Scuba Diving Instructor – The Real Story

The Background

“When are you going to get a proper job?” is a question that has been asked to me for most of my adult life. Mostly from my mother, but the question was also heard from well-meaning family members. (Of course it was said in a joking manner but I am 100% sure that the belief was, at that time that I was wasting my life by not pursuing a “normal career.”) Coming from a family of teachers, Lawyers, Hoteliers and Engineers to name a few industries, I still think to this day heading into the Scuba Industry was not a respected profession by the people around me. However, saying that, that very same mother who would question me about a “proper Job” would also always remind me of the fact that you only get one life and you need to live it. I was blessed that my mother never tried to hold me back from anything that I wished to pursue.

However, believe me or not, I didn’t consciously set out to enter the diving industry on a full time basis. Becoming a scuba Instructor was merely a way to increase my qualifications, which was going to escalate my employment opportunities when I was looking for a “Real” job as a School Physical Education teacher.

Now, its 15 years later and I still have not got that “real job”!

The Scuba Industry.

There are as many reasons for why for people learn to dive so it is impossible to list them all. Some activities seem to be perfect precursors for scuba diving. Active swimmers take to diving pretty easily. People who enjoy snorkeling also have an advantage. They have already seen some of the fish life beneath the sea and so are “hooked” already. Snorkelers usually have an easy time transitioning to scuba diving.Lifestyle

People who currently enjoy active outdoor activities are also the type of persons who are drawn to scuba diving. With its increasing popularity, scuba has become “fashionable”. Take a look at the holiday section of most magazines and you will see the “him and her picture perfect” fully kitted out in neoprene and wearing scuba equipment whist walking along a lush white beach with palm trees in the background. Scuba diving is reaching a pinnacle in media pop culture. Scuba Diving has moved from an activity for a select few adventurous individuals into a global recreational activity available for all the family. Nearly half of all new divers are women and it is also used as non-discriminatory therapy for physically challenged individuals. Diving is no longer a sport for daredevils; it has become a lifetime activity that you can enjoy with your friends and family. It’s a means to learning more about the beauty and intricacies of life on our planet.

Why consider becoming an Instructor?

Teaching is a challenging job with many unique frustrations, but the rewards of teaching are unquestionable. Instructors get incredible joy in seeing the difference they make as students gain new insights, become more interested in a subject, physically develop skills and learn about themselves. As an Instructor, you see your efforts everyday as you use your intelligence and creativity to help students become excited about and learn about the scuba diving world.

 Success

For many people, their work is a means to an end. They work for a paycheck in order to live their lives. But those called to teach have a true vocation. To those with whom you interact most during your day of teaching – the students – you are not an employee but a friend, a mentor and a guide to the world. An Instructor makes a difference in the world by enabling each of his or her students to fully maximize their talents, skills and character. Being an Instructor is a job that offers a great deal of variety. Each day or week, instructors get to work with a new group of students with unique personalities, experiences and ideas.

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While scuba classes have mandatory standards that instructors are expected to follow, it is the instructor who will decide what will happen in the lesson. Not many jobs provide an individual with so much room to be creative and autonomous each day. Additionally, you will never learn a topic better than when you start to teach it. Students always ask the most interesting questions, prompting you to dig deeper, explore, investigate and learn more about the aspects of scuba diving.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of training scuba divers of all ages and backgrounds. So I can tell you with all honesty that being a scuba instructor is one of those jobs you enjoy doing every day of your life, if it was not the case I would not still be doing it! But, believe it or not, having fun just isn’t enough, because after awhile, even having fun can get boring. What has continued to motivate me over the years is the challenge. What other activity allows a teacher to deal in subjects as diverse as physics, physiology, marine science, mechanics, physical education, psychology and even public relations? You also have to have some pretty good counseling skills. Scuba instructors bring a whole new meaning to the term “jack-of-all-trades.” Our job believe it or not is at times very tough, demanding and often unappreciated, but it’s never boring.

The Reality

To the outside person, the Scuba industry is full of young guys and girls running around in the sun with perfect tans, making a wetsuit look good and swimming with Dolphins in tropical warm waters. This, unfortunately, is a delusion and mistaken belief. Becoming a Scuba Instructor isn’t easy—and neither is actually being one. But remembering why you go into this industry in the first place helps to stay focused when those challenging days come around, and take pride in your successes. I will emphasis at this point that teaching is a passion, not a paycheck! If the idea is to make loads of money, then this is not the industry for you! It’s incredibly hard work but, it is the most rewarding job out there and every day is different.

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Is being an instructor for me?

Now, as much as the life of a Scuba Instructor has many benefits it for sure is not a suitable path for everybody! In fact, you may not be cut out for it at all. A scuba instructor has to enjoy and be capable of working with a wide range of personalities and circumstances. If your only motivation to become a diving educator is that you love diving, then forget about it. People skills are just as important and often more so than diving skills. Patience is perhaps the most important requisite; and a close second is flexibility coupled with the willingness to work long and highly irregular hours.

Effective communication and human relations skills are as essential as diving skills. What’s equally important is a professional appearance and demeanor. Scuba Divers are sophisticated travelers. The last thing they want to see after spending a good chunk of their paycheck is to visit a dive destination is some beach bum in a dirty T-shirt. They put their lives in our hands, so they expect someone who can instill professionalism and confidence.

The issue of responsibility is important to both understand, accept and cannot be ignored. Regardless of how much fun it may be, you can never take the responsibility of the instructor role lightly. If you do, people can die; it’s that simple. This can be a harsh realization, and anyone who lacks the commitment or maturity to accept such duties shouldn’t even consider the instructor route.

Preparation to become an instructor requires mastery of diving theory, which includes a thorough grounding in diving physics, physiology, equipment mechanics and even a little marine science and oceanography. You’ll also need near-perfect diving skills, and an ability to deal calmly with stressful and unexpected situations like entanglements or out-of-air emergencies. In terms of physical prowess, you will be expected to complete watermanship tests to prove your physical abilities in and on the water and that you hold a minimum level of physical fitness that is expected of an infidel in a responsibility role.

During your Instructor Training Course (ITC), you should expect to learn a great deal about teaching, both theoretical and practical. You will learn how to plan and conduct classroom, pool and open-water lessons. You’ll learn how to organize training activities to maximize safety and efficiency. And, you’ll learn the standards and logistics of conducting the various programs you’ll be certified to teachITC

Is it worth it?

