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 MALTA - 2011

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sheelagh
Dive Master & AMED
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PostSubject: MALTA - 2011   Mon May 09, 2011 9:31 pm

THE ONLY DRY SUIT IN MALTA

For those of you who knew and now for those of you who didn't I have come back to Malta to do a bit of tec diving under the instruction of Stuart Jones of TecDeepBlue.

Today was a day to review skills and to check me out, having not done any Tec diving for a year.
Firstly a long look at the rig with a few tweaks here and there, basically O.K. Gases were analysed and tanks labelled. 30% mix in the twin 12's (BLACK cylinders I hasten to add). My instructor has a black wing too. 50% mix in the 10lt stage. Quick drive up to Cirkewwa, two more tweaks to harness and hoses, then kitted up in an increasing Northwesterly breeze. Glad of the dry suit now. Instructor's dry suit in for repair so I was the only diver there in one today, lots of shivering wetsuit divers. Stages placed in water, we kitted up and got in. Donned stages and spent 30 minutes doing skills and drills, very rusty.

Then off to the P29:



Had a steady fin round the boat at 30m then went back over to the wall to start a steady ascent to 12m for our first stop and a gas change. No problems there, up to 9m, 6m and finally 3m. Just the 9m stop being briefly interrupted by a novice and her guide coming up underneath us during our hang, we weren't moving much so maybe they didn't see us with our bright yellow stages. Seemed a bit surprised to turn back and see us.

So there won't be any new photos this week, a camera would be a bit too much gear to deal with just now, maybe later in the week.

After finishing our simulated deco stops we went into the shallows for a slightly quicker round of skills and drills, aim is to complete all 3 shutdowns within 1 minute. Weighting checked again with half empty twins, my guess at weight needed had been correct.
So a very good 84 minute dive with no deco.
Movng on to Tec 45 tomorrow, 2 shallow dives with more skills




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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Mon May 09, 2011 9:41 pm

Looking good, aways good pictures. Dry suits are defo best for this - at least you had a heads up on this from last year. People do look at me when I use mine - but after one and half hours it makes it a lot more comfortable Smile
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Tec 45   Tue May 10, 2011 6:12 pm


Tec 45

Started this course today at the Blue Grotto with 2 shallow training dives, 2 and a half hours in the water. Hard work in Dive 1 doing skills midwater a lot of the time, all became easier in Dive 2.

Dive 1 involved a lot of shutdown practice, bouyancy control as I dropped and picked up stage. Transfer of stage to instructor midwater and back again. Moving an unconscious diver along horizontally also done. Then a SAC rate, relaxed, calculation, spotted a small octopus in a cave, followed by a poor show at solo smb deployment. NOTOX switch at 12m 'deco' stop, further stops at 9m and 6m. Instructor was cold by then so last stop omitted.

Dive 2 was a lot better, more fun, involving mask exchange midwater, long hose sharing then mask off/long hose sharing whilst following a line on the bottom, then swopping roles.
Shutdowns were faster, will be faster tomorrow.
Sudden loss of bouyancy, trying to fin up, then recovering it with dry suit inflation. Bouyancy a lot better this dive and the solo smb deployment at 18m using a simple method and exhaled air was so much better. Then reeling in from 18m to 12m, NOTOX switch, 9m, 6m, 3m, 2m, 1m stops on way to surface. I was impressed with the smb when I saw it. Deflated that then descended again to swim round to steps.

Homework tonight to plan the 2 dives for tomorrow, a 50 min training dive then a 34m dive to the Um el Faroud.
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SkiesNPies
PADI Assistant Instructor
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Tue May 10, 2011 8:00 pm

Blimey sounds quite full on, I certainly need to consolidate all my existing skills before looking at anything else, full marks for ploughing through that lot!

Photo's ace too - vis looks fantastic as ever in Malta.

