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I've been diving for some time now and have been happy to stick with the regular salt/fresh water dives above 40 meters. The problem is I've developed a morbid interest (like many) for wrecks and want to get more involved.
What is the best route for a "stroke" to become adequately qualified to dive deeper, longer and on wrecks?
 

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You could do worse than to move to twins (if you're not already using them), then do the TDI deco procedures course and then do the TDI Trimix course.

You will get other opinions on the 'best' route to take, so seek as much advice as you can here and then make your decision.

Good luck and hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Thanks Bren,
This is going to seem so stoooopid to some of you but..
What is the deal with twins? I realise you have more valve options, air etc but I dont know that I would just walk into a shop and buy a set. I really have not got a clue to be honest.
For example, wont I need some sort of "wing" with a twin set? Can I sort out the bouyancy myself with these or will it need training?
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Duiker @ June 13 2003,10:29)]Thanks Bren,
This is going to seem so stoooopid to some of you but..
What is the deal with twins? I realise you have more valve options, air etc but I dont know that I would just walk into a shop and buy a set. I really have not got a clue to be honest.
For example, wont I need some sort of "wing" with a twin set? Can I sort out the bouyancy myself with these or will it need training?
Twins - extra gas + redundancy of supply.

New wing - not necessary if your existing BCD has enough lift BUT wings give you a better position in the water and you will probably need to get something with more lift (keep your old BCD for use on single cylinder dives).

No, you can sort your own buoyancy out in shallow water. Abt 50 bar gas in the cylinders then add/take off weight until you float with full lungs and no air in the BCD/wing and sink when you breath out (ideally). The crucial bit is to be able to hold your 3 mtr safety/deco stop with nearly empty cylinders.

You can buy/order the cylinders anywhere - even by phone over the internet.

Given your lack of knowledge on the subject I would do one of the advanced courses first  (as mentioned by Bren) as kit configuration is discussed at at length (I did TDI to). There are a few options to consider e.g. manifolded or not.

Another consideration is given the expense of the kit (inc extra 1st/2nd stage bits) had you considered going down the rebreather route?
 

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Hi Duiker,

No need to apologise mate and your questions don't appear in the slightest bit stupid - we all had to start some where and the diver who thinks he's/she's the 'finished article' is the diver you should avoid.

Yes, my preference would be to dive twins with a wing - that said, I've never dived twins with a BCD, although I have heard folks who have complain that it doesn't give enough lift. Again, you'll get differing opinions on this point.

Where are you based mate?? Are you a 'Cloggie'?? Or are you in the UK?? If you're in the UK, we can get you squared-away with a local instructor who can advise on your twin set-up and get you in the water so you can sort out your weighting and buoyancy control correctly - as the act of 'flying' a wing needs slightly different disciplines to a BCD, and weighting is essential to maintain correct buoyancy.

And yes, you can just walk into a dive shop and purchase twins, manifold/valves and bands. My own rig looks like this:

1 x Halcyon Explorer Wing (single bladder, 55 lbs of lift)
1 x Stainless Steel back-plate
1 x Halcyon harness
2 x Faber 12 litre cylinders (steel)
1 x MDE Manifolded valves
1 x set of OMS bands
2 x Poseidon Jetstream Regs (one with a 2 metre long hose)
3 x Sherwood 'tactile' rubber valve knobs (personal choice and NOT essential)

Hope that helps mate. If you have ANY other questions, just fire them in - there are divers on here with far more twins experience than I have who may offer you a counter or alternative view e.g. some folks prefer to dive their twins as independents (i.e. non-manifolded) and/or as 'Twinverts'.

Cheers,
 

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I am quite sure there are wrecks in your area that can be dived on the experience and equipement you have, not all wrecks are in 50m+.

Find a club interested in wrecks and go on their shallower dives to get the feel of what you are doing. Try some simulated deco stops during your dives to get the experience of what is involved, use both a shot line and delayed smb in case you don't find the shot line when you need it. Then just go and do it, building up your experience gradually.

I don't know your equipement but a main cylinder and 3lt pony would suffice for most early dives. I would not go on a trimix or such course without getting the wreck experience first, its a lot better to screwup at 20m on air than 50+ on trimix.

