Diving - Technical




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DIVER'S BOOK SHELF descriptions and ordering info on 7,000+ diving titles

First a word on technical diving generally; " a rose by any other name"

 Different diving training organizations define "technical diving differently," generally accepted examples of "technical diving" include wreck diving, ice diving, and "deep" diving below 130 feet with staged decompression, and diving that requires the use of specially mixed gases vice compressed air. PADI for example pays particular attention in its definition to what's overhead. Ice, wreck, and cave diving would merit special attention in PADI programs. NOAA by contrast is more focused on decompression and gases and devotes relatively little ink to overhead considerations. Thus different "technical diving guides" take different views of what is vital to present. The view of American Admiralty Books is that "technical diving" is any diving that involves not having a free and unobstructed and uncomplicated ascent to the surface. Thus all forms of obstructed overhead diving such as wreck, ice, and cave diving are "technical." We also believe that an "uncomplicated ascent" means just that. If a dive requires staged decompression, even if only compressed air is used, the ascent is complicated and thus "technical". If the dive requires special gas mixtures beyond compressed air it is "technical." In our view "Technical" = Formal hands on, in water, instruction needed followed by some guided experience before planning your own.


 Dives in open water between 34 and 130 feet are sort of a gray area to us somewhere between "technical" and "advanced recreational." Our reason for seeing this as a gray area is that if such dives are planned with formally computed short bottom times, staged decompression can be avoided. Still we would recommend that recreational divers should attempt such short bottom time dives only with an experienced instructor until they are confident in their ability to use the decompression tables, plan their dive and dive their plan. A miscalculation on such dives can be fatal. The reason we see this as a "gray area" is that the tables are part of basic diver certification in most programs and many dive shops and services offer such dives as instructor led programs but not as part of a "technical diving course." Really, other than this gray area between 34 and 130 feet, and perhaps shallower dives in extremely limited visibility where instructors routinely lead groups of basically certified divers we see anything below 33 feet in clear open water as "technical" meaning that the basically certified diver should seek out formal instruction in the particular type of dive to be undertaken. There is no one size fits all technical diving course. 

 The same is true for technical diving "guides." There are many different "guides" all proceeding from different views of what constitutes "technical diving." American Admiralty Books does not "suggest" or recommend any of the guides we review simply because we encourage specific and competent hands on and in the water instruction and instructor led experience before undertaking any dive remotely "technical in nature".   We provide descriptions of technical diving manuals because if you join a class there may be a required manual. If you are seeking a class such a manual may give you a more informed view of what is involved and what to look for in the way of instruction. Far be it from us to discourage reading. However, If you have read this far and still think that you can read a book and go out and do a technical dive; MOVE AWAY FROM THE BOOK SHELF, GET OUT OF MY STORE!

For a further discussion of the flexible definition of "technical diving" click on this link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_diving 


 On a personal note I'd like to tell you a couple of things as a life long diving and snorkeling enthusiast, certified diver, and trained and experienced one time commercial technical diver. First, diving is an awesome experience, don't miss it but get instruction. Second, take this from someone with a near drowning experience; death by drowning is neither quick, nor painless. It is one of the most horrible deaths you can imagine. You might only be conscious for three minutes or so through it, but they are horrifying panic filled, painful minutes. Those minutes seem to go on forever until you are praying for death as a relief. If somehow you survive, the first phase of recovery where you expel water from your lungs, is also panic filled because you won't be really breathing for a while, and your lungs and the passages to them will burn like hell. Assuming you escape without brain damage as I did, you still won't be the same for days. Or maybe I was brain damaged because I still dive on occasion. As I said in the first place, its an awesome experience. It's awesome in part because it so unnatural (for a primate) and natural (for a fish) at the same time. 

So where can you get technical diving instruction and instructor led experiences?
We have several suggestions for you starting with a group known as GUE (Global Underwater Explorers: We taken the liberty to reproduce their mission statement page from their web site below at the bottom of the reprint you'll find the link to their site:

Mission Statement
Global Underwater Explorers emerged out of a shared desire to safely explore and protect the underwater world and to improve the quality of education and research in all things aquatic. In line with the original vision of its founding members, GUE is committed to:
  • Developing safe, skilled, and knowledgeable divers
  • Undertaking and promoting underwater research
  • Pursuing global underwater exploration
  • Safeguarding the integrity of the underwater world
  • Providing the public with a comprehensive resource on all things aquatic.
Working to redefine the ties binding the average underwater enthusiast to underwater explorers, conservationists and scientific researchers GUE is committed to the overall goal of promoting the interests of the underwater world and of those who seek to engage it.

