Technical Diving

Are dangerous and meaningless records being spurred on by recognition by Guinness Book of Records?

Depth record called into question

In September 2014, Egyptian national and technical diver Ahmed Gabr performed a deep dive off Dahab in the Egyptian Red Sea under the auspices and observation of adjudicators from The Guinness Book of Records. After the dive, Gabr was acknowledged for having reached the record depth of 332m, surpassing South African Nuno Gomes who made it to 318m in 2005, also off Dahab.

Interview with Andrea Donati: Pioneering Technical Diving on Ponza for 30 Years

Andrea Donati, owner of Ponza Diving Center, which this year marks 30 years of instruction and service for technical divers on Ponza Island in Italy

In my line of work as a dive industry professional, I attend a lot of dive shows and get to meet a lot of people, most of them nice and interesting in various ways. It was also at a dive show in Italy, many years ago, that I first met Andrea Donati and his partner, Daniela Spaziani, of Ponza Diving.

Why Sidemount is My True DIR Diving Option

Divers in Sinji Cave, Arkadia, Greece. Photo by Matteo Varenna.

Doing something right has never been more important that being ready—and even eager—to change for the better. What was considered great a few years ago is not always great today. All we need is to find a better option, since what was right yesterday, may not be right anymore. Doing It Right (DIR) is about doing it better than it was done before. For me, that is the only right thing to do.

Revisiting Deep Air Diving

The “Flag Room” (360ft/110m) at Diepolder II (Sand Hill Ranch Scout Reservation, Hernando County, Florida, USA) discovered by Dale Sweet in 1979 on one of the first successful mix dives using trimix. Believing it was the end of the cave, Sweet placed a flag there (not shown), hence the name. Sheck Exley dived to the room on air in 1981 in his famous “Salute The Flag” dive. Dustin Clesi placed that guideline shown nearly three decades ago.

Today, the practice of “deep air” diving, and to a large extent, air diving itself has been related to the annals of sport diving history. Nitrox has become near ubiquitous as the diving gas of choice for shallow-water diving, and the trend, as pioneered by Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) is for divers to switch to helium mixes for dives beyond about 100ft/30m.

On the Other Side of the Ice: Ice Diving Competition in Russia

If your home reef is covered in ice, do not rush to hang your fins on the wall. Ice above your head will make your underwater photos more spectacular! As the cold season has started where I live (in the Russian Far East), more and more divers are coming to dive the East Sea. This year, the Second World Open Diving Championship in “Under-Ice Direction Finding” was held in Vladivostok by the National Dive League of Russia.

Why go tech? Motivations behind technical diving

Divers in training doing their safety stops. Photo by Barb Roy.

In this essay, sports psychologist and technical diver Matt Jevon draws some parallels between the sport of technical diving and the sport of motorcycle racing, including attitudes and behaviors in regards to the inherent dangers and risks, sharing insights into our own nature as divers and adventurists.

Twilight Zone

Dominic Andradi-Brown using the stereo video system. Photo by Ally McDowell.

The pressure builds, causing ears to pop as they equalise. The temperature drops and the light starts to fade. However, bubbles are not an issue for the researchers from the University of Oxford, as they descend in the waters off the Honduran island of Utila. Researching efficiently in the twilight zone requires rebreathers, and the summer of 2015 saw the first-ever expedition led by doctoral students using this technology.