at TekCamp 2012!
I was lucky enough to be invited to spend a day at TekCamp by Amy and Martin Stanton, the owners of Vobster Quay who are also the creators and organisers of this event. TekCamp is an annual 5 day celebration of technical diving is for people who are interested in this type of diving or those looking to improve their technical diving skills they already possess.
It is a multi-training agency event and I was there along with Deborah Sutton, Matthew Clements and Richard Somerset to run the PADI TecRec stand, to answer any questions about PADI’s technical diving courses, try some shiny new diving equipment and be a safety diver for the experience dives that were being conducted.
My first dive of the day was as a safety diver for PADI’s own Vikki Batten who was going to be reviewing buoyancy skills and finning techniques for a group of excited and enthusiastic divers. I made sure I listened intently to her briefing to double check I have been finning correctly. Joking aside I did pick some cool tips and will be practicing them when I go diving next. I watched the group first practice on the surface before we descended down to do the skills and have some fun on top of the Jacquin II wreck.
My second dive was with Howard Payne and Jason Brown. They very kindly took me in for a familiarisation dive on a T16 Halcyon scooter (a Diver Propulsion Vehicle or DPV) to look at the buoyancy control and skills needed plus the different types of turns. After about 5 minutes of practicing on what they called a slow setting (which seemed fast to me!) they cranked up the speed and we were soon whizzing over the different underwater attractions, through the concrete tubes and in and out of the plane fusilage.
All too soon they were signalling that it was time to go up and I had the same feeling you get at a fairground when the bumper cars/dodgems stop signalling the end of your turn and you just want to hand over some more money to carry on! Jason took down a GoPro video camera and has promised to send me the footage so watch this space!
The scooter I dived with was so quick it was like being pulled along by an underwater jet ski and I have seriously considered selling all my fins to put the money together to buy one! Phil Short, one of the technical instructors at TekCamp, showed me his custom built £9000 scooter which had a range of 14 kilometres so he can go in and out of caves!
This was a great event and I would like to thank Amy and Martin Stanton, the entire Vobster Quay team, the manufacturers that attended and all the technical diving instructors and safety divers that took part for making this such a good showcase of technical diving and how exciting it can be. However looking back on the week I am not sure if I can afford or even find space to hide a scooter in my shed!