GUE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
About GUE  About GUE  About GUE 

LINK: http://www.globalunderwaterexplorers.org/Contact

VIEW A VIDEO ON GUE:http://www.globalunderwaterexplorers.org/about/what-gue-has-always-been-about 


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The Empress of Ireland is shown in an undated photo. The Canadian Pacific steamship collided  with a Norwegian freighter near Quebec on on May 29, 1914, sinking in 14 minutes and killing 1,012 people.

The Empress of Ireland is shown in an undated photo. The Canadian Pacific steamship collided with a Norwegian freighter near Quebec on on May 29, 1914, sinking in 14 minutes and killing 1,012 people. (Canadian Press/Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père) Photo from linked article in CBC NEWS NOVA SCOTIA

See: Shipwrecks in Canada 'poor cousin' to on-land archeological sites  by  CBC NEWS NOVA SCOTIA

""In Canada ... we don't have one standard. We have a patchwork of regulations that vary from province to province," Rondeau said, noting that the hodgepodge confuses even basic questions like who qualifies as an archeologist and how old does an archeological site have to be."  READ MORE AT CBC NEWS NOVA SCOTIA

 Shipwrecks are protected in international waters by international law. Within the territorial sea of nation states protection varies. Sometimes within large nation states, protection within state or provincial waters varies between sub national jurisdictions. Based on a number of articles that we link you to here it appears Canada is one such state, rich in ship wrecks and diverse in the regulations governing the archaeological excavation, salvage, or just plain treasure hunting aboard such wrecks. The Canadian government and populace appears to be becoming aware of the situation and concerned. Canadian salvers, treasure hunters, and recreational divers are well advised to follow this issue in diving and commercial salvage publications and web sites. As the general public and Parliament become more concerned what's legal today may not be by the time of that weekend dive. 

 There are a few widespread misconceptions about ship wrecks that we like to address: First a wrecked vessel is not part of the commons in any jurisdiction, not just anyone may dive aboard and remove things in almost any jurisdiction on earth. One universal of maritime law around the world is that a wreck remains the property of the owner, unless or until it is legally and on record abandoned to the insurer, then it is the property of the insurer. The lawful owner of a wreck has rights and liabilities. Salvers are not playing an adult game of "Razu'. By re-floating a wreck or removing valuables the salver gains a lien on the wreck, and/ or its contents, not title How much of a lien depends on an admiralty court's ultimate salvage award, which is based on the value of the salvaged objects and / or hull, the expense the salver went to, and the amount of effort and risk involved.   The are of course some wrecks that are so old even the nation state that originally launched the vessel has passed into history. Still, generally a successor state usually has recognized title. Even when this is not so, within about 200 miles of a coastal state's shore line a wreck is usually within the "Exclusive Economic Zone" of the adjacent coastal state and such ancient wrecks are most often protected by the adjacent coastal state's equivalent of a national antiquities department. Professional salvers know that the first step in a lawful salvage or archaeological effort is not running out to the wreck and diving on it, but hours of painstaking research in a library or archive, followed by tedious correspondence and negotiations with the owners and /or proper authorities. 

Finders keepers
Nova Scotia's shipwreck-filled waters and its laws that allow treasure hunters to keep 90 percent of the valuables they find have triggered a rush for sunken riches which has archaeologists and historians fuming 
Excerpt of story by Heather Pringle in CBC NEWS NOVA SCOTIA

 We would also like to remind our readers that any wreck dive even if your intention is to look and not touch is usually considered a "technical dive". You should never consider wreck or cave diving as covered by your basic SCUBA certification course, these are technical dives that require extra instruction, some experience led by an instructor, and careful planning. See out TECHNICAL DIVING PAGE for additional information. Wreck dives are fraught with unexpected hazards for the SCUBA diver lacking in specific wreck diving training and experience, and if you intend to take or disturb anything down there there are big legal hazards as well. Canada is not the only jurisdiction reviewing and considering tightening shipwreck protection laws. Know before you go.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------INTERESTED IN CAVE DIVING IN PARTICULAR YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY 
As the name implies this is a society devoted to cave exploration which has a diving section. Here is a link to a description of their cave diving instructional program: 