Personally I have never regretted my decision to remain within the Scuba Diving industry. In the early days, I was blessed
to be able to work for one of the most reputable scuba diving operators who not only supported their instructors in the work place but also encouraged us as instructors to continue training and always strive for the next level whilst maintaining high levels of standards and service. Over the years I have continued to develop my personal skills and have learnt the scuba diving industry as a business. This has had a direct effect on the growth of my own scuba diving company and subsequent future scuba diving ventures.Blog-4

I now look to the future and see continued personal growth for me as an Instructor Trainer and scuba diving ambassador. I can think of nothing better than to open up this amazing industry to others who could take inspiration from me and look to also becoming the scuba instructor.

 

“Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do”

Cat Braun

Tekstreme Technical Manager & Owner

SSI Recreational and Technical Instructor Trainer

cat@tekstremediivng.com

http://www.tekstremediving.com

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Our rebreather of choice.

As we move through the years the industry of scuba diving is continuing to grow with vengeance and with equipment constantly becoming more innovative and versatile. The rise of the underwater rebreathers has not gone unnoticed and is equally undergoing dramatic evolutionary changes on a year by year basis. I think back to my very first days as a recreational diver where I noticed the the world of technical diving, and if memory serves me right I can personally only recall the number of rebreather units that I was hearing about on one hand, maybe even with just a few fingers. These were the Kiss Classic, the Drager Dolphin and the AP Inspiration. Probably there were many more but for sure they were not significant at that time in my area. Now, the list of CCR units is considerably larger. We at Tekstreme Diving specialise in the training of divers on the rebreather units produced by Ambient pressure diving (AP diving); Inspiration, Evolution and the Evolution+. Obviously, it would make sense that as rebreather instructors we do actually own and dive these units personally. I wanted to give you an insight into why as individuals we have found ourselves in this situation. Its important to note that each member of our team has had additional training on other types of CCR unit but as individuals and as a company we still chose to focus and specialise in the rebreathers by AP Diving.

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Lets firstly have a look in more details about the Ambient pressure Diving as a company. Everything AP make is conceived, tested and assembled in their factory and research centre in the heart of Cornwall, UK. They aim to be the be the best in everything they do, and to help educate, support and inform the worldwide diving community wherever they can. Right now they are pushing the boundaries of technical and sport diving through advanced product development. They are currently on their 6th generation Inspiration range of closed circuit rebreathers! Through extensive research and punishing test regimes they aim to make equipment for divers that is built properly, works well and tackles the snag-points and problems we all come across underwater. Their products are routinely inspected and verified by third party agents Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd to achieve the essential ISO 9001 manufacturing standard. They manufacture 95% of all products – right down to the brass and plastic components – in-house. Experience has taught them that if ever there is a problem, it’s usually created by an external supplier. Keeping it in-house they retain that family-business ethos – pride in what they do and quality control over the whole process. Start to finish.

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For more than 45 years, AP has led the way in diving – innovating, designing and manufacturing equipment of the highest quality. Since its foundation in 1969, the company has grown at a phenomenal rate, from a small family-business to an internationally respected dive manufacturer with a global network of great dive instructors, distributors and support centres. Their customers range from individual sport and professional divers, to search & rescue services, the military, police, fire service, bomb disposal, ship’s divers and coastguards through to the commercial giants of the salvage, shipping and oil industries – in over 50 countries worldwide. There are currently 55 people working in the manufacturing and innovation centre in Cornwall, UK. Nearly all of them dive. They have product designers, engineers and test-divers working away at solving the problems divers face – constantly looking for ways to make your dive better, more comfortable, more exciting. They have attracted and retained some of the best people in the dive & manufacturing industries, who are not only proud of the products they make but are proud to offer an after-sales service that is second to none – clearly made so much easier by having continuous production and ready availability of spares.

Chris Armstrong – Inspiration & Evolution Advanced Trimix Instructor

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My interest in rebreathers started in 2005. At that time I learnt on an Inspiration Classic but at the same time used the Evolution for the vision electronics which at the time had only come out the year before.It wasnt until early 2009 that I used the unit seriously and became a trimix ccr diver. The Instructor trainer suggested I could teach on these units so a few months later I became a CCR air diluent instructor. I really enjoy teaching these units and over the years continued to become an Advanced Mixed gas instructor. I did a crossover to try something different in 2015 but always went back to the AP units. I like the fact they come in a complete package and have my own unit with the advent of back mounted lungs and rechargeable battery unit. The additional options from AP are varied to suit all and the service response is second to none. You can also find AP units around the world and parts are available in all continents. There is a good reason why AP units still have around 50% of the world market!

Duncan Spenceley – Inspiration Classic Advanced Trimix Diver & Air Diluent Deco Instructor

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I started ccr diving following an awesome open circuit technical dive on the Rosalie Moller. We were the only divers on the wreck and conditions were perfect. However I had to end the div e as I had reached my turn pressure. My buddy was diving an AP Inspiration and I was amazed how close he could get to the marine life. In fact I had to be extremely vigilant of where he was as he spent most of the dive enveloped in Glassfish. We then proceeded to complete our decompression. The swell was picking up and I spent an additional 20min of decompression over my CCR buddy! In my head I was already planning when I could fit in my CCR Course…I wanted one of those magic boxes….

The AP Inspiration was available to use on days off from work so it was a natural progression to qualify on the unit and build up some hours and save some money to purchase my own. I ended up buying a AP Inspiration Classic. The reason for this was I could afford it at that time and dive it now versus waiting to save up for a vision. AP were fantastic…they provided me with a full service history of the unit before I purchased it and I had it sent directly to them for checking before getting it sent out to Egypt.

The support and customer service from AP is second to none. A quick call or email and queries are answered almost immediately. You can’t fault that.

I love my little yellow box of magic…

Cat Braun – Evolution Advanced trimix diver & Air Diluent Decompression Instructor

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I personally choose to dive the Evolution+. I find that being slightly smaller in height, the length of the evolution unit is perfect for me. However, i found that the smaller scrubber unit was a time restriction on some of the deeper dives that i was wanting to make, hence i chose the Evolution+. One of the main features / attractions for me of the AP Units is the ability to dive them completely manually or completely automatically. This gives me great options when i am in the water depending on what i am doing. I love the fact that every part is user changeable (pretty much) and that as AP produce new technologies / advancements, that these are available to all existing AP divers with units. The support team at AP is second to none. I deal with them on a company and personal level and find that communication is prompt, precise and very customer friendly. I still have the yellow box attached, i like the fact that divers in the water can see me clearly and it does protect the whole back section of the unit. All in all no complaints from my side.

