Where is your diving going? : The Master Plan

I predict diving in your future

The other weekend, a buddy of mine and I were discussing training options on the way to the dive site; as we always do. It never ceases to amaze me how I can continue to talk about, and be completely enthralled by, the same conversation every week; nevertheless it happens every time.

On this particular occasion the conversation climaxed with me diving a JJ rebreather, 100m deep, in a cave, discovering some crazy new system that explorers had been searching out for years; subsequently leading to solving the global economic crisis.

I would just like to clarify, that at the time of writing this piece of garbled nonsense, I am limited to 45m and don’t know what trimix tastes like. Also, upon concluding the expedition conversation, I dived to the staggering depth of 22m, in open water, in a sheltered lough in Northern Ireland, for about 45 minutes until I got cold.

Post dive, back in the jeep, the journey home consisted of the same conversation; the only real variation being the discovery of a missing U-Boat, that I raised from the deep with the aid of my smb.

I love talking diving, and I love discussing the huge opportunities that diving can lead to in my make believe world; however, it did spark my tiny brain to ponder a specific question: where do I want my diving to go?

I’ll be honest; I don’t really know where it will end up.

I have a definite plan for my next course, in fact I’ve three dive courses already scheduled – one even has a deposit paid; but why am I doing it? Will there be more?

Where am I now?

I recently entered the technical diving world; which opens up a bazillion more options than available at a recreational level, but I did possess a bit of a plan.

Northern Ireland diving is great, I love it, but a lot of the REALLY good stuff is deep. Some of it is just outside recreational limits, others are far beyond, and some are plain ridiculous.

My original plan was to enjoy some diving around the 40m-45m mark; so I completed TDI Advanced Nitrox & Decompression Procedures course. That was fine, but having completed it I didn’t feel 100% confident I could don a deco bottle, jump off a boat and conduct a technical dive the following weekend.

Kerri on our TDI course

To solve that problem I attended TekCamp 2011. It was brilliant, and I was given further skills to help me become more fabulous.

This actually worked very well, and I subsequently donned a deco bottle, jumped off a boat and conducted a technical dive on a very cool submarine off the coast of Ireland.

So where does that leave me now?

I still have a lot to learn that’s for sure, and although my primary objective has been completed, it merely gave me a glimpse of what’s available.

In short; I want more.

I can conduct technical dives now (to 45m); confidently, safely, within both my training and personal limit … but I could be better. I also want to visit things that are a bit deeper … soon.

How to get better

As with all my hobbies, I tend to get a little pre-occupied with my ability. I love playing guitar, writing music, blogging, music production, playing with computer stuff; but I’m simply not as good as I would like to be at any of them.

Ultimately it comes down to practice; after you exceed the point of natural ability.

I think my natural ability for diving is quite limited, and I have had to work quite hard to get my diving to the level it’s at now.

I’m not awesome, but I’m not bad either.

I don’t want to get better just to be amazing, and be adored by other divers as they bask in my wake; although that does feed into my narcissistic nature quite well. I want to improve my skills as it makes diving easier, and safer.

That is why I have decided to take the GUE Fundamentals course. I am hoping this course will focus on the very basic skills of my diving, giving me a more solid platform to build upon.

GUE Diver in perfect trim

Having already spent time with Rich Walker, a GUE technical instructor, I am confident GUE-F will bring a new dimension my diving.

Wifebuddy and I have also signed up for another session at TekCamp.

Primarily, we decided it was a splendid idea simply to catch up with our new scuba buddies we don’t get to see that often, go diving, possibly drink a little beer; upon reflection it will be so much more.

I learned tons at TekCamp 2011, yet barely scraped the surface, and there is no better place to pick the brains of 10 of the best divers the industry has to offer.

So, all of that will make me better. Then what?

Oh yes; getting deeper.

How to get deeper

It’s a bit obvious, but I need to complete another course. The next stage of my technical diving is IANTD Normoxic Trimix. So that’s what I plan to do with **Paul Toomer of Diving Matrix.

This will take me to the depths of 60m, and train me to use the devil gas known as Trimix.

The course will also include further honing of my basic skills, leading to continued improvement in the initial “getting better” goal.

** We decided on Paul as he has tattoos and likes heavy metal. This is critical for any dive instructor. I am also hoping to influence Rich Walker's musical preference during our GUE-F course; culminating in him becoming the number one fan of Prostitute Disfigurement.

In the mean time

The master plan is all very well, but it is in the future. In the mean time I am just going to keep diving as much as I can.

My technical diving experience is limited. I am totally prepared to become an explorer and all that, but I need to get a few more dives in yet. In fact, I need to get a lot more dives in.

I hope to conduct more diving in the 45m range in a lead up to Normoxic at the end of next year.

I may also drink some beer.


I guess I probably think too much about these things; it’s just in my nature. I like to have goals in life, a direction, a feeling that what I do is leading me somewhere.

Wifebuddy just likes to go diving; although it was her research into Irish diving that led to the obsession with Malin Head and the subsequent need to technical dive.

That’s the plan so far. Things change, and Wifebuddy has already pondered what the inside of a cave looks like.

