. It showed all the aspects that you have to keep track of. Finally, the payoff was our experience 240’ dive the following day that despite current and questionable “viz” felt like one of the best dives ever. We all believed that the reason this dive felt that way was that it had been earned through the multiple days of training that came before.

    Everybody can draw their own conclusions. I'm not here to advocate a new platform for teaching or promote Andrew G. (like he needs it anyway :)). I'm simply describing our experience. That being said, would I ever take a course that runs in consecutive days...no bloody way! Our experience has been that you truly need to absorb and work on the new skills that are introduced to you during a course as demanding as this was. I would like to encourage everybody who is thinking of advancing their diving training to talk to your instructors and see if you can spread your training out as we did. The time between the segments that allows you to practice the new skills is, without exaggeration, invaluable. As a “Trimix” instructor myself I have adopted the same approach of spreading the training over multiple weekends to allow students to practice newly learned skills. The feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive. They don’t feel rushed and in addition there is time to clarify any questions or issues identified during their practice period.

    We also need to pass on a big “THANK YOU” to Andrew G. who tirelessly provided us with exceptional teaching and instruction. It was his suggestion to spread the training over multiple periods to ensure the highest quality of training available. Throughout the duration of the course Andrew was able to identify our weaknesses very effectively and focus the training accordingly.
    Happy diving,
    Mark Gottfried, Victoria, BC
     
  2. FLDVR

    FLDVR Nassau Grouper

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    Thanks for the info. and report Mark. Wow that class was staggered quite a bit across the weeks, hopefully in this time you can go out and practice handling those extra bottles.
    This approach does make sense, I actually split the T-1 class over a month this gave me the time to come up to speed on a lot of new knowledge and techniques.

    PS. Diving in 45 degree water for 140" is just sick:11: Here I am thinking 76 degrees is subzero here in S. Fla:D

    Henry
     
  3. SCUBA_Phil

    SCUBA_Phil Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern California
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    Mark,
    Nice report, I agree with this type of teaching. AG did the same thing in his wreck pen course. He is an excellent instructor!

    Phil
     
  4. nadwidny

    nadwidny Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cranbrook, BC
    1,829
    440
    83
    It makes sense to spread the course out but I have to wonder what the cost was to fly AG in and out 5 or 6 different times.
     
  5. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

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  6. Bismark

    Bismark Instructor, Scuba

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    Speaking as someone who just finished the Tech I version of this Course taught by the OP, there is no doubt in my mind that spreading a course of this nature over several weekends, allowing for time to absorb and practise learned skills, is a superior method for this training. It allows time to "decompress' from intense training sessions and prepare for the next. Our group "pooched" our final experience dive (something about ascent rates and deep stops :) ) but we were able to regroup and sort things out for a followup series of dives a few weeks after. This allowed us to spend some time correcting our mistakes and that follow on dive went off without a hitch. If this had been the standard 5 day course, I would have had to shell out a lot more money and due to time and money committments, we would have had to wait a long time and probably had to redo a large part of the course.

    After recognizing the benefit of this type of training, our group plans on continuing our training in the same fashion this coming spring. If you are interested in joining us, contact the OP by PM. I know he is in touch with AG on a regular basis and will help facilitate things on this end. Prepare to be humbled! Hope to see you in the water

    :wink::wink:
     
  7. freegroceries

    freegroceries Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: VANCOUVER
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    That was all just one big long deep stop. Mark doesnt know what hes talking about.
     
  8. nadwidny

    nadwidny Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cranbrook, BC
    1,829
    440
    83
  9. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

    6,026
    589
    113
  10. nadwidny

    nadwidny Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cranbrook, BC
    1,829
    440
    83
    How they could afford to fly him in and out 4 or 5 times isn't anywhere in there. Way to be a dipstick.
     

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