Shaun Fox – Inspiration Vision Advanced trimix Diver IMG_1454

As a recreational diver I was looking for something else to do in diving in Hurghada, Egypt where I currently live. I looked around and someone suggested trying a Rebreather course. This was in around 2008. After doing a 40m Air diluent rebreather course I purchased the KISS Sport from the training company. When I wanted to progress I found this was very difficult due to lack of instructors in my area and that spare parts were not readily available for the unit as they had to come from Canada. So once again I looked around for a different unit. I did research online, I read many articles, I went to the dive show in UK and looked at the units there. Some units to me looked messy and some looked home made. It then became clear that the only rebreather that meet all of my personal criteria was a unit from AP diving. It was CE approved, as AP Diving was based in the UK spare parts and replacement parts would be easy to get, servicing would be easy to get done, help was only a phone call away and last of all it was/is a neat unit and would fulfil all my diving needs both recreationally and technically. All in all it ticked all the boxes. So, as it been reliable? Yes it has. Have there been problems? Yes, but with all mechanical / electrical equipment things can happen. The good thing is that APD is only a phone call away and for me they have provided a first class service. Have I made any changes? Yes I have. I have taken of the “plastic box” that it is supplied with and have replaced it with a Stainless Steel frame. My reasons behind this were that the plastic box can crack at the base, a frame cannot. The unit stands up better with the frame in comparison to the plastic box. With the frame I have easier access to all the working parts of the unit more easily than having to open the box and finally its easier to see if there are any leaks in the water when I can see all working parts directly. One other big advantage with the frame is that I don’t need any additional weight with a 5mm wet suit and only a small amount with a dry suit in the type of water that I dive in. For the me the Inspiration has been very reliable and, If you follow the rules and do what it says in the book it can be for you too. Would I buy another one YES I would.

So, thats we we here at Tekstreme think, but what do other rebreather divers think…..

Richard Wait – Inspiration Vision Normoxic Diver richard wait

After considering many units on the market when I first looked at a rebreather back in 2011, the one that stood out the most was the AP units. From the proven history with the Classic to the renowned customer support, AP appeared a good choice. Now having dived many hours with mine, having dealt with the factory and dived with many others with other CCRs, I’m still very pleased with my decision. One of the aspects I really appreciate from AP, is they have been fully supportive of their existing clients – easily allowing new features / add-ons to be user installed to units even over 10yrs old!

Jason grey – Inspiration Vision Advanced trimix diver

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I chose the AP Inspiration Vision since it would suit my technical diving very well, but was also easily slimmed down for recreational use. I was lucky enough to make the jump to CC with some friends and it was a no brainer to go the AP route, not only for its technical diving capability, but also because the manufacturer is local, and very well respected as a market leader and innovator, with a well deserved reputation for customer service. My personal choice was to select the vision unit since it was 2nd generation, and the fully integrated single handset with Fibre Optic HUD offered the additional security I felt I needed from a CCR. The upgrade options produced since then have also added additional levels of personal comfort and security, future proofing my investment, and provide further confidence. Finally the support community for the AP products is awesome. Simply because they are so numerous you can almost guarantee to have someone on a boat or trip with either the knowledge or a spare part that can assist you should it come to that!  I’ve lost very few dives due to problems with the unit, and I’ve had some amazing experiences while diving with it that would not have happened if I was still on Open Circuit.  It’s good to be able to access the hard won experience of the AP community, and being one of the biggest and longest established/most dived units has to be a very good thing.

Peter Sullivan – Evolution + Vision Normoxic Diver

peter sullivan I chose and dive my Evolution+ after much deliberation. Firstly they are made in the UK, so parts and back up were not an issue. Secondly AP were the first mass produced units on the market and the problems they had originally had been worked out ( I shelved buying one for probably 10 Years ). Thirdly is there simplicity to dive. I like to be as independent as I can with as many options as I can . I use the FFM plumbed into gas switching block to off board bailout , with the option to plumb to onboard .All off board has O/C regs .

Steve Wilkinson – Evolution + Advanced trimix diver

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I dive an Evolution +.  The main reason I went for an AP unit was because they’re manufactured 20 mins from where I live and many of the local divers use AP. My little unit is compact so great for travelling and good for RHIB diving here in the UK. I get two long dives out of the 2 ltr cylinders. All AP kit is made to be tough enough for UK wreck divers so I’m happy with my unit. I’m  Advanced Trimix qualified with IART and TDI

Mattjin Buwalda – Inspiration Vision Normoxic Diver IMG_1463

All units are heavy, expensive and need a lot of training to be operated safely. But AP offers good reliable service and maintenance and that’s what you really need on the long run.

Ricky Ng – Evolution Vision Normoxic trimix diver

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Why I chose AP rebreather is because AP rebreather price is competitive with the others.  It is especially suitable for me because it’s size is compact, easy to travel, weight is less then others. The twin tanks weight is a bit heavy for me.  Rebreather can give me around 8kg less then the OC and AP have lot of instructors though the world.
The final is the outlook is attractive.  I can buy it online and configuration options is suitable from recreational to professional tec dive level.  It make the new CCR diver easy to afford to starts.
Chris Burrowswood – Inspiration Instructor
Chris Burrowswood

The AP Units are simple to use. Over the years repairs have been thorough. In the picture I am about to dive a Vision with trimix on the u-869.

Peter McCamley – Inspiration Air Diluent Instructor703996_4849178477896_142984492_o

I have had my Inspo for 7 years now, I have mod 3 for 6 years now and am a MOD 1 instructor for 5 years now. I also dive a Sentinel, which I love to bits, however for the dozens of sub 100m dives, the chosen weapon of choice is my Inspo. I have it on a Dive Lite Wing and an Alibox with a AP BOV just plumbed into my 3 litre for a Sanity breath or two until I get onto the bailout. After 2500 hrs last year it had its head serviced with new software…..then it had a blank handset twice on a 85 and 90m dive in The North Channell in Donegal. AP had a software glitch but wouldn’t admit it to me, but did to an Instructor mate and he gave me the new software. In the meantime I plugged in a Nerd and all is class. Front mounded lungs coming under my arms only allows for 2 breaths in the loop, but they are well out of the way. (Shown to me by Al Wright) I use a cell checker and AP16’s and have never had a cell issue. Like a car or any machine, it needs to be started every week and preferably dived at least once a week. I have just fitted two new 1st stages at £130 each, as its two years since I stuck a service kit into it. Service kit in the first stages is a must every year as the piston gives no warning of disintegration and if it does you will end up with cylinder pressure instead of 8 bar. Very bad if its your O2 1st stage, as Solenoid will stick open. Love the AP as i have had it round the world from South China Seas to Bikini to Australia to Middle East and Europe + America with around 1800 hours in Donegal. Best thing about it is that you can get bits for it at the back of the ditch. In conclusion I love my inspo for 3 reasons. 1: 110% reliable….2: Parts availability 3: Ease of use and amazing versatility.

David Street – Inspiration Vision Diver

I bought my AP Inspiration Vision in 2008 and over the years the unit has been significantly modified. The yellow box, comfort harness, weight pockets, wing and front counterlungs are all gone.

