Blog posts from Gareth, Imogen and Neil
Gareth Burrows is a GUE Instructor trainer, and a personal diving coach for recreational and technical divers of all levels, specialising in improving buoyancy control, trim and stability, in-water confidence, and ascent management. He has trained with PADI, TDI, IANTD and GUE as well as serving as a DO in a BSAC branch. He has been diving cold water wrecks in Europe and around the UK for over a decade, and can usually be found diving out of Brighton, Portland or Plymouth. He is qualifying later this year as a cave diver and looking to become a GUE tech1 instructor in the 18 months. He has trained or coached hundreds of divers from newly qualified open water divers, to course directors and technical instructors.
I have a passion for customer service. When it's poor I will brutalise a company for it. When it's good I will promote them at every opportunity.
Secrets from GUE Fundamentals 2 of 5. What are the most common problems and mistakes people make on fundies, and how can I avoid doing the same. Thanks for all the comments and feedback about the first article. Time for article 2
This "secrets" series is a set of articles I am going to write over the next few weeks. They come about because I get asked a lot of the same questions again and again, and thought it would be useful to jot down some of my typical responses in the hope that the answers may be of use to all divers, not just those thinking of GUE training. the first question is "how do you assess divers on the very first dive of GUE fundamentals - what are you looking for".
Are you a DIR Diver ? DIR stands for "Doing it Right" and that statement in itself has resulted in an awful lot of nonsense posted on the internet over the years.
This was it. The final day of the course. We were refreshed after a day off, although Neil's arm was still giving him a lot of pain.
OK, so the course is now well underway and things are getting more complex. We've made our way to cenote Taj Mahal, which is just one of the most awesome places we saw in Mexico.
I should start this by stating I have no connection with any manufacturer and am not tied to saying good or bad things about anyone. Which is nice. and gets me out of trouble now and again...
"The first half of the dive is yours. The second half of the dive is mine" - Danny Riordan.
Well, after all the hullaballoo and drama of the previous day, I was looking forward to what would hopefully be a more relaxed affair when I woke up the next day. The first order of business was to rap on Neil's door and see how he was doing. When he opened the door he was smiling, which I hadn't expected.
OK, where were we. Ahh yes. Danny, Meredith and I were in the water. Imogen was standing up in her kit, and dumbass had just done the hoppy dance of futility before landing on the floor. Luckily his body protected all his gear from gettnig scratched. Wwhat else? Ahh yes, the screaming.
I was really looking forward to day 2. I had woken up at 6 o clock in the morning, and had that lovely "no jet lag for me" feeling. In fact, I felt so awesome that I went for a run in the surf and then hit the gym for 45 minutes until it was time to drag the snoozing carcass of my snooze-addicted wife and go knock on Neil's door for breakfast.
Cave 1 is GUE's introduction to cave diving. It has limits of using a about a fifth of your available gas on the penetration, which sounds awfully conservative until you see what happens when something goes awry. On Cave1, things tend to go more awry than they go well.
I was very, very worried about doing GUE Cave 1 in Mexico. This was for a couple of reasons. I had a very unpleasant experience getting lost inside a wreck eight years ago, and despite the fact that I use my experience in talks about how not to dive safely, and despite the fact that I went to counselling about it, I still to this day ocassionally wake up in a cold sweat feeling like the room is closing in on me.
Another passionate diver and all round nice fella has passed away whilst diving. RIP Stuart. Thoughts are with his family and friends.
As with all parts of the standardised kit configuration, even the five hoses which are used with the twin cylinder set up have standard lengths. This makes life simple as each piece of equipment will reach exactly to the right place on your kit without excess slack, preventing drag in the water or potential entanglement hazards. An added bonus is any hose can be swapped out with one of your team's in the event of a failure being discovered during the equipment match prior to the dive.
I thought I would clarify the GUE position on gas selection, both for bottom gas for reactional divers, and decompression gas for technical divers.
The simple answer is that GUE divers use the same gases. Gases are standardised within GUE for every dive we do. Ask any ten GUE divers which gas they will use at any given depth between 1 and 100 metres, and they will all give you the same answer.