14th October 2011 08:11
Poseidon Training TDI UK
"I just recently completed