The reason for this is because the yellow box filled with water created drag. The comfort harness added buoyancy which meant that I needed extra lead to sink. The front counterlungs created too much “clutter”. I never liked them (or all the straps hanging around. So I got rid of them and replaced them with a 3mm stainless steel backplate and harness, back mounted counterlungs, a dual bladder wing and a Kent Tooling travel frame.

The only remaining original parts are the breathing loop, the head unit and scrubber. This setup works for me.

Summary

So as you can read from all of the contributors to this blog that there is so much versatility to the AP units which makes it one of the leading rebreather units and companies in the world. Their continuing support to the owners of their products is unquestionable and they continue to strive to respond to the CCR community and develop new technological advances.

Most of my description about AP diving as a company has come directly from their webpage and you can read more by heading to

http://www.apdiving.com/en/rebreathers/resources/

We at Tekstreme Diving offer the full range of rebreather courses for the AP inspiration and Evolution in the resorts of Sharm El Sheikh, El Gouna and on board our technical safari trips.

Courses

30m Air Diluent No decompression diver

45m Air Diluent Decompression diver

60m Mixed Gas Diver

100m Advanced Mixed Gas diver

Please feel free to email at info@tekstremediving.com us for more specific details on the CCR courses available or head to

http://tekstremediving.com/tdi-courses.php

Enjoy the silent world.

Cat Braun

Tekstreme Manager / Owner

No decompression limits – When time is not long enough!

Picture the scene….It’s summer time, you have been working hard all year and waiting for your holiday to finally arrive where you can escape the chores of day by day life and spend one week in one of the best locations in the world for scuba diving. Yes, you are in the Red Sea. You have chosen to join one of the most popular safari routes that will take you to visit the famous Daedalus Reef to experience the schooling hammerheads.

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The dive guides have got you up at the crack of dawn to be in the water first to get to see these amazing pelagics. You are hanging at 30m alongside the east wall of Daedalus reef, the current is mild, the water is warm, and then out of the blue you see a shadow, as you sit patiently the shadow comes into focus and you see the outlined of something big, could it be, are you going to be lucky, is it one, is it 10, yes yes yes there they are. The majestic Hammerhead sharks moving in synchronisation as a group cruising up and down the reef. You cant take enough pictures to capture the moment, this adrenaline experience yet calming experience is hard to match up with anything else on this planet….and then….beep beep beep…..computer tells you that you have no decompression time left and you must leave to get to shallower waters! Damn damn damn!!!

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Gutted comes to mind, you have plenty of gas but that bit of technology on your wrist is a reminder of one of the limitations of scuba diving, the No-decompression times. But does that have to be the case? No it does not. How about having some extra training to teach you how to plan a dive with some decompression to allow you just that little bit of extra time. That would be awesome would it not? You can do this training in your own existing equipment, that’s right, there is no requirement for any different equipment. You can continue to dive in your trusted comfortable BCD with your own reliable regulator and those pink fins that you have, these are also just fine. With just a few extra pieces you are all set to make your first decompression dives in a planned, safe manner.

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You will learn the basics about dive planning and managing your gas volumes. You will learn about how to use the richer eanx gases in the shallow waters to manage your decompression. You will learn how to change gases in the water to optimise your dive and keep you in the water looking at those sharks longer than everyone else! Now that sounds good right?

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The training I am talking about can be found in the SSI Extended Range Nitrox Course. It can be training from a land based resort or on a safari trip. It’s specifically aimed at those divers who would like to extend their diving just a bit more than the recreational limits. It’s not about depth, in fact its only a 40m course, but more importantly its about time. By having some training in the basics of decompression diving it opens up so many more dive sites around the world. The demand for this type of diving is growly hugely as world wide travel rapidly expands and more dive sites within the 30 – 40m range are available. Its not deep, its not dark and its certainly not dangerous, its simply extending your current diving, that’s realdiving.

If you would like more information on the SSI Extended Range Nitrox program you can head to:

http://tekstremediving.com/ssi-courses.php

or email me directly

info@tekstremediving.com

Cat Braun

Tekstreme Manager

Bad diving season for Europe means great diving season for Tekstreme.

Lets get up to date…..

 

Due to the poorer summer weather around Europe and especially UK the diving season has not been a great one, which is good news for us out in Egypt. Over the last couple of months we have seen increasing numbers of technical divers taking advantage of the good winter weather in Egypt and coming out to join us to get some last minute diving in for 2012.

 

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Hungarian Pilot Norbert Miskolczi came to Tekstreme Hurghada to make the most out of his holiday by beginning his technical diving path with the PADI Tec 40 & 45. Norbert, who only began diving a couple of years ago has taken to the sport very quickly and easily and wanted to expand his practical skills as well as his theoretical knowledge. With PADI Instructor Cat Braun (aka Cat Parfitt) on hand Norbert sailed though both his courses enjoying dives around the local wrecks and reefs. Norbert, who now has the technical diving “bug” has already signed up for the next technical safari in February where he will continue to Tec 50 and the first Trimix level, Trimix 65. Onwards and downwards Norbert.

 

 

 

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Shortly after Norbert had finished, El Gouna dive center welcomed John Ruggles. John, who is an experienced diver and existingTec Deep diver wanted to gain his SDI Solo Diving certificate on his most recent holiday. Under the watchful eye of Cat Braun, John not only gained his Solo diver status but it also gave him the time to refresh all of his technical diving skills.

 

 

 

 

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Over in Tekstreme Sharm, instructor Chris Armstrong has been busy. To begin with, he was teaching TDI Advanced nitrox and Deco procedures to Martin Smid. Martin is very lucky and can have extended periods of holiday time in Sharm, because of this he then went on to do more days of technical diving at that level building up his experience so that soon after he could make his Entry Trimix course. Martin has done really well in a short space of time and also will be joining us on the next technical safari to make his Advanced Trimix. Well done Martin.

 

 

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It is always nice when Emperor Divers staff want to become involved in technical diving and this autumn saw Emperor instructor Pete Walsh beginning his technical diving with the BSAC Accelerated Deco procedures course. Once again, instructor Chris

Armstrong was on hand to put him through his paces, (and I am sure he did) and Pete did successfully pass his course. Next stop Sports mixed gas, as soon as Manager Tammi gives him more holiday time! Welcome to the dark side Pete.

 

 

 

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Tekstreme Sharm also saw a familiar face return, Mattijn Buwalda who made his entry level TDI CCR course in the summer time with instructor Chris Armstrong was back out again to take the next step into CCR decompression diving. Mattijn had managed to get quite a lot of hours on the rebreather on his recent safari with Emperor Divers and felt ready to take the next step. Mattijn, found the course exciting and challenging and by the end of the week had achieved his goal. Well done. Mattijn, will also be joining us on the next technical safari to get even more hours on the unit and put into practice what he has now learnt. Mattijn, who is by trade a anesthesiologist, is also currently training to become a hyperbaric doctor, always handy to have onboard!

