"Technical Diving" - The Beginning

By keven Rottner

There are many of us who were "technical Diving " long before the term existed. There were mysterious giant cylinders in the back of dive shops that got used after the customers were gone. There were business accounts under wierd names at the local gas supplier. There were chartered boats that went to spots that no one ever heard of, piled HIGH with pyramids of doubles and stage bottles (the old Reliance and Stargazer would head out of port low in the water, lower than Jerry or Tibor liked.) There were those of us that grabbed and passed around copies of AquaCorp, and saw pictures of other divers, doing the same diving and wearing the same equipment that we wore but in other parts of the world (in fact MM still owes me a refund for the last shipment that never arrived.)

We didn't know what to call the type of diving we were doing, on deep wrecks and deep reefs and pinnacles, but it sure wasn't "recreational". We were and are explorers, and had to make the decision to venture beyond what we were all taught in our recreational courses.

Some of us liked to climb, and the term "Technical Rock Climbing" described the technical planning that was required to make such climbs, and we stole the name.

The very definition of "Technical Diving" means that the diving much be technically planned in order to be safely and successfully accomplished.

OTU's, gas switches, decompression algorithms, mixes, teamwork, equipment etc. etc. must be all technically planned in advance.

And the planning has been brought to a razor sharp science by the many who I respect on this board. Compare a local DIR boat this year to a wreck diver trip fifteen years ago, and you would just shudder at what we thought was technical diving then, as it is considered now.

Labels are tough. Nitrox does not mean tech diving, neither does software on a laptop or even a mild decompression obligation. All of this is part of a proper **recreational** SCUBA education.

Now, what about those destroyers on the Mexican border ??

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