 We noticed that the NSS-CDS program included some very specialized instruction at the most advanced end such as : "STAGE DIVING", "DPV PILOT", "SIDEMOUNT DIVING", "BASIC UNDERWATER CAVE SURVEYING", "CARTOGRAPHY", "RECOVERY DIVER", DEEP CAVE DIVER", OVERHEAD NITROX DIVER", and "REBREATHER CAVE DIVER".

Certainly some of these go beyond some of the training in cave diving offered by GUE and could be complimentary particularly "cave surveying" and "cartography". Rebreathers are used in fairly shallow environments that could be highly sensitive to the bubbles generated by air tank and regulator SCUBA gear. If you have a high level of interest in Cave diving you will want to check out this resource:  http://www.nsscds.org/trainingprograms



 http://www.hollis.com/rebreathers/       `http://www.sealsports.net/tecrec-rebreather

HOLLIS "REBREATHERS"  http://www.hollis.com/rebreathers/  

"Rebreathers" differ from traditional SCUBA gear in that they recycle the air that the diver breathes by removing carbon dioxide by use of chemical "scrubbers", and periodically replacing the oxygen that the diver metabolizes. 

When those of us with diving backgrounds here at AAB first started out in training 30 to 40 years ago, oxygen rebreathers were military equipment occasionally also used in shallow waters by photographers and marine biologists who wanted to get close to marine life without making the disturbing bubbles associated with standard SCUBA gear. The biggest advantage to rebreathers was this stealth aspect and their biggest drawback was their restriction to shallow waters (less than about 33 feet in depth). Things have changed radically in recent years but we still consider rebreathers in the realm of "technical diving" meaning something that is not covered in basic SCUBA certification courses, though it might be considered within the realm of "recreational" as well as commercial diving. We divide our our DIVING PAGES into two sections DIVING and TECHNICAL DIVING, with anything that has hazards that we feel a recreational diver should receive special training and guided experience with before undertaking as a recreational dive unaccompanied by a professional instructor as "technical". This rebreather post will eventually appear in both sections because we want to alert the recreational diving community to the new and improved rebreathers with their potential attractions especially for underwater photographers, and yet alert recreational divers that using these things requires training beyond your basic SCUBA certification. The good news is that the leading manufacturer provides reasonably priced instruction along with reasonably priced equipment. Learn more about modern rebreather diving at: Discover Rebreather Diving 



             We Bring You This Link In The Hope of making Three Points. (1) Coral Reef Restoration Methods Are Evolving  (2) And Those Already In Use Do Work. (3) The Present Methodologies Are Diver Labor Intensive.

Photo: 1/2 growth data experiment set up: orange ropes have cervicornis with Clade D1 and blue ropes have cervicornis with Clade A3. who will grow fastest?? (to be replicated at whipray nursery=2nd half). these are at LBCNP
Photo Capture from the linked site: "Fragments of Hope"

Early in the predawn hours of this morning the Coral Bot KickStarter Project failed to meet its fund raising goal and the effort entered the dust bin of Internet history. In the KickStarter Program projects that do not receive pledges of support equaling 100% of the stated funding goal receive no funds. The "Coral Bot" once into production will replace the divers you see in the above photo doing simple hand labor with a swarm of small diving robots that don't have to come up for air, worry about decompression, or fatigue and can complete the same tasks in a fraction of the time of human divers. Click on one of the links provided to view a FaceBook page titled "FRAGMENTS OF HOPE" about coral reef restoration efforts and experiments in Belize run by Lisa Carne who is also listed as member of the "Wider CoralBot Team". There is some wonderful underwater photography on the site. More over the site demonstrates far better than our reassuring words that Coral reef restoration does work, so anything that improves it is worth supporting. So when we asked you to "back the bot" we were operating from solid proven precepts that coral restoration can be done. We also know that swarm robotics can be done. What is needed is money. Corporations are not interested in coral reefs unless they want to drill through one. If people want coral reefs, people that's you and me, have to support them with lots and lots of small people sized donations. The CoralBot KickStarter project may be over but the bot lives! There are still ways that you can donate. We'll be telling you more about the "Bot's progress" and donation/participation opportunities as time goes by. There will be Bot updates in our daily station Identification and notice boards, blog postings with links like this one and regular features in our Oceanography and Diving pages. SO KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BOT RIGHT HERE AND KEEP YOUR WALLET HAND FREE FOR A QUICK DRAW WHEN WE POST THE INFORMATION ON HOW TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT THE BOT!
 LINK TO "FRAGMENTS OF HOPE":   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fragments-of-Hope-coral-nurseries-in-Belize/162047150491955