 

 

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Heading down the coast to mainland Egypt, Adventure man Marc Sluszny came back to do some more days of technical diving with instructor Cat Braun. Marc who is a very busy man, recently set the world record for the longest vertical forward run. (he ran down the Belgacom building in Brussels setting a new world record (15’56) in the Vertical Run discipline) It would kind of make sense then that when he comes out technical diving he wants to push the boundaries. On this trip, he only had three days, but we did manage to get a nice 100m dive in at Torfiet Ali, and we also began the exploration project of the House reef of Moreen beach (Emperor Divers location marsa Alam). From that dive Marc, Cat and Shaun Fox found a nice hard coral tongue heading down to 60m, with more exploration needed of the other parts of the reef.

Check out more about Marc and his adventures by heading to http://www.marcsluszny.com/

 

oceanic

The divers of Marsa Alam are so lucky to have the magnificent Elphinestone reef on their door step, so when two Russian technical divers came into Tekstreme Marsa Alam there was only one site they wanted to dive. Andrey and Andrey, both TDI Trimix divers wanted to explore the archway under south plateau as well as spend some time with the Oceanic White tip reef sharks. And so it was! After exiting the archway at 55m a very very curious Oceanic came down from the surface to visit us, which was a little bit surprising for our two Russian friends, they did not panic, buts lets just say they were caught a bit off guard! During the shallow water deco the same Oceanic was very interested in Cat Braun and Shaun Fox on the rebreathers, unfortunately the lack of bubbles to scare them aware meant that they were getting a very close up view! Elphinestone has to be one of the best reefs in the south by far!

For more information about the new location of Emperor Divers Marsa Alam click on the following link

http://www.emperordivers.com/marsa-alam-diving.php

ian barker

 

Whilst Cat Braun was down in Marsa Alam, returning English guest Ian Barker was back in Hurghada to make 11 days of technical diving. PADI Technical Instructor and guide Szilard Bardoz was on hand to be with Ian and over the course of the days make a nice steady depth progression so that when Cat Braun returned, Ian could make his deepest dive. A great 85m dive on the Gulf Fleet wreck was where this occurred, great visibility and no current meant that Ian’s deepest dive was not only a great dive but one of the most relaxing dives. Well done Ian. On Ians next trip he plans to increase his depth so he can see 100m on his computer, and we will be there with him.

 

 

kevin cox

Heading back over to Sharm, Tekstreme instructor and Red Sea Snapper owner Duncan Spenceley welcomed back a former Red Sea Snapper guest Kevin Cox to begin his technical diving courses. Under the supervision of Duncan, Kevin began with the PADI Tec 40. Not only did Kevin pass the course but enjoyed it so much he then went on to also make the Tec 45. Well done kevin. Tekstreme Sharm also saw the return of Dave Hurring. Dave, who has made all of his technical courses in Sharm with instructor Chris Armstrong, made the most out of the dive show special offers and was back out to enjoy two weeks of diving to escape the UK rain! Dave and Chris enjoyed multiple dives around Ras Mohamed, Tiran and Dahab during his time and really built up more Trimix diving experience and a small teasing introduction to cave diving! At the same time, Peter Bosmans was also out in Sharm. Peter managed to squeeze in a couple of days of technical diving with Tekstreme instructor and Red Sea Snapper co owner Steve Parry. The weather at this time was awesome; great visibility, warm waters and moderate currents certainly resulted in some great diving being had.

 

 

 

 

IMG_0426

 

And finally, back to Hurghada, Tekstreme guide Cat Braun, enjoyed a couple of days of diving with Michael Wilson. Michael who is a Trimix diver managed to sneak in a few days of technical diving on his holiday with the potential to persuade a few of his diving club to come and visit us next year. A couple of nice 65m dives were done on Giftun reef and the wreck of the Colona.

 

As we now move into December it does not get any quieter, with TDI Advanced Nitrox & deco courses, PADI Tec 40 & 45 courses, BSAC ADP courses, and some deep cave exploration on the list for the Christmas period, when will we find time for Christmas shopping?!

 

If you are looking to get a last minute holiday, drop us an email to Tekstreme@emperordivers.com

 

Until next time,

 

The Tekstreme team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrecks, wrecks and more wrecks!!

After the success of many technical safaris in 2011 and 2012 we start off 2013 with a technical safari to the Northern wrecks and reefs of the Red Sea. The trip will have a large emphasis on wrecks that can be found between Hurghada and the straits of Tiran. The wrecks are at various depths so suitable for a full range of technical diving levels.

Wrecks to include:

  1. El Mina = 21m – 32m
  2. Mohammed Hasebella = 21m – 32m
  3. Rosalie Muller = 30m – 45m
  4. Colona V = 53m – 70m
  5. Gulf Fleet = 83m – 105m
  6. Abu Nuhas = 12m – 30m
  7. Thistlegorm = 16m – 30m
  8. Lara = 45m – 73m
  9. Hebat Allah = 35m – 45m
  10. Dunraven = 20m – 30m
  11. Al Qamar Al Saudi = 60m – 95m

There will also be various reefs along the way:

  1. Small Giftun Wall
  2. Shark & Yolanda
  3. Shaab El Erg
  4. Tiran
  5. Thomas Canyon
  6. Shaabrugh Umm Gammar

(N.B – Wrecks and reefs subject to weather conditions)

Once again we will on board the wonderful Emperor “Elite”. With its spacious dive deck area, large compressors and fantastic chef who could ask for more! For more details of the boat simply click on the following link:

http://www.emperordivers.com/liveaboards-fleet-elite.php

The trip is only 1150 euros and is open to all levels of technical diver; open circuit or rebreather. Technical courses are also available on board on request.

Contact us for more details on how you can join our trip. Don’t delay as we only put a maximum of 16 technical divers on board and places are on a first come first served basis.

The trip date is 22nd February 2013 – 1st March 2013

Cat Parfitt – Technical Diving Manager

Tekstreme@emperordivers.com

Technical Scuba Diving in the Red Sea

Over the last few weeks we have experienced the full range of weather conditions that the country can throw at us and we always bounce back with vengeance.  We have had sandstorms, rain storms, clouds and sun in such a short space of time it has kept us on our toes! Saying that, it does appear as though things have settled down, the air temperature has soared and the water temperature is not far behind.

