Welcome To The Tech Side
Black. Dark. Bulky. Manly. Heavy. Macho. Difficult.
This is the way technical diving is perceived to not only a woman but non-divers too. An image is able to tell a story, a man in a dry suit with what looks like 10 black hose pipes wrapped around him, full black Darth Vader outfit and finally more than 4 silver bottles with even more hose pipes attached. This image is terrifying. Not only does the gear look to weight about 5 times your body weight, but this man is also submerged in the deepest darkest areas of an actual cave! Do you know what lives in a cave? No. Then why would you enter it? Why would someone choose to do technical diving?
Starting as a recreational, single cylinder, very excited and busy diver under water, I found the curiosity of that simple question taking over my mind. Why would someone choose to do technical diving? I slowly started noticing my self staring at these “techy divers” more and more. Not only because they were getting dressed in thick winter jumpers and sweating profusely as they rushed themselves into their drysuits midday, in 30-degree hot humid conditions, but because they seemed so mentally calm, relaxed and took their time to slowly check their gear for absolutely anything out of place.
I noticed their body positions were immaculate. I honestly thought they were in meditation or better yet taught by gurus of Buoyancy. Diving for over 11 years, I have never come across something that looked so majestic, so natural and so perfect. I looked like an open water student compared to some of these techy guru’s.
Passing these divers on our way to an incredible wreck which lies at 30m of water, started becoming an intense moment for me. I felt this urge to come over and join their “cool” group. But no, we had our mission, get to wreck, swim around once and return due to air consumption. Arrive at the wreck and notice the different types of “techy’s” and their twinsets, sidemounts, and rebreathers. This is apparently normal. One has more gas, one is able to take off his cylinders and fit through tiny gaps and the other has no bubbles which tell me he isn’t breathing! My mind was in awe. Was fascinated by the gear and benefits it provided just by watching it happen.
Time was up and had to return back after a lousy 15minutes. A short yet therapeutic dive none the less. Surfacing, I found myself in the thought of these techy divers a lot. Wondering who they are and what their objectives were. Why did they have scooters and large cameras?
2 hours later, my amateur group and I were in absolute shock. The same techy group who have literally taken over my thoughts for an entire day swim by casually on their way to exit. My mind was blown away, knowing they were on the same wreck, capturing images of that one picturesque eel, admiring the tones of the deep blue and assessing the wreck inside and out …
How. How do they do it and how can I be a part of it…