To contribute to the CoralBot on going fund raising project today click on :http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/restoring-coral-reefs-with-robots

 A possible CoralBot      THE "BOT"   BACK IT!                                                           

Book Reviews start below. An Index of technical dive related web sites may be found by clicking on:




ISBN 18830056055 ISBN 13-978-1883056056

This guide tackles elements of both "penetration" diving meaning all forms such as cave and wreck diving where ascent to the surface is physically blocked as well non penetration but complicated diving. The book is generously illustrated and presented in non technical, almost conversational language. The section on diving computers is rapidly becoming dated however. There will likely be similar complaints about any such guide that wasn't published yesterday but this points out again the need for formal instruction before attempting any "technical dive."

RECREATIONAL TRIMIX DIVING  by Kevin Evans ( A Kindle eBook)

587 Kb


 Nitrogen Narcosis might seem like a dream state; if you fall victim it can be quite pleasant up to the moment when you start to drown. In my description of an earlier technical diving manual I described what drowning feels like. Personally I'd much prefer a bullet to the brain, but that's just me. Trimix is a mixture of oxygen, helium, and nitrogen that causes less narcosis than compressed air or another gaseous mixture called Nitrox. Breathing mixed gases we consider "technical diving." If you've read this far you know that we feel recreational divers should receive formal instruction and undergo some instructor led experience before embarking on any kind of technical dive on their own.

 This Kindle read will explain the various techniques associated with Trimix which some recreational divers are using at depths as shallow as 70 feet. This book would be an excellent text for IANTO Recreational Trimix Diver or Advanced Recreational Trimix Diver course. As we have said repeatedly don't dive before you've had basic formal SCUBA certification training. If that is all the formal training that you've had we suggest that you stay above 33 feet , on compressed air, and in clear water away from wrecks, caves, or any other potential obstruction of your ascent to the surface when diving with only similarly trained divers. Pardon the pun, but if you want to get deeper into the sport, get additional training and make your first few technical diving outings with an experienced dive instructor,dive leader.

 If you think that you are going to read this book and learn the rudiments of Trimix diving before undergoing formal training GOOD FOR YOU! You get a gold star, you've been listening. You probably won't die cold wet and alone. If you think you can just buy this book and go straight from basic certified tadpole to mixed gas diver, step away from the bookshelf, exit the store. This is a portal to knowledge not a suicide enablement blog. If that's what you want google "Dr. Death." 

THE ART of GAS BLENDING by Anton Swanepoel
(A Kindle Book)

OK, assuming that we've already seen your basic SCUBA certification card and a certification card form at least one technical diving course, we might let you see this book. This is a practical book on gas blending for diver consumption. The book describes both the gases and their effects on the human body. Diving breathing mixes such as Trimix, Heliox, and Helair are discussed. But to our mind which is almost obsessively concentrated on formal training the most important thing about this book is the background of the author. Anton Swanepole is a diving instructor certified by IANTO, TDI, NAUI, and PADI. He is a Trimix instructor and Trimix Gas Blender instructor. There are such instructors out and about and if the dive shop that sold you your first certification course and first gear doesn't offer this type of advanced training, someone out there does. Don't go blending breathing gases just because you read a book.


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  2. There are also online stores where you can order these items. Some people prefer to buy diving picks, which are essentially the fundamentals of diving. By reading diving articles and watching videos you can learn many things about diving that you might not otherwise learn from other sources. You also may find your ideal details/information about diving picks on diving picks.

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