 

We have quite a few divers to congratulate this last month from all of our major resorts. Lets begin in the south. Cat travelled down to Marsa Alam to meet Kevin Munn who came out to join us to make his TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course. Unlucky for him it was one of the windiest weeks of that time, but that did not stop us.  Kevin who is a very experienced MSDT teaching in UK found it no drama to understand the theory and principles behind technical diving theory and passed all theory exams with ease. He has great control in the water and sailed through the advanced nitrox course. It was very unfortunate that he found that a previous shoulder injury was becoming a hindrance when trying to do gas shut down drills! Kevin will now go back and enrol in some Yoga courses and hopefully the flexibility will improve and he can make the final little steps to getting that Deco procedure qualification…. Or we see him back out with us to do side mount instead! Either way he will achieve his goals and soon we will see him at depth!

 

Heading across the seas to Sharm El Shiekh, we saw the return of Terry Hamilton. Terry begain his technical diving also in Marsa Alam, when he completed his PADI Tec 40 and 45. Terry then decided that Sharm was going to be the next location for him to extend his qualification though to Tec 50. Instructor Mark Chilton was waiting for him and to begin the training. After a couple of days of getting back on the swing of things and of course all the challenges that the course will present, we are pleased to announce that Terry successfully is now a PADI Tec 50 diver. Well done Terry. Now its time to get some more dives under your belt and when your ready you can get your trimix ticket.  During the course Terry made his final dive using a normoxic trimix and can really see the benefit that it has at such a depth. Nothing better than a nice clear head to make the final dive a bit easier.

 

 

 

 

Moving back to the mainland it was Cats turn to teach some PADI TecRec, 16 days of it!! Emperor Divers instructor and safari guide Szillard Bardozc has decided on a career move and decided that he would like to join the dark side as a technical diver.  In an intensive 16 days Szilard certainly proved that he was more than capable of being a technical diver and hopefully in the near future an instructor also. Szillard took to the skills and drills with little difficulties, and who’s only complaint about himself is when he lost buoyancy by 20cm!! he certainly sets the standard high for himself. Not only was Szilard learning to be a technical diver in the water, he was also learning about the most enjoyable part of technical diving…Filling tanks!!! After the 16 days, we can honestly say that he has had plenty of practise and can now also be classified as a qualified advanced gas blender. Yeh, less tanks for the rest of us to fill!

 

 

 

 

Szilard was not the only PADI instructor wanting to make a move into technical diving.  Tosson Islam from Cairo came down to join us to begin his path into technical diving. For Tosson his time out of the water meant that the courses were a bit more of a challenge but proved his skill levels as a PADI Tec 45 diver. Hopefully we will see Tosson back very soon to see if he can take it even further.

 

 

 

 

 

Moving back to Sinai, resident Red Sea Snapper staff and Tekstreme guide; Steve Parry has turned to the silent world of no bubbles. After doing a CCR try dive on the last technical safari, Steve was hooked from day one and could not wait to get back to resort to make his TDI CCR Deco procedures course. Instructor Chris Armstrong was at hand to put him through his paces and over the week they made many dives and practised all the skills and drills around the dive sites of Tiran and Ras Mohammed. Since completion of the course Steve has now purchased his own Evolution + and is getting in as many hours on the unit when he can. Well done Steve, keep it going.

 

 

We also have to say congratulations to the second partner in crime in Red Sea Snapper; Duncan Spenceley on completion of his PADI Trimix instructor and also Steve Parry on his Tec Deep instructor. Duncan also has recently purchased himself a CCR unit and together with Steve are out as much as they can. Both guys are now ready and waiting to teach their new levels, and in the mean time go bubble less diving.

 

Over the next coming weeks we have more guests joining us to make many more technical courses or guided technical dives. If you would like to join us here at Tekstreme for all levels of technical courses, from the very beginner to the instructor, whether you want to blow bubbles on open circuit or join the silent world of rebreathers, simply visit our website http://www.tekstremediving.com to find more information.

 

Until then from all of us here “Happy Tech diving”

 

Your Tekstreme Team

Whats been going on then???

 

Well, here we are once again. I feel it’s about time to keep everybody up to date with our recent technical activities. I must apologise for not producing the update earlier but the months seem to be flying by and I feel as though I have not had a single moment to stop and begin to put this together! Saying that, excuses aside, I captured this moment and so I will begin!

 

Ever since the beginnings of Tekstreme many moons ago, the company has always encouraged and developed the staff members of Emperor Divers to become technical divers and technical instructors. In-house training is essential in the maintenance of standards and consistency throughout the centres. To date, this approach has not changed.

 

 

Over the last few months Ahmed Osman, a PADI Instructor with Emperor Divers Hurghada, has completed his PADI Technical courses with me. Ahmed took too technical diving very comfortably and very soon he looked as happy in a twin set and technical equipment as he does in his normal recreational equipment. The skills presented to Ahmed were performed to a high standard and he took everything in his usual relaxed, confident, stride.

Currently Ahmed has completed his PADI Tec 40, 45 and 50, and hopefully he will have the opportunity to keep his newly learned skills up to date with more diving and then look forward to beginning some Trimix training in April. Well done Ahmed, keep it up.

 

 

Heading over to the Sinai, Tekstreme has had quite a few technical divers who have escaped the cold UK winter and have headed out to Sharm to make the most out of the warm Egyptian weather and enjoy some technical dives in clear waters.

 

Paul Bodell came over for a week of diving on his CCR “Evolution”. He was guided by instructor Mark (aka “Chill”) who made the most out the few days and got out his MEG CCR unit to enjoy some bubble free diving around the stunning sites of Tiran and Ras Mohammed.

Paul Murray & Yvonne Press also had the same idea as Paul and also escaped snowy UK to come out and refresh their open circuit skills. Paul and Yvonne, a PADI Trimix 65 diver and PADI Tec 45 diver respectively, had the pleasure of not only one technical guide with them but two! Duncan Spenceley and Steve Parry were both on hand to offer the best diving that they could around Sharm and Dahab.

 

 

 

Back over to the mainland side of Egypt and travelling down the coast to the quieter resort of Marsa Alam, Tekstreme welcomed Marc Sluszny from Belgium. Marc was out on holiday for the week with the family and wanted to squeeze in a couple of deep trimix dives. Marc who is well known for his extreme sports and national achievements makes no exception when it comes to diving. Marc will not be happy unless he is challenging his own boundaries and within technical diving this is no different. A sub 100m dive was the aim of the week. I travelled down to Marsa to dive with Marc and took with me support diver Shaun Fox to help Marc fulfil his mission. After three days of build up dives, Marc got the opportunity to achieve his mission and on the final day enjoyed a 110m dive at Torfeit Ali.

 

It was a pleasure to meet a man such as Marc who has such a great outlook on life and certainly a great believer in following your dreams and making things happen.

