Deco Diver

Upcoming Course Dates

The schedule for 2015 will be posted soon.

My Deco Diver Course

Outside Wreck_small

My version of Decompression Diver Training meets all of the standards for the TDI Advanced Nitrox and the TDI Decompression Procedures certification courses. However, I like to go a little beyond the minimums and provide students with some additional training, experience, and insight that I feel is important for divers who are planning and executing decompression dives. Students who successfully complete this training should be able to competently plan and conduct dives with mandatory decompression up to a depth of 150 fsw.

This class is offered independently by me, in my home town here in Florida, Fort Lauderdale. We will be diving out of Pompano Beach. Assisting me will be my friend and fellow Instructor, Howard Ehrenberg. The course consists of three days of training, ideally with lecture and diving each day. There are 6 certification dives total, conducted two dives per day. The planned lecture morning/dive afternoon schedule may be rearranged to accommodate the best weather conditions.

The best ways to counter the intimidation of a mandatory decompression dive is through knowledge, preparation, and experience. This builds a foundation for justified confidence. In three days, we will not make you an expert decompression diver, but we try to provide you with the tools to continue to learn and acquire experience in decompression diving, beyond the constraints of the course.

The first day of diving we will work on skills in relatively shallow water, on a reef. On day 2, we will be making wreck dives in the 100' to 130' range. For the last day, we will be making wreck dives up to 150'.

Students that complete the requirements of the program will receive the TDI Advanced Nitrox and TDI Decompression Procedures certifications. However, participation in the program is no guarantee of successful completion and getting a certification. Divers must earn their certification, by meeting all of the TDI requirements, including a written final exam.

Inside Spiegel Grove

The class texts will be the TDI Advanced Nitrox, and TDI Decompression Procedures Manuals. It is a lot of reading. Student divers will be required to read the texts completely prior to the beginning of the class. I will mail or deliver the books to you as soon as you register for the class. Students will also be required to watch the YouTube video documentary on the Dave Shaw fatality, The Last Dive of Dave Shaw, in advance of the class. An analysis of this accident will be made during the lectures.

In addition to meeting all of the Prerequisites, students will be required to read and sign the TDI Liability Release, complete the TDI Medical Form, and fill out the Diver Information Sheet for use in an emergency.

The summer weather is typically great in Florida, and that's why they call this the sunshine state, however there are bouts of bad weather, and even hurricanes. It is entirely possible that we could lose one or all of our dive days. If the advance weather forecast is undeniably terrible, as in the case of a hurricane, I will make a decision to cancel. If we lose dive days due to weather, I will make them up with you, on mutually agreeable dates. If you are flying to Florida, you may want to consider travel insurance? DAN now offers travel insurance, and I recommend that you look into it. At the same time, the weather is the weather and we will try to do the best we can to get you to complete your dives. If you miss a dive, you have 12 months to complete the dives for the certification.

  1. Students must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Students must be certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver
  3. Students must be  certified as a Nitrox Diver.
  4. Students must show a minimum of fifty logged dives.
  5. Students must have dive accident insurance.
  6. Students must possess a level of physical and mental fitness suitable for the pressures of diving in the wreck environment, to a depth of 150 fsw.
Tech Diving Gear
As divers, we love our equipment!! Modern dive equipment enables us to do what we do. The class is a good opportunity for you to discuss equipment options and then make educated decisions about what might work best for you and the way you want to dive.

Bring the minimum required, bring what you have, and bring lots of questions, but I would suggest you hold off on most major new equipment purchases until after the class. I have some equipment for you to try and compare.

Please feel free to get back to me at any time with questions.

  1. Double cylinders with a manifold are the best primary cylinder setup for deco diving. Side mounts are trendy, less functional, but acceptable. Twin K Valves will work as well. You will need cylinder(s) with volume(s) appropriate for dives planned to 150’, considering your individual SAC rate. Cylinders can be rented for this course in Florida.
    1. All cylinders are to be labeled according to TDI Standards, which means Nitrox cylinders need to be labeled for Nitrox.
    2. An O2 clean Deco Cylinder is required for the class, rigged to carry. Bring whatever size you want, with an appropriate stage regulator. I have some different cylinders for you to try.
  2. Regulators:
    1. You will need a Primary and a Primary Backup regulator on your Bottom Gas supply.
    2. You will need an O2 clean deco gas regulator.
    3. You need a SPG connected to the first stage regulator, for each gas supply.
    4. You will need a "Necklace" or lanyard to hold your Backup Second Stage Regulator in place.
  3. You need a BCD suitable for the Open Water environment, and your particular cylinder setup. A typical "Wing" setup for doubles will have 30-65 pounds of lift.
  4. You need one Primary Dive Computer, or Bottom Timer and Depth Gauge combination, plus a back up means to measure depth and time, in the event of a failure. Regardless of your system, you should be intimately familiar with the operation of at least your primary computer.
  5. You will also need a means to plan your dives using your dive computer, Smart Phone, laptop, or tablet. Examples of popular dive planners are IDeco, and MV-Planner.
  6. You will need lights:
    1. One Primary Light.
    2. One Back Up Light.
  7. You will need to bring with you at least one Ascent Reel with a minimum of 200' of line on it, and at least one SMB (5'). Bring everything you already own, but don't buy a bunch of new reels and SMB's.
  8. A Line Cutting Device is required, and it needs to be sharp.
  9. A usable underwater slate, wrist slate, or notebook, and a writing implement are required.
  10. Bring a spare carabineer, or double dog clip, for attaching accessories, but no gate clips.
  11. You need a wetsuit or drysuit, with hood, suitable for the water temps for the dates of the course. Feel free to call me for a better handle on water temps and further advice.
  12. You need gloves to protect your hands. You can use neoprene dive gloves if you like, but rubber coated garden gloves are adequate for the warm water environment as well. Up to you.
  13. You need a comfortable mask, and a pair of comfortable fins. If you need to wear lead weights, make sure you bring a belt or harness to hold them. The lead weight you can get here.
The cost of the class is $1100 per student. This includes all of the training, the 6 boat dives, the class texts, and both certifications from TDI. There are no additional class costs, however students are responsible for tips for the dive boat crew, cylinder rentals (if required), Nitrox gas fills for the dives, and for maintaining their equipment in good working order. Of course, students will be responsible for all their own transportation, meal, and lodging costs as well.

Prospective students who meet all of the requirements, may reserve a place in class with a $550 non-refundable down payment. If you have any doubts about your ability to participate in this class, please do not make a commitment to attend. The balance of $550 is due on the first day of class. Checks, cash, credit cards, and PayPal are all accepted.

Contact John