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Wet Rocks, Wet Schmocks! Class report UTD Cave 1 & 2

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by leabre, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Jasonmh

    Jasonmh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Mexico
    I was the one who donated a reg to Shawn, and it was on and working perfectly. No one is perfect, and what was originally written was in error. It is no bust on Shawn, the class is stressful and thedays are long, and I have no doubt that it was an honest mistake.
    Here is a quick version of what happened:
    We were told ahead of time by the instructor that if we had to close valves during a zero viz senario she would reopen the post for us as we were exiting so that we would have both regs working in case there was a problem and we needed to switch.
    We were doing a zero via exit in touch contact when each of us was given a single post failure. Shawn's was a right post failure and mine was a left post failure.
    When the drill was cut we were resetting when the reg that Shawn was breathing started to tug and he signaled ooa. donated my primary reg, which was in my mouth and working fine.
    He could have gone to his other reg, opened his isolator, or signaaled ooa. He chose to signal and got a working reg right away.
    Some confusion came into play because I was doing a flow check when he signaled and at that time he was thinking that my valve may had been closed and that I was opening it. But that was not the case, the valve was open and I was breathing off of the reg when I donated it to him. I was just doing a flow check as part of the reset after the drill.

    At no time did I feel like the instructor was not in control and I never felt like we were put in any danger.

    Hopefully that clears up that issue.

    Edit ... it is a pita to type on this little keyboard... sorry for the typos... on was a manifold failure... but I think you get the idea.
  2. leabre

    leabre Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Orange County, CA
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Wow -- I wrote a long post last night, and it never showed up here.

    Regarding the closed valve thing . . . Lobzilla is right. There is NOTHING that "rewires" your thinking like an unexpected issue.

    GUE has a number of prohibitions for their instructors, including not turning off students' valves, and not removing masks. I'm sure they have good safety reasons for deciding that they do not want their instructors doing those things. But when I did the training I did with Andrew, he did things that GUE would not approve, and man, did I learn from them. Donating a reg and switching to a "rolled off" secondary, and having to recognize what had happened and fix it, not only taught me a lot, but it bolstered my confidence that I could evaluate and manage an unexpected and fairly significant problem. I do think that instructors who choose to allow students to face such issues must a) be pretty sure of their assessment of the student's ability to handle the challenge, and b) stand prepared to intervene and cope with the results, if they are wrong. But it's a powerful way to learn.
  4. Peter Guy

    Peter Guy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Olympia, WA
    A few thoughts on the "zero to hero" discussion.

    a. I am NOT in favor of "zero to hero" classes -- cave or any other (except open water since you've got to start somewhere!).

    b. Is UTD's sequence a "zero to hero" progression? I, for one, don't think it is -- and here is why -- or at least how it could be construed to be very different from the "traditional zero to hero" classes:

    1. Traditional Class -- One starts as an Open Water Diver with no experience in doubles, line, non-silting kicks or zero viz protocols -- just like the third member of my TDI Cavern Class. Had HE wanted to do the Cavern-Intro-Full Cave he would have been "taught" all that 8 - 10 days -- a true Zero to Hero. To me, that is a VERY bad idea.

    2. UTD Class(es) (as described by AG) -- Essentials/Overhead Protocols -- OK, get line, non-silting kicks and zero viz protocols (and doubles experience?) which is, in essence, Cavern and a bit of Intro-Cave. Then go do some dives to get comfortable with those skills.

    Next do Cave 1/Cave 2 where you get actual cave experience -- but with at least the real possibility of a solid background in the skills needed for cave diving. You are spending your time working on CAVE skills, not "pre-cave" skills. And, of course, one of the most important things the instructor is (supposed to be) examining is "attitude." Will the diver know his limitations at the end of the class?

    Yes, a diver coming out of this sequence COULD get himself into a lot of trouble if he didn't respect his newness to the environment -- but hell, so can any other Cave diver starting out.

    In fact, one of the things about the NAUI Cave 1 class that I think is very reasonable is the allowance of some minimal navigational decisions -- unlike the GUE Cave 1 class (which, just possibly, leads people to "take liberities" with the notion of running a line to the mainline or the notion of "no restrictions").

    Actually, it may well be that having a formal introduction to the complexities of navigation (Cave 2) will give the diver the idea that he needs to be more conservative than the traditional Intro Diver who may not comprehend how much trouble he can get into by sneaking that one jump.

    I think it is entirely appropriate to seperate out UTD's instructional path from the sale's path that was the subject of a prior post. I thought, and still think, that what Andrew has done with UTD regarding OW, "traditional" Technical and Cave training is very good and generally well thought out. (And no, I have not taken any "UTD" classes since my association with Andrew pre-dates UTD.)

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