Tag Archives: PADI Tec Sidemount

Rec/Tec Sidemount Class

Rec/Tec Sidemount Class
Rec/Tec Sidemount Class

UWE and Ocean Quest Dive center is excited to congratulate everyone who has completed the Rec/Tec Sidemount Class which was run in Jan.  We had seven people taking either the Recreational Sidemount or Technical Sidemount training with us.  We also had one student working on his Recreational Sidemount instructor course.

Our Rec/Tec Sidemount Class is done over a 4 day period of time with one evening being a classroom session that not only discusses Sidemount, the benefits of diving sidemount.  The many different configurations for Sidemount, and also we work on the skills we will be conducting in the pool and ocean in the classroom so we can practice good form.  We also stress that we do things to make getting into Sidemount a little more user friendly, things such as longer chokers and tail clips so when you are learning it is less frustrating getting in and out of your set up.  We also stress that as you become more comfortable with diving sidemount, you can tailor your set up, shorten chokers, everything to make it more streamlined.  We also show you that we a training to dive open ocean sidemount, not Cave sidemount, so things will be a little different then what is read on all these forms that discuss how things must be, but do not address the issues with cold water, dry gloves and open ocean.  Everything you learn with us, can be tailored for the environment you are diving in.

Our pool session covers advanced fining techniques, lost regulator procedures, S drills, Valve drills,  as well as detaching and swimming with the cylinders in front of the diver.  We also stress proper trim, which is so very important in your proper diving position.  As the training progress, we will conduct video play back so you can see what you are actually doing during the skills practice and we find that people improve so much more quickly by seeing what they look like in the water.

Once the pool session is completed we head to the ocean. In order to be successful in the Recreational training you need to complete at least three dives and demonstrate proper and say skill execution.  We continue to stress proper trim, which we see improvement from the pool, though not perfect, you can still be successful and complete the course and struggle with trim.  Trim is mastered by diving, and though it is easy once you are able to do it, it does take practice.  To complete the Tec Sidemount part of the training there are two additional dives that you must complete with wearing up to 4 cylinders, and complete the various skills that you need to demonstrate.    We use the Tec Sidemount course as the stepping stone to the Tec 40 training as we need to have good bottle handling skills in order to be successful in the Tec 40 program so its a good idea to take this prep course.

Once again well done to everyone for their great work on the Rec/Tec Sidemount Class.  Interested in taking the Sidemount course, feel free to email us or call Ocean Quest so we can make arrangements with your training.


June’s Tec Sidemount Course

Sidemount Pool Training
Sidemount Pool Training

UWE and Ocean Quest and very pleased to announce that we have completed another Tec Sidemount Course.  In our course we had Mike, Tori, Bryan and Chris.  We started out in the classroom where we learned all the new things we needed to know in order to set up your sidemount rig.  We also covered the importance of Awareness as well as conducting the NOTOX switches in order to keep yourself safe in during the various bottle switches that occur during a Tec Dive.

The next time we met we were in the poo conducting all of the basic Sidemount skills, then we increased everyone’s knowledge as we introduced another two cylinders, specifically they were being used as simulated Deco and Stage bottles.  Everyone did a great job, so it was off to the ocean!!

Recreational Sidemount Training
Tec Sidemount Class

During day one of the Ocean dives we were operating out at Whytecliff Park, where the current was unbelievable and the visibility was next to nothing.  Everyone was up to the task though and successfully completed the dives that we were required.  The next day we decided to head over to Tuwanek in order to complete the training dives with a more user friendly dive site….current was nil and visibility was unbelievable!!

Well done to everyone!  Interested in learning to learn to dive sidemount, be sure to either contact Ocean Quest, or UwExplorers and allows to schedule a course.  Don’t miss out on all the fun!!

Deep Extended Range

Everything ready to go
Enough Bottles

UWE and Ocean Quest are excited to announce we have three new Deep Extended Range Divers.  Roland, Mike and Travis completed an intensive three days of training.  First was the new dive theory that you learn in the classroom.  This is the PADI Deep course on steroids.  We cover the normal deep knowledge development but then we go in depth in your SAC rate calculation, Deep Stops, as well as the importance of Awareness and advanced Propulsion techniques such as the modified Frog kick, helicopter turns and then of course the reverse fining.

We completed this section with video’s and of course some white board work.  From there we went into Stage Bottle Set up, NOTX switches and then we took our time and calculated and Extended Range dive using Enriched air and doing exact gas calculations to ensure we had the proper amount of gas with us, we calculated our turn pressure, rock bottom and then our advanced safety stop techniques.  During this course it is important that we utilize Deep stops, and then we do a minimum 6 – 8 safety stop in order to make sure we have off gassed enough Nitrogen in order to exit the water safely.