I am quite convinced that many tech diving wreck deaths are caused by lack of experience on wrecks where a little knowledge gained at shallower depths would have avoided the incident.

The trimix course and such is the easy part to get, the school of hard knocks is on the wreck.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>My two cents worth
Twinsets: obvious advantage is more gas but more importantly redundant air supply. with independants you can get going more cheaply by using soft cam bands with your current BCD. How much lift in your BCD ? Stuff like the Buddy Commando can handle twin 12s, (though like most here I prefer a wing) so going that route could get you twinned up for the cost of an extra tank and soft cam bands. But in a FUBAR you don't have access to the air in an independant if you'ge got a terminal free-flow.

Manifolded twins with no isolator - can shut down a free-flowing reg but could still lose gas if there is a problem with the pillar valve

Manifoded twins with isolator - the safest option and IME the commonest confiuration; even in the event of a PV problem can still isolate and save the gas in t'other tank.

Courses - IMVHO, absolutely not essential in the first instance; I got my twins and wing and started using them before doing stuff like Deco Proc course but still diving in the <30m range. It's actually easier (IMO) than diving 15L + Pony as twins sit better on your back.

The "experienced" guys in my old club used to treat 'diving twins' with the same mystique as doing an untethered spacewalk - as long as you're comfortable with the extra weight of the kit it's no different to diving singles. Having said that I once saw a "new-ish" Dive Leader using twins (12s) for the first time and he couldn't even cope with his kit well enough to look after his trainee, which was bloody irresponsible.

For going deeper I'd say most divers would benefit from extra formal training, I (and others here) can recommend the TDI Deco Proc course. Are you nitrox trained? if not might be beneficial to do a combined nitrox/deco proc course.

Some divers (I believe Mark Chase is one) limit theirselves to 45M for air and prefer to use normoxic trimix for +45m. Personally, I see myself going that way for +45m dives in this country, even though my BSAC limit is 50m on air, I just don't want to be narked at that depth.

Just for comparison my setup is:
2x10L 232bar with MDE isolator manifold (got them S/H , a bargain at £220 just tested for first time  
  )
OMS 100lb "Batwing"
single bladder, red and bungied
OMS "IQ" harness (the newer pocketless version)
Twin Tx40s one on DST 1st stage, one on DS4,  long hose on primary, normal length hose on secondary,
Single SPG
normal length BCD inflator
ND Schrader "Blowgun" drysuit Valve and Hose (for filling dSMB etc)
3X Sherwood tactile knobs
apparently unbranded SS twinning bands (I can't see any logos)
CD Valve guards

All of which is inverted 'cos I don't have Gibbon-length arms like Gav and like the ease and speed of being able to shut-down in an instant
 

HTH
Steve

Added later in relation to Angus's post -  I don't what diving you've done to date Duiker, but I have (rightly or wrongly) assumed that you've done at least some wreck dives before this point and know how to deploy a dSMB.

I personally don't think there's any mystery to finning around an artificial reef (which is what most wrecks are to me), and I've certainly done "first OW dives" with trainees where it's been a shallow wreck, IIRC I did The Breda (about 15-28m) with about 10 logged dives.
Of course wreck penetration would be a whole other ball game, but even then, it's not rocket science to lay out a line.
It's gets a bit more challenging when you're diving wrecks from a RIB (or even a smaller inflatable)  and have to locate the wreck with transits and echo sounder, shot the wreck (an art in itself) recover the divers etc etc.   If you're a BSAC diver most of this (plus other good stuff)  is covered in Advanced Diving Techniques which I can highly recommend
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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I guess that If I explain my situation the reason for this post may be a little clearer? It should answer some of the questions raised at least?

I moved out to Holland three years ago just as I was re-discovering diving after a long lay off. Since then I’ve tried hard to work on my qualifications. My log book is slowly filling up and my experience grows every week. The club I belong to (CMAS) is well organized but remains a little difficult due to the language and cultural difference (I speak Dutch but I will always be “The Englishman” I guess). Over here there is so much bloody water that inland diving is often favored as the whole thing is easier to do. I dive twice a week at as many as six different locations in up to 65M of water that are no more than 15 minutes drive from home. When its so easy its not always as easy to persuade buddies to drag themselves away from family and to the coast each weekend, charter a boat, pay for gas etc. Your average Dutch guy would not see the sense in spending all that cash to do what he can do in his own back yard (the Dutch have the same “tight” reputation on the mainland as the Scots do back home and its completely true! Eddie will back me up). Because of this my logbook shows a little over half my count in fresh water. As such my experience on offshore wreck diving is a little limited but not non-existent.

I’d really like to get involved in more offshore diving, particularly on wrecks, but need to know what I should expect, what type of training will allow me to dive to some deeper wrecks if required and what kit I’ll need.
Perhaps I’m being naïve but I felt that a good tech diving course, which covers wreck diving, would be beneficial at any depth and allow me to begin diving wrecks anywhere so as to gain the very experience I need to progress deeper. Lets face it where am I going to find a buddy who would dive with me at the moment? If I have the training at least I am more likely to be seen as a competent diver who just needs an experienced buddy, not a nanny.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I work with a couple of Dutch guys, not at all like I expected the Dutch to be, a bit overly straitlaced
(no larfs in this lab
  )

Well if you CMAS club aren't up for going off-shore, you might wanna buddy up with other divers who are; there are three BSAC branches listed in Holland, if they're anywhere near you you might wanna check them out as BSAC does tend to be very wreck-oriented and they will be happy to recognise your CMAS status
HTH
Steve

BSAC go Dutch  
 

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Hi,

Here's my bit, I want to stay away from actual kit, but to say, in my opinion, to do the deeper wrecks in this country or for that matter elsewhere, twins and wings are essential. The wing issue is solved very quickly when you start to want to do long bottom times with decompression. You need enough lift from the wing to raise the twins and stages. The reality is simple, e.g. Yesterday we did a wreck that was in 60m of water, we didn't get that deep, rather stayed at 55m, looking around in the holds. I had twin 12's, and two 7 stages, my 12's had an 18/40 mix and I left with 210 bar did 30 mins on the bottom plus the deep stops and ended with 80 bar. The stages were EAN36 started with 220 bar ended on 150 Bar, and EAN 80 started with 220 Bar ended on 90 Bar.

My point is, if wrecks fascinate you, then bottom time becomes very important, which means you will move into long deco times, you will need to accellerate your deco to have enough gas to get home so you carry stages. You need a wing to have enough lift to carry all the metal work.

At this point training is essential, like a lot of others I am TDI trained, it's good. They will help you choose and configure your kit without any particular bias to a method. If you want to be DIR / hogarthian compatible then fine, if not then that is OK also.

Andrew
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Duiker @ June 12 2003,11:19)]What is the best route for a "stroke" to become adequately qualified to dive deeper, longer and on wrecks?
That really depends on whether you just want to become a deep wreck diving "stroke" or if you mean that you currently think of yourself as a "stroke" but would like not to be and want the best training available for the dives you want to do. Which is it??


Regards

Mark.
 

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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I was so carefull, I even mentioned Hogarthian configurations to head of the you've got to be DIR bit.


IT IS NOT THE ONLY WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrew
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>He mentioned the "S" word first  
I only want to clarify what he meant by the quoted statement.  


Regards,

Mark.

PS.
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] IT IS NOT THE ONLY WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I never said it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Interesting you mention the BSAC clubs as I went along once to see if I liked the people etc. (just one club mentioned is active in any way, the Ranstad Harings)
To be honest I think I might have gone on a bad night as it was a bit of a disaster. They are a little far from me too (40 miles in heavy Friday night traffic).

As for the "S" word I guess I'm just using what TDave said:
[/QUOTE]My personal opinion is that, in its most basic form, what Irvine was trying to get at is that a STROKE is someone who is not prepared (in your opinion) for the dive they are about to undertake with you. In an exagerated example, it could be likened to someone with no technical or overhead experience wanting to undertake a dive with someone who is.

Guess that description might include me if I were not trying to do something about it.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Actually, my BSAC club is over 100 miles from me (they're in Bridlington , I'm on Tyneside) but as diving inherently involves long travel if i want to dive with them it's not tht much of a problem. Plus if I wanted to do one of the Skill Development courses, such as that  ADT course I mentioned, I don't need to do it with the club as these things are run by the Regional Team, don't know if they have such a thing abroad though.