 

 

 

Back up to Hurghada Chris Knox came to join me for a TDI Advanced Eanx and Decompression procedures course. Chris, natively from New Zealand who now lives in Saudi Arabia, wanted not only to challenge himself with the course but noted that it would also be beneficial for his work back in Saudi. Chris often helps with many marine studies and finds that survey work can be restricted by no decompression limits, being able to make planned decompression dives not only will give him more opportunities in the water for these studies but it will make the work more efficient.

 

Chris proved to himself that he was more than competent to be a technical diver in all aspects, even the elusive art of mid-water smb deployment was almost looking good at the end!! Well done Chris.

 

We defiantly can’t forget to mention our technical safari that we went on at the end of January. We welcomed on board a group of employees from the Swedish company Alltnet. The main intention of the trip was training, and we had the full range of training going on, from open water training to Trimix training. The open water training was under the direction and supervision of Fredrik Nilsson, and Michael Bergstrom conducted the technical training from the Swedish technical diving company “Swedtech”. It certainly was a logistical challenge to say the least to combine all these levels of training, but we managed to put it together and everybody was happy. All divers successfully passed their relevant courses and had an enjoyable week. Many thanks to Rainer Amine, Fredrik Nilsson and Michael Bergström for their patience, organization and for making the trip happen!

 

 

I will round it up there and actually get back to doing some proper work. So until next time take care and happy technical diving.

 

Cat and the Tekstreme Team

 

P.S – Dont forget our next technical safari is in June to the Brother Islands and we do still have some places left. The trip is open to all levels of technical diver and technical training can be made on board through BSAC , TDI or PADI TecRec. Contact me directly for more information on how you can join us.

 

 

Who has time to think about Christmas!?

So we have only have 47 days left until Christmas, well this is apparently what I read, but in all honesty we have been way to busy to even start thinking that far ahead. At the moment we are thinking to only ahead to our next guests coming out to join us here at Tekstreme.

October is the month that generally marks the end of summertime for us. Slowly, slowly the dry suits start to creep out of the cupboards, shorts are exchanged for trousers, T shirts exchanged for jumpers and a cold drink exchanged for a hot chocolate!! Actually this year was a bit different, with air temperatures still relatively high and the water temperature still holding at around 27C. Does this mean that we are in for a warm winter…?

Our most recent guests were the lucky ones to have such good weather. Beginning with Paul Mason and Helen Lucas. As existing BSAC divers they came to Hurghada to join me to continue and begin their BSAC technical courses respectively. Helen to make her Sports Mixed Gas and Explorer Mixed Gas and Paul to make his Advanced Mixed Gas. The week of diving gave both divers a chance to develop their existing skills and learn new skills.  Paul did exceptionally well and is a well-rounded competent technical diver and took to the course easily and now will go away to continue to making deeper trimix dives in UK (weather permitting of course!) Helen also did very well for her first introduction to mixed gas diving. The dive planning, skills practise and general knowledge all-unquestionable. Helen qualified as a sports mixed gas diver and hopefully with just a few more dives will continue to complete her explorer mixed gas once back in UK. Well done to both of you, it was a very enjoyable week.

Next we had Martin Kerr and Linda Pooley arriving in Sharm to make their TDI Advanced nitrox and Decompression procedures course with Sarah. (October was the month for couples!) Both of them made good progress and in Linda’s words “actually enjoyed it more than what she thought!” Both of them will now go away and hopefully continue to make technical dives and hopefully we will see them back in the future to continue their training to Entry Trimix.

At the same time I was also over in Sharm to make another BSAC course but this time with Patrick Lamb. Patrick is an experienced dive leader and wanted to expand his capabilities to technical diving and so he decided the Sports Mixed gas was the way forward. The three days was a pleasure and Patrick did very well and passed the course well. Hopefully he will get some more dives in and you never know he may be back for the explorer mixed gas.

Over in Hurgada we saw the return of Eric Herinckx, this time back with us to make his PADI Trimix 65. Under the instruction of Mark Chilton Eric did well and qualified with confidence. It was a time when Hurghada saw all technical divers with no hair; Mark, Eric and Shaun all with nice shiny heads! Makes for quite a photo!! Eric for sure will continue his trimix path its just a matter of time!! Well done Eric.

Shortly after the departure of Eric, Hurghada welcomed back our former frequent guest Alain Goemaere, but this time was different, Alain was on a rebreather!! A few months ago Alain made his CCR course on a Revo and came out to us to get some hours up so that in the future he can continue through to mixed gases. It was also quite a sight to see Alain on his Revo, instructor Mark on his Meg and guide Shaun on his inspiration. No bubbles to be found!

Down in Marsa Alan instructor Jim had his first guest Richard Kurzyca. Richard is a qualified Entry Trimix diver but had been out of the water for some time, and so came back to make a refresher and once again build up his experience. Unfortunately for Richard he had previously had some shoulder surgery and was at the time unable to make gas shutdowns, but still managed to enjoy a good week of diving around the reefs of Marsa Alam.

Without forgetting that towards the end of month many of us flew over to UK for the annual dive show. Many thanks to all guests past, present and hopefully future that came to say hi, it was a great couple of days for us. (The food and drink was also quite nice!)

And so the month drew to the end and we start to look ahead to what November has in store….!

Check out the next blog to find out all about it.

Until then, happy safe deep diving from all of us here at Tekstreme.

Cat Parfitt

Tekstreme Manager

Tekstreme’s Monthly update

 

As we move into the summer months here in Egypt things have certainly been hotting up.

 

June, similar to the previous couple of months has been a very successful month for all of our guests here at Tekstreme.

 

To begin the month in Hurghada, Tekstreme welcomed back our good Belgium friend Aude Beliard. Aude came to us first to begin her PADI Technical diving courses 18 months ago. With true determination and commitment Aude has successful now become a PADI TMX 65 diver, with the upgrade to a full trimix diver booked in for September. Following up on her trimix course, Aude continued to make more days of technical diving to enjoy her new diving level. Alongside resident PADI instructor Pierre, the two of them made some awesome dives within the Hurghada area. Aude has been making her courses with myself from the beginning and it has been so rewarding to see her develop not only her diving skills, but her attitude towards technical diving also. It has been fantastic, and I personally can’t wait until September.