That’s what you tube is for.

What are your diving goals?


  1. In my dreams, the Great Dude In The Sky permits me to take Full Cave in the winter of 12-13, in Mexico.
    But in reality, the sales of my paintings are gonna have to pick up a bit if i'm gonna have the cash it takes...!
    So for now, i'll probably take ice-diving this winter so i can be legal at walking upside down on the inside of frozen lakes, wich is a cool trip(!), altought i'm not supposed to know that.
    I don't know exactly were i'm heading for in this crazy but wonderful world of diving; but i know i'm more hooked on it than Janis was on Bourbon...Even after 500 dives. (but i realize 500 is still adolescence under water).

    Dude; as always: good post!

  2. Forgot to sign:

  3. I think having some sort of goal is start anyway Jean-Louis.

    Cash and time are always the limiting factors. Ironically, literally as i posted this, i am facing possible changes in my life that may restrict the trips i have planned for 2012.

    I may have to wait until 2013 for some of my Master Plan.

    Ice diving sounds very cool; i've seen videos of ice divers walking upside down - looks awesome!

    500!! Bloody hell - that's tons!!!

    I dunno about the caves, i'll have to see.

    Hope you sell ALL your paintings!



  4. Love reading these posts and my wife is now recbuddy and I have a coupe fo tecbuddys! Like you new to tec diving though I went the PADI route and did the tec courses to tec50 this summer. Planning on doing trimix with Declan Burke and Paul Toomer in Malta in January. Also off to tekcamp next year - see you there if not before. Also play guitar, love rock blues and metal and am really focused on high performance as a job, so why do I train on as a diver. 1. I hate not knowing how far I can competently push myself. 2. The further you go the better the rec diver you become. 3. I like to be different, hence I now dive Razor sidemount, although the real reason is I think it's a better kit set-up. No issues with this rig and 2 stages plus 2 bottom cylinders. Very lucky work lets me do most of what I want, although finding time is major issue. In cork so have great diving in doorstep!

  5. Funny thing, was discussing fundies with budymissus just yesterday.

    Though embryonic as diver development goes (with all of 8 dives and a dry suit in the mail), I've largely concluded that tek training is inevitable - I want to go everywhere and see everything. Not planned the route as such, but all in good time.

    I realize that it's a long way to go before I discover lost WWII subs in uncharted caves while the pet sharks wait outside, but I'm sure there'll be some awesome dives between now and then. And the diving here in Norway promises to be quite good.


  6. I am in a bit of a quandry as to where to go next. If you had asked me earlier this year I wouldn't have hesitated in telling you I was going to do my IDC and become a PADI instructor. However... this summer I discovered the joys of technical diving - partly due to TekCamp 2011 and now... Now I have finished my TDI courses in Adv. Nitrox, Deco Theory and Mod 1 CCR, all I want to do is buy a rebreather, dive lots and get through the scarily named death zone and then look at mixed gas diving to look at interesting stuff beyond my limit of 45m.

    now in an ideal world I would be rich beyond the dreams of avarice and I could do both but realistically I think that the technical diving might win - the main problem is finding people willing to do that kind of diving as most of my mates are not that interested in Tek diving (for now anyway - I am working on them :-) ).

    Right... off to buy a lottery ticket. Fingers crossed.

  7. I think it's great that so many divers are considering expanding their diving; whether it be down the Pro route or the technical side, or simply a change in configuration.

    Either way it's all beneficial, leads to improving skills and ultimately adds to the enjoyment.

    I hope all my plans, and all you guys pan out the way we hope - life has a habit of throwing curve balls at the best laid plans!


  8. "The Master Plan - Good Question that is" is what yoda would say..

    After spending 1,5 Years being a PADI Instructor in Malta and attending the full trimix course with paul im way to far in the diving business to back out, thats for sure.
    But I dont really want to make diving my main profession, ( which is why im still at uni studying geology ).
    Im diving as much as i can afford at the moment, which is not a lot - considering that a proper trimix dive to 60-70m is worth around 80€ ( if youre lucky) .

    But there are plans... lots of plans that just wait to be affordable. The first one is a dive trip which has at least "expedition character" to the danish island of bornholm. There is a BIG tanker wreck, that just asks for penetration.. ( as filthy as that might sound).
    But we will need a HUGE amount of Helium for that. Lets see how it goes.

    In June theres the cavern/intro Cave course,again with paul & Ian, and this is something im really excited about as this really touches with my subject. Caving is one of the purest geological activities out there.

    The Summer has a big "Diving MAtrix" written all over it ... but this is not sure yet. Id love to do my "Essentials (or ART) Instructor" to finally start teaching again ( selfemployed ). Could there be a better studentsjob than teaching diving ?


  9. Cost is a constant factor in any plan; but certainly in diving. As you rightly state, gas fills are quite expensive, especially if using mix.

    You're well certified for the expedition stuff now mate - that sounds fantastic!

    Caves is nice, but you're on your own there mate! I'm confident Tall Poomer will look after you though.

    Nah mate, get a job in a pub like everyone else!!

    Stay safe bro.



Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!

Safe diving buddy.