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Thread: Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

  1. #1
    Team HPDW Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey's Avatar
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    Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

    This is a brief report on my Mod1 training with Aaron in Sharm.
    I purchased KISS #118 2nd hand from the previous owner as he was no longer diving it. It had been sitting gathering dust for a while but seemed ok when I bought it.


    Day1: All about theory and the unit today. We covered off on most of the theory in the book and it was a little tedious but we had to do it. I'd done the knowledge review sections on the plane on the way over here and this was simply repeating what I'd done. We took a break in the afternoon and went through a unit stripdown and prep for the 1st days diving the following day. I'd been looking forward to actually stripping my unit down and getting to know it and this session proved to be invaluable. We stripped it down completely and cleaned and greased the o-rings and replaced where required. We then checked the IP & flow rate. This was off the scale for flow and at about 14bar on the IP gauge. Aaron then explained how to wind it back to a reasonable rate and we put it back to 8 bar. The flow is now set at .6lpm which I may crank up slightly once I've done a few wreck dives here in the UK. We then put it all back together and packed the scrubber for day 2 and it was beer o'clock time .

    Day2: We went to Sharks bay which is about 20 minutes outside of Sharm and is a perfect training site. There is a gently sloping area where you can get to a 6m shelf and a 9m shelf to practice your skills. Today was all about trying to get comfy with buoyancy then practice skills kneeling down. High pp02, Loop recovery (3 sorts) Dil flush. All practiced till I was comfortable. Then it was off for a swim and try & keep good setpoint control. No drama and I never lost it and shot to the surface once. Which was nice.

    Day3: Sharks Bay again as the boats were all full. Today we took it up a notch by attempting the drills in mid water. The idea was to get me comfortable so that I could think about getting out on a boat. I was a little surprised that I could do the skills in mid water. We also had to see if I could hold a deco hang. Buoyancy wasn't perfect but it was good enough and my reward was to be a trip to the Thistlegorm.

    Day4: Reality bites. We get out to the Thistlegorm after a 4am start and the circus is in town. There are boats everywhere but we ignore them and let our crew tie in as I go through final checks prior to getting in. We allow for roughly 2 hours in-water but we agree not to rack up more than 20 mins deco.
    In we splash and down to 30m. This is the 1st chance I've had to appreciate pp02 changes as you descend and to really practice at loop volume. It all comes instinctively thanks to Aaron's advice and all is good. We mooch around starting at the stern. We take a slow swim and come round to the bow. We have the Titanic moment where I am looking up from the anchor chain to the very impressive bow and all seems well in the world. We come round to the starboard side and take in the excellent vis. The current is picking up a bit now and my breathing is getting a bit heavier. We keep swimming and I start to notice something isn't quite right. I shout to Aaron who comes in close and I let him know I'm unhappy. I have my hand on my bailout at this point as I'm struggling for a full breath and can't get my breathing rate down. I motion to a point in the wreck where we can shelter and spend a few minutes calming everything down. When I realise I have it all under control we carry on swimming but from this point on I start to struggle with the setpoint and loop volume. I finally thumb the dive as I'm unhappy and we've spent 82 minutes on the wreck.
    When I get back I strip the unit down completely and as I take the loop hoses off the DSV I notice that the mushroom valve on the exhale side has become dislodged. This has the effect of allowing C02 rich exhale gas come back into the inhale side and spiking the C02 that I was breathing. As I was working hard the effect was compounded and as I got it under control it was barely noticeable.
    I at least know what a mild C02 hit feels like and I am happy that we dealt with it. I know if I hadn't been able to get my breathing under control I would have bailed out. This was the day where I really understood how much I had to learn.
    All's well that ends well and we replace the mushroom valve and get the unit ready for day 5.

    Day5: Rebuilding confidence is the order of the day. I'm happy with the unit prep and we jump on the boat. The plan today is a couple of 1hr dives where we go to 30m and bailout onto OC for simulated deco. Everything goes as planned and I end up on OC for about 20 minutes of deco. This was the easiest skill we practiced all week if I'm honest. OC deco is not too difficult as I've been doing a little bit of it recently.
    Dive 2 and we're at the pre-breathe phase prior to jumping in when I feel that something is wrong with the unit. I can't exhale without resistance. Aaron & I start taking hoses off one by one and there doesn't seem to be a blockage anywhere. We abort the dive and strip off the units and Aaron suggests I check my scrubber. I pull it apart and empty the sorb. The top 3rd comes out fine but then I get a wet, sludgy mess and realise my scrubber is almost full of wet sorb. I attribute this to the fact that my DSV has been leaking slightly all week so Aaron & I sit down and he watches me while I strip it down completely (under his instruction) and change every o-ring and grease it all up. I put it all back together and try a negative pressure test. This holds perfectly (the best one all week) so we re-pack the scrubber and decide to make up the time on the final day.