Have fun....
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: No Photos   Tue May 10, 2011 8:21 pm


The photos were from last years trip, unfortunately learnng to do one handed NOTOX switches etc whilst staying at exactly 12m on a dsmb line doesn't mix with carrying a camera too, even a point and shoot attached to harness would be in the way at the moment. It's enough to concentrtate on task/regs/smb.

Vis is very good at the moment
Think I will have 2 stages tomorrow too.



This is where we were today
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jayne65
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Wed May 11, 2011 5:46 pm

Watch out for the sharks at this site!!!!! Very Happy

Hope your having a good time! Who you out there with? Any sign of Neil this year? Cool x
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Wed May 11, 2011 8:06 pm

No Neil this year, he went home, wife was doing a course wasn't she. Jonathan still there, still has a pool with no water in it, full of sand from the spring rain, he was pressure washing the whole site as I did my exam this evening. Nice and noisy. His partner John has given up diving, his heart wasn't in it

I am here on my own, at same apartments, nice and convenient for the 7.30am starts.

Stuart Jones is my instructor, has his own school, DiveMalta, and is a partner in TecDeepBlue. One of the DiveDeepBlue instructors is joining me on Tec50 which starts tomorow
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Tec 45 Completed   Wed May 11, 2011 8:45 pm



Tec45 Completed

Pleased to say at the end of a long day I passed the Tec 45 exam!

2 dives today:

Dive 1 was another shallow training session, masks, hoses, SAC (fast) and dsmb, deco stop practice, 43 mins.

Dive 2 was an excellent Um el Faroud dive. Out to wreck at 10m, dropped down to prop at 34m, 10 mins here. Swam under the wreck where it is split, then up and into the wreck, 10 min swim through a few narrow passageways. Out to upper deck, a shoal of 30 barracuda by the funnel, just sat watching a few thousand smaller fish, 10 mims here just watching them. All big healthy looking barracudas.
Gas change to 50% AT 18m, then we left the wreck to go back to the reef. Stops at 6m, then 4.5m. Nice slow swim back with stops at 3,2 and 1m before exiting at 66mins with more gas than expected.



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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Wed May 11, 2011 9:54 pm

well done
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SkiesNPies
PADI Assistant Instructor
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Wed May 11, 2011 9:56 pm

I don't know what it means but it sounds very TECHnical and complex - therefore impressive Very Happy


Congrats (and please explain to me what it means on your return)
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killa
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Humor : Never upset a ginna!!!!

PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Wed May 11, 2011 10:09 pm

Well done Doc
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Ian G
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Wed May 11, 2011 10:15 pm

Congratulations
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dave8

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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Thu May 12, 2011 10:46 am

well done doc!
say hello to Jonathan and Catherine from us. Very Happy
and Sid if he's still there!
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Thu May 12, 2011 8:05 pm

Will do, but Sid no longer there, and Jonathan's partner John has left as well.
But the guys who are there now with them are all excellent and very helpful Smile
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Tec50   Thu May 12, 2011 9:03 pm


Tec 50

Started this course today alongside Alan who is working this season at DivedeepBlue as an MI. He had completed 40/45 earlier this year but had not done any Tec diving since. Nice to now have a companion of a similar standard.

So it was back to the Blue Grotto again for 2 long training dives with 2 stages today, 7lt and 10lt. Doing a giant stride entry there with them rattling on your left side was fun.

Underwater it was shutdown drill, 1min 20sec now, bouyancy control, out of air - leading one in front of the other, simulated reg/valve/manifold failure, reacting to that alone and with a team mate to help.

Staging the 2 stages and picking them up again, clipping one to the bottom harness ring, bringing it back to both clips, exchanging them between ourselves, simulated deco stops with dsmb, all a bit choppy in the sea today at the 1,2 and 3m stops.
2 similar dives of 82 and 72 minutes.

Then back to the dive centre to plan tomorrow's 50m dive 3 at the Inland Sea on V-planner with bail-out dive plans for lost gases or extra depth/time spent.