 

 

 

 

Shortly after Aude left us, we welcomed back once again Peter Brookes and Paul Veater. Both of these guys have dived Sharm, Hurghada and Marsa Alam before and wanted to try out El Gouna for technical diving. Both on open circuit, they enjoyed days of diving around the local sites with the biggest bonus being that of Rosalie Moller being on the door step. It was once again Pierre who was to be their guide and make sure all went well, and it certainly did. Many thanks to Paul and Peter for there complementary comments, we are glad they had a good time and look forward to the next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading over to Sharm we saw the return of Andrew Grundy. Andrew has made all of his previous PADI technical courses under the direction of our good old friend Chris Armstrong, who now has moved to Malta. It was going to be hard for a new instructor to come in and take over where Chris left off. Our replacement for tech instructor Chris, Mark Chilton, did a fantastic job and the boys had a great time making the PADI TMX 65 course, followed up by some extra days of tech diving to put into practise all that he had learnt. Well done to both Mark and Andrew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If that was not enough for Mark, he also had a fun day out on the boat with newly qualified PADI OWSI Craig Lawton. Craig has been diving in a twin set for a few dives but wanted to get a little taster of what technical diving is all about. Out on the boat with his partner, Craig got that experience. We now hope that he decides to take the next step and make his first technical course with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the same time in Sharm, Duncan Cooper & Lindsey Carpenter, came to join me to make their TDI Entry Trimix course. Personally for me it was a great 5 days spent with these guys. Both of them found the course a good learning experience and a positive way to develop there existing skills. Once again as an instructor I died on many occasion throughout the course (The sacrifices we must make as instructors!) but eventually they got me and them through the dives alive J Thanks for that guys. And my reward was to be treated to a fantastic Indian meal at the Camel Bar…very nice food J We look to see both of them back out again soon, and even maybe for their Advanced trimix.

 

Whilst all those courses were going on in Sharm we also had some “bubble makers’ (ha ha ha) joining the boats to enjoy some dives on their various CCR units. Soren reinke, was actually out for around three weeks (not sure where he gets his holiday time from!) Arne Voigi, came to join Soren in his final week and also lars Norup was out for a week. All three guests making some decent dives away from the noise and bubbles of us open circuit divers!!

 

 

 

 

 

Heading back over to Hurghada, we welcomed from France Eric Herinckx. Eric had been very keen to begin his technical diving courses for some time, and eventually managed to find the time to join up with French PADI Tec instructor Pierre to begin his courses. At the time of writing Eric has already completed the PADI Tec 40 and 45, and hopefully by the end of today he would have also completed his Tec 50. Good Luck Eric.

Last but by no means least we have to say a big congratulations to Eszta Dosa, one of Emperor Divers staff in Hurghada who finally got round to completing her TDI Basic and Advanced Gas Blender courses. Many thanks for helping us to fill tanks and you are more than welcome to fill all of the other tanks in the future J Well done Eszta.

 

So I think that sums up the month of June! As you can see its been a busy one all round, and all of us would like to thank the guests for their commitment to us here at Tekstreme.

 

Until next time, happy tech diving J

 

Cat and the Tekstreme team.

Where to begin…!

Wow, as May came to end we sit back and take a deep breath as for once gain it has been an intensive month for Tekstreme throughout our resorts. The only question is…where do I start when trying to go though everybody!!!

Mattjin & Cat

I guess we should start at the beginning of the month when we welcomed Mattijn Buwalda to Hurghada. Mattjin had recently returned from a trip to Bonaire where he achieved the rating of TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression procedures diver. Mattjin was keen to keep up his newly learnt skills and extend them with time. Cat was the instructor with Mattijn to take him through his week. It was an interesting 6 days with news skills being taught and practised, diving techniques mastered and theoretical knowledge developed. Mattjin will be back with us at Tekstreme in July to hopefully make his crossover to PADI Technical courses which was always his initial aim. Hopefully we can complete the PADI Tec 50 and who knows what else.

Also during the week with Mattjin he discovered the finer arts of gas blending and became a TDI Basic Gas blender. Well done Mattjin, next is the trimix blender.

At the same time but over in Sharm we saw the return of Dave Hurring. Dave has been a long time guest of Tekstreme and has made all of his technical courses under the direction of instructor Chris Armstrong. Dave returning on this occasion to make his PADI Trimix course. It was quite a significant course as it was also the last course taught by Chris before he left Egypt to start a new venture in Malta. We are sad to see him go but wish him all the best for his new life and for sure we will keep in touch.

Dave Hurring

Congratulations to Dave on completion of his course and hopefully we see you again soon to put all those new skills to the test.

Shortly after the departure of Dave, we welcomed back a long running guest and friend; Mark Chenoweth. Normally you can find Mark diving out of Hurghada but this time he fancied a change and headed to the heights of Sharm. Mark made a good week of deep air dives with technical guide Sarah. Also diving with Mark was the latest addition to the Tekstreme team; Mark Chilton. Mark has come in to take over where Chris left off. We are very happy to have him as part of the team and wish him all the best for a happy Tekstreme future.

At the end of Mark Chenoweth’s diving week, Sarah managed to use her persuasive manners to convince mark to make a rebreather try-dive…and he loved it! Hopefully nest time he will be back with us to make his first level inspiration course.

Mark Chenoweth

Heading back over to Hurghada two rebreather divers came to join us for the week. Paul McKenzie and Doug Norton. Both on their inspirations they enjoyed a very relaxed week of rebreather diving around the Hurghada area. The weather was awesome and good dives were had at the wrecks of Abu Nuhas, Small Giftun and Abu Ramada.

Mid way through the month we sent CCR guide Shaun Fox on a little jolly on safari for the week. The boat was fully charted by an English group who had two technical divers on board on their CCR units and who wanted to make some slightly deeper dives whilst on their trip.

The trip was to the northern end of the Red Sea and dives were made around Ras Mohammed, Thistlegorm, Rosalie Moller, Abu Nuhas and many more reef dives. Diving as a three with all divers on Inspirations it certainly was a silent world!

Back over to Sinai, instructor Sarah began some BSAC technical courses with Jan Haastrop. Jan has travelled from Doha to enjoy some courses and diving in the Red Sea. He began with accelerated decompression procedures, before moving onto Sports Mixed gas and explorer mixed gas. During his stay he also managed to learnt and finer points of gas blending and became a fully qualified BSAC gas blender.

Well done Jan, next time you can get a break from work let’s get your through advanced mixed gas.

Jan Haastrop

May also welcomed back the familiar faces Paul Harding, Paul Ayres and Soren Reinke. Paul once again came out to make some dives with his KISS rebreather, Paul and Soren both on their Inspirations. Paul Ayres managed to squeeze in a few technical diving days where they explored the reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed with technical guide Mark Chilton. Hopefully next time you can be allowed more time!! (and maybe Emma comes to join us?!)

I think the final guest of the month was American Eric Vinik. Unfortunately Eric did not have so much time in resort, but still managed to squeeze in a refresher tech dive from the beach at Sharks bay before a full day of tech diving on the boat with Mark.

As the month came to and end we already begin to roll into June and off we go again!

The more we work, the less trouble we get into…!

Many thanks to all guests and we look forward to seeing you all again some time soon.

Take Care

The Tekstreme Team