    Day6: The plan for today is 2 x 1hr15min dives with the 1st dive being down to 40m and getting into deco on the Shearwater. We swim around and all goes perfectly. Once I'm into deco we start to come up in stages and level off at 30m, 20m, 15m, 10m and finally 6m. All goes well and I'm pleased with my ascent.
    Dive 2 was to be the final assesment on my skills and was all about drills in mid water. The high 02 had been my nemesis all week so with Aarons instruction ringing in my head we set off on the swim. Aaron was behind me so I couldn't see when he was going to spring it on me. I hear my name being shouted and turn to see Aaron with his yellow crib card telling me I had spiked pp02. I immediately bail out and go through the drill. All is going according to plan till I take the 2nd oc breath which I then have to push into the loop to reduce the pp02. At this point buoyancy goes to hell as I now have a whole lot more gas in the loop than I should. I start to vent through my nose, dump wing and drysuit but it isn't enough and it isn't quick enough. Physics take over and I start to head for the surface. I reach out for anything to arrest my ascent and a handy cliff ledge volunteers. Once I've got everything under control I come back to Aaron and shake my head at my own lack of control. He signals to calm down and we swim off again. He hits me with the drill twice more and I deal with it as I should. When he signals that we should bag up I know we are done with the dive and all we have to do is make it to the surface in a controlled manner.
    As we get back on the boat Aaron shakes my hand and congratulates me. He then starts talking about packing scrubbers for tomorrow. I ask him if we're going back in together and he looks at like I'm an idiot. "You're going in on your own" he says. "Have I passed?" I say. "Of course you have you fool" says he.
    When he shook my hand and said congratulations I assumed he meant for not dying and shooting to the surface on the high pp02 drill

    So there it is in all it's glory. Mod1 was without a doubt the most challenging course I've done to date.
    Tekstreme in general and Aaron in particular are a joy to dive with.
    I booked through Emperor divers and stayed at the Bayview hotel which is attached to the school. Very clean rooms and I couldn't fault them at all.
    The boats we used all belonged to Emperor and were great.
    Now it's time to start diving the unit and consolidate everything I've been taught.
    Cheers
    Paul

  2. #2
    RBW Member toe will become famous soon enough toe will become famous soon enough toe will become famous soon enough toe will become famous soon enough toe's Avatar
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    Re: Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

    Nice write up and well done. Happy and safe diving with your new toy.

    Cheers

    Tony

  3. #3
    CK #21 ReikiMaster will become famous soon enough ReikiMaster will become famous soon enough ReikiMaster will become famous soon enough ReikiMaster will become famous soon enough ReikiMaster's Avatar
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    Re: Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

    so you ready for some proper UK diving then?

    must admit i keep looking at the red sea for a holiday, so would be interested in what you actually took etc

    regards
    steve

  4. #4
    Another Dilligaf Diver nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer is a glorious beacon of light nicothesailer's Avatar
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    Re: Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

    Good reading. Congratulations on a successful course!

    Regards...Paul

  5. #5
    Team HPDW Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey's Avatar
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    rEvo III Hybrid

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    Re: Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

    Quote Originally Posted by ReikiMaster  View Original Post
    so you ready for some proper UK diving then?

    must admit i keep looking at the red sea for a holiday, so would be interested in what you actually took etc

    regards
    steve
    I paid £16 each way for 1 bag of dive kit on top of my 1 bag allowance.
    Ali BP + Wing and unit plus the drysuit and bailout regs in a cheapo Primark suitcase came to about 23kg
    then another bag with the rest of my gear in for the week which came to 18kg.
    No problems at all with easyjet. Very happy with their baggage policy and both bags turned up on each leg of the trip[ so happy days all round.
    I put the Kidney & Shearwater in my backpack for cabin luggage and that's about it.
    CHeers
    Paul

  6. #6
    Go DEEP!!!! Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer is a jewel in the rough Explorer's Avatar
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    MEGALODON

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    Re: Mod1 with Aaron Bruce @ Tekstreme

    Congratulations Paul!! Aaron is has done well again. Welcome to CCR.......


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