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My path to tech diving

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by jlcnuke, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    616
    464
    It's been a couple months, and I got some more training in. I had started typing up a course report for my Apprentice Cave class, but halfway through realized I simply wasn't going to have the energy left at night to keep up with it, so here's an abbreviated report:

    I had arranged for my usual buddy and I to do the Apprentice Cave class with Chris Brock just before Christmas. Unfortunately, my dog got sick and eventually passed so we rescheduled for after Christmas. The original thought was to do the Apprentice Cave course over 4 days and spend a 5th day getting the plus rating to add in deco and a jump as well. In the end, due to some errors on our part, and a desire to get home at a reasonable hour on the last day (I had work the following morning and it's a 5-6 hour drive home from cave country), we ended up foregoing the deco and jump ideas by the end of the course, but still needed the 5th day to finish up as we messed up the lost buddy drill twice and my dive buddy was having some issues getting the lost line drill down (in the end he got it done pretty well though).

    I won't rehash all of the other course reports, as @Manatee Diver and @dewdropsonrosa have both discussed how Chris does the course in pretty good detail. we did 11 dives over the 5 days, a bunch of discussions/land drills, a LOT of time in the dark in the caves, etc. The days were long, usually starting at 7:30 or 8 at Chris' house and busy with the class, air fills, homework, etc. until 8 or later most days (though we took it easy one day and cut out a bit early to go get some wings - I got boneless on account of not having great technique pulling and gliding in Ginnie's flow..... oh and I did end up going with the mechanix fingerless gloves discussed earlier in this thread.

    I'd say this was the hardest course I've taken to date. There were at least a couple times when I thought "man I hope I can actually manage to get this stuff down and pass the course" or "I wonder if we as a team are going to be able to do this right and pass the course", but in the end, the practice and coaching worked it's magic and we were able to successfully demonstrate all the skills to pass the course, and I even feel comfortable with them now (though I certainly wouldn't videotape myself to use as an example at this point lol).

    I'm still not a big fan of diving into the Ear at Ginnie, but I managed to start figuring it out enough that I cut my gas consumption getting through there in half by the 4th dive (still using too much gas for that though), so I hope to continue getting better entering Ginnie as I get more experience. Right now the "plan" is to try and get down for some diving one weekend a month, probably back at Peacock (which we were at 2 days of the course) and Madison (which we didn't get to dive due to conditions, but it's the closest to home here in Atlanta, and as a medium flow cave should help reinforce diving in flow techniques), then after we get a bit more comfortable start heading to Ginnie some more. Maybe looking at full cave next fall or so if all goes well.

    I'll say I wasn't expecting my tanks to be an issue for cave diving, but the HP 100s that work wonderfully back home make me the limiting diver in cave country with the LP overfills that others are getting instead. So I'll have to debate weight vs capacity etc. and debate if I want to stick with them anyway, or consider moving to different tanks for cave diving and just keep the hp100s for non-cave deco dives etc.
     
    Graeme Fraser and Marie13 like this.
  2. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,109
    2,020
    Congrats. The Ear isn't fun, though how Chris had you go through it does make it easier than pulling all the way to the bottom.
     
    jlcnuke likes this.
  3. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,264
    10,548
    @jlcnuke was good to meet you! even if you may not have realized who it was. I was trying to stay out of Chris's way. Did you run into @dewdropsonrosa since she was down there as well? I briefly ran into her at Amigo's one morning.

    Looking at the rivers in south Ga and the pix from Madison this week, it is unlikely to be diveable until mid February or later as an FYI and Peacock may get a little funky in the next few weeks.
     
  4. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    616
    464
    I still couldn't say who you were at this point lol. I saw a bunch of people, and only actually "met" or talked to a few of them (I was pretty busy most of the time at the dive sites, I caught a few names but not many relative to the number of people at Peacock and Ginnie last week), but yes, I met @dewdropsonrosa briefly, and we talked a bit Sunday evening as well.

    I'm probably going to have a week off mid-February, and currently don't have any plans for that week, so I'll probably be down trying to get some dives in then. Maybe go down one weekend between now and then as well, but we'll see how things go, my dive buddy has some projects he's working on right now as well that might keep him busy Hopefully Madison clears up by the February trip though.
     
  5. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    18,264
    10,548
    big guy in a wetsuit with the Tigger hood. Was diving with @mer when I saw you
     
  6. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    616
    464
    Gotcha.
     
  7. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    927
    1,608
    Congratulations on your course. Sorry to hear about your dog, by the way. I know how bad that hurts.
     
  8. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    616
    464
    Thanks, and thanks. She had a good long 14 years, but it still sucks to lose her.
     
    Graeme Fraser likes this.
  9. dewdropsonrosa

    dewdropsonrosa ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago, IL
    474
    748
    tbone1004 and jlcnuke like this.

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