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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Inland Sea, Gozo   Fri May 13, 2011 9:00 pm


Gozo

It was an early start today at 7.15 to analyse gases and finalise the plan and stick it onto our slates with sellotape. Off then to the ferry and Gozo's Inland Sea.




Just the one dive today, 2 deco cylindes for this one. Easy entry and then down through the tunnel to exit at 25m at 8 mins, staying at this level till 10 mins run time before descending to 45m. Here we did out of air skills and mask replacement. Then on down to 49.8m for 23 mins, leaving the bottom at 33 mins for our ascent. Onto first deco gas at 21m, swam back to the tunnel against a current, 98% EAN at 6m, changing there a little choppy, then into the shelter of the tunnel. Slow swin through at 4.5m, finished deco but then the HelO2 wanted a 3 min safety stop, much to Stuart the instructor's annoyance as his 2 7mm wet suits were feeling a tad chilly by then and he could see the next thermocline into the warm shallows about a metre up from where we were. 3,2 and 1m stops in the inland sea then out. A great dive, 82 mins by time we were out, keeping very close to the run-time of 76 mins (plus 3min Suunto stop)

Tomorrow's dive is a 55m Trimix dive to HMS Stubborn

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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Tec 50 completed!   Sat May 14, 2011 9:59 pm

Tec 50 Completed

Another good dive today
HMS Stubborn
55m dive with 21/21 Trimix. 90 mins, 25 mins bottom time at 55m.

Shared the boat with Buddies Dive School who were also taking a few divers through their tec paces, although 2 were still on bcds with single 12s at the end of the week They had a very short dive today!

We went into the water after Buddies. Descended to just short of 55m and did a full circuit of the sub, very relaxing dive. Not a lot of wildlife on it, but plenty of coloured corals and wrasse/cardinals/hermit crabs. Great to be on Trimix and to be clear-headed and remember the dive so well. Had a few minutes spare so circled the conning tower a couple of times before going back to the shot line. Up then through several stops to 4.5m. Here my Suunto decided to still give me an extra 12 mins deco. Alan with his flooded dry suit so went up to the boat and I remained in for a bit longer with Stuart who was glad to have borrowed a dry suit today as we weren't cleared on Suunto till 90 mins, needs a less conservative setting if below 30-35m. We had dived a V-Planner/Liquivision plan.

Best moment was when a group of Jacks met us at 30-33m, circling us, having a closer look but then deciding we weren't worth biting, 2 Otter dry suits and a Bare dry suit beyond them. An excellent dive to finish the week.

Exam went well, Al was still doing the old syllabus Tec Deep Diver, so only 1 PIC and 1 card for him, seems you can still teach the old course if you OK it with PADI first.
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sheelagh
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sat May 14, 2011 10:10 pm

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killa
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Humor : Never upset a ginna!!!!

PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sat May 14, 2011 11:17 pm

Well done again on completing the TEC 50 course.

Go deep or go home!!!! affraid affraid
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jayne65
Instructor
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sun May 15, 2011 4:57 am

Nice one! All ready for the deep diving of Christmas Island then! You'll just have to bring your own mixes..... we do all our tec stuff on air out here!!!
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SkiesNPies
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sun May 15, 2011 9:34 am

Wow, all impressive, although that video made me feel slightly sick!
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Geoff123
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sun May 15, 2011 7:38 pm

Looked like you enjoyed it - congratulations. Good write up from start to finish, I enjoyed reading it . Don't suppose Blue Lagoon will seem the same now
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Squirrel
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sun May 15, 2011 9:19 pm

Glad you enjoyed it, fantastic place to do your tec course, thats what it's all about nice wrecks and plently of time to see them. Welcome to the dark side.


Last edited by Squirrel on Mon May 16, 2011 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ian G
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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Mon May 16, 2011 2:46 pm

Congratulations on passing your Tec 50 course. Looks like you had a great time.
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Andy W
always moist & wet
always moist & wet


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PostSubject: Re: MALTA - 2011   Sat May 21, 2011 7:03 pm



CONGRATULATIONS DOC WELL DONE !!

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