Multiple Cylinders in Sidemount
Sidemount configuration

Saturday was the first day in the water, and the first occasion that the students had the opportunity to dive with stage bottles.  In the Deep Extended Range course it’s important to know proper configuration in order to ensure we have enough safety gas available just in case there is failure.  Once under the water we worked on fining techniques, and then we did a SAC swim so everyone could get enough data to calculate their gas requirements.  We did bag drills where the diver needs to successfully launch their SMB, but also maintain their current depth and position, once again Awareness is front and center in this kind of training.  Once the Bags were deployed we did our first stops at 30 feet, where the students needed to do the correct NOTOX Switch to their safety cylinder and ensure that a proper switch was completed.

Dive two on the Saturday we did our descent to 100 feet, and did the skills needed in dive two of the PADI Deep course, and then with the ascent we did deep stops, and out of air and share air drills in the 20 foot level, once again ensuring our Awareness was not affected.  Well done for Day one of the Deep Extended Course!

Gas Mixture analysis
Roland confirming his Gas Mixture

Day two, we all met at Ocean Quest in order to analysis our gases, on this day we would be diving on 30% Enriched Air for the bottom gas, and our stage bottles would have 40 Enriched Air for our second level and gas switch.  Everyone did an awesome job confirming their gas and then planning the dive.  The plan was to descend down to 120 feet, and spend approximately 11 minutes at depth then ascent to 60 ft and do a gas switch to the 40% cylinder.  This effectively gave us about 60 minutes of allowable No Decompression Limit

Congratulations to Everyone
Congratulations to Everyone

once to conducted our gas switch.  Our plan was to be at the safety stop with 2000 psi left in the stage bottle and then do our extended safety stop on the back gas.

The dive plan though what seemed complicated was executed perfectly.  We conducted one more dive at Tuwanek, and on completion Ocean Quest had 3 new Deep Extended Range divers!! Well done guys!!

Tec Sidemount

Tec Sidemount
Tec Sidemount

UWE and Ocean Quest are excited to announce that we have completed the first Tec Sidemount course at Ocean Quest.  Dale and Mariusz have successfully completed our Tec Sidemount course.  Mariusz had completed his Rec Sidemount back in Sept, and joined in for the Tec Sidemount.  Dale, came to us with no Sidemount training, and tacked both the Rec and Tec Sidemount course.  Well done to both of you!!

The course started back in early December with a classroom session and then a 2 and half hour pool session.  The first Ocean day we concentrated on Rec skills, Dale was up to the challenge, and improved with each passing dive.  Due some gear problems, we were not able to complete the the dives on the Sunday so we ended up completing them today.  Everyone one did a fabulous job today.

Well done on the skills today guys, congrats on successfully completing the Tec Sidemount course!!

Tec Sidemount pool night…..

Stuart from Ocean Quest Dive Centre, filmed and edited the Tec Sidemount pool night….. where Greg, Jeff Loflin and Kevin Kidd exposed many of the Vancouver Dive community to the advantaghes of Sidemoung diving.  Each person who participated had an opportunity to try single sidemount, and then double sidemount.

Each person got approximately 30 minutes to swim around in the pool utilizing the sidemount equipment, which was the SMS 100 from Hollis, and the Hollis SMS regulators.  Overall everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.  Low and behold 3 weeks later we were able to teach our first Sidemouung Course with 7 students


New Rec Sidemount Instructor Rating

PADI Sidemount
PADI Sidemount

UWE is excited to announce that we have qualified and have been certified as the PADI Recreational Sidemount Instructor rating from PADI.  After completing the Tec Sidemount Diver level course that was taught by Jeff Loflin, back in Jul, we have been out getting our dive nmubers up inorder to reach the number needed to certify as an instructor.  We have had many shore dives as well as a set up boat dives on sidemount.

I have to admit Sidemount is living up to the expectations I have had for it.  Diving from a boat is a breeze, shore diving is simple.  There is less wear and tear on the body from lugging around heavy tanks on my back.  I simply bring the tanks into the water with me, and I strap them on and swim off like there is nothing on me.  I like the redunancy, and I have to say it is so very easy to stay in trim.

Greg and I headed out last Wednesday and conducted a Tec Decompression Sidemount dive.  I found it so comfortable in 4 bottles, and the dive went off without a hitch.  I enjoyed so much the easy of this formate of diving.  Ocean Quest has scheduled a course for mid August and the numbers are climbing for participants.  One thing Jeff siad when he started his presentation and it was keep an open mind.  I have, and I am glad I have.  Have an opion, provide yourself with and informed, come on out and give it a try on our course….after all what do you have to loose.

If you have any questions let me know. Cheers!