Today by all accounts was an eventful day! A full 11-hour day of preparation and diving myself, James, JT and Adam are sitting reviewing the progress of the day.
NDAC again provided the perfect setting and today soundtrack to our final day. Today NDAC provided a constant stream of music over the loudspeakers, due to ‘The Bungee’ being on site for the next 3 days. More than once I found myself dancing in the car park. After a 7am start for the remainder of the TXR academics, we arrived at NDAC for 9am and began to set up for the deep Normoxic qualifying dive. During the short journey to NDAC, I could sense that James and JT were feeling nervous about this mornings dive with Adam; one went quiet and the other assertive. Post gas planning, mixing and kit rigging, underwater Adam did his best to stress James and JT, making them perform shutdowns and deal with failures at a depth of 60 meters. They were not allowed to break their depth and with no platform these tasks certainly tested them both. I acted as support diver for the trio and entered the water 39 minutes into their dive when their decompression stops had brought them to 12 meters, after a further 20 minutes we all surfaced, happy and triumphant. Adam was thoroughly impressed with the way James and JT handled the problems noting that their skill level was “much higher than expected”. Having spoken to James and JT, they now want to hone their skills to absolute perfection.
I also got the opportunity to dive and explore NDAC today, after a suitable surface interval the guys took me in for a dive to 40 meters exploring the purpose sunk items in the quarry. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the double decker bus, helicopter, plane, trombone and ironing board! I found it a great training experience for buoyancy control and water positioning and I am excited to get back to Newquay and when the weather clears get back diving, trialing my new water positioning with the swell and sometimes poor visibility of the sea.
Adam interrupts my thought process to put us all through a stress test. This is a great training tool for students and proves that taking just one minuet to relax and calm down in a stressful situation can massively increases the amount of time that a single breath can last by at least 50% or more! Always remember when these situations occur to stop, think, breath and then act.
James Swain’s summarised the past three days, as “one of the most amazing experiences, the amount we have learnt and the progression that we have made has been amazing I personally, as a guy who isn’t known for his complimentary manner, I think that Adam Wood is an amazing instructor, diver and stand up guy. Very deserving of all my compliments.”
James Taylor’s thoughts on the past three days: “today has definitely been the best day of the course, the learning curve continues but I am looking forward to getting some Normoxic dives done. Sitting here now I can feel the last three days, but roll on whatever the next diving experience brings!”
Adam told me: “I get a lot of people who say they are good at what they do, and that they are ready for the training they have signed up for, it is infrequent that I actually meet many and who challenge me to raise my own game. It is exactly the level of quality education and diving ability that I am hoping to bring to SSI TXR.”
Tomorrow we head back to Newquay, having thoroughly enjoyed our Welsh excursion and all learnt a lot about technical and recreational diving equipment, configuration and practice. This evening’s conversation has changed from open circuit to closed circuit rebreathers, a potential next step for Dive Newquay.