Should be no problem to find a TDI course over there though.
Chee-az
Steve

TDI Netherlands
Abdis Clementinastraat 2
NL-6041 VC Roermond
Netherlands Contact: Roel Nizet
PH: 0031 475 420 276
FX: 0031 475 420 277
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ June 13 2003,11:44)]
<font color='#000F22'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Some divers (I believe Mark Chase is one) limit theirselves to 45M for air and prefer to use normoxic trimix for +45m. Personally, I see myself going that way for +45m dives in this country, even though my BSAC limit is 50m on air, I just don't want to be narked at that depth.

40m in the UK, but thats close enough for jaz M8


Even then it depends on the dive. If I am planing a long deco or wreck penitration, etc. I will dive He in the mix below 35 to keep my head crystal clear.

If you are not advanced Nitrox then you will need that before Deco Procedures and you can do TDI .Entry Level Trimix]. That will qualifie you to 18% 02 max depth 60m. You can then upgrade later if sub 70m beckons

If you want to do Full trimix streight away you have to do extended range first which is costly.

From what you described you are an experianced up to 40m diver with single and pony. I sugest upgrading to twin's and geting your pony 02 cleen.

I started doing reg swaps to pony / stage on no deco dives and just simulating the deco then I mooved up to doing proper accelorated deco dives in the 30 -40m range using a rich mix of say 60% in the pony and planing no longer than a 15min hang with only 10m on the rich mix at 6m. This wil get you used to holding long shalow stops and breathing off of a stage. Dives should be planned with bail out deco on back gass as a definate option as a 3ltr is too small to carry significant redundent deco mix.

Keeping to a 50 -60 percent deco mix is going to alow a balance with back gas. A 10min plan on 80 or 100 % would be demanding a 30min reserve of back gas.

This will get you into run times, gas planning, and the use of deco tables.

Down load one of the free gas planing softwhere pacs and you can get into proper planning with run times and bail out plans etc.

Once you get past this stage in your development you will find that you require a 7ltr stage. At this point the BCD is a bit stressed in the lift department and your running out of D rings for that extra kit so a wing is a good move.

Personaly I went for full famalierisation with wing, twins and slung stages before the Deco Procedures course which made the course a bit redundent in the end, but I had a lot of help from my deep mentor. You can do deco procedures on a single and no sling, but whats the point?

As for wings I would look at CD, OMS and Halcion this is bassed on the fact I own a CD and all the people I know with the OMS and Halcion love them. See the thread on wings for comments on the CD rig.

For a first sub 40 dive I would reccomend a wreck that is depth flexable and will alow you to hit the bottom and spend 10 mins down there than come up to a more comfortable level for the rest of the dive. So a wreck that is 5+m prowd of the silt is a good idea.

I did the Moldavia which was 50 to the gravel 10+ m viz on most dives (Up to 30m on occasion) and allowed an interesting dive at 45m. Go for a nice big comfortable boat to kit up on preferably with a lift and a clam and experianced buddy. Planning and preporation is everything.


I have twin 12's
Custom Divers 50lb lift single bladder wing and SS plate
Two 7ltr stages
Apex regs TX50 main and rich deco TX40 back up and Alpher 7 travel gas ALL DIN. Long hose on the main reg. Omny swivel on the rich deco reg for comfort on long hangs.


I am not an expert by any meens but I started recently enough to remember a few problems and pit falls so any thing you want to ask please do.


Atb

Mark Chase
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ June 14 2003,09:26)]Go for a nice big comfortable boat to kit up on preferably with a lift and a clam and experianced buddy. Planning and preporation is everything.
Hi Mark,
           What's a clam?

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Thanks guys, I'll check out the TDI course. Thanks for the details!
 

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Anything I can do to help as well mate - just wondering why you're so concerned about what's hanging off your bike - care to enlighten us?
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (peter k @ June 14 2003,17:07)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ June 14 2003,09:26)]Go for a nice big comfortable boat to kit up on preferably with a lift and a clam and experianced buddy. Planning and preporation is everything.
Hi Mark,
           What's a clam?

Peter
<font color='#000F22'>Whops that would be a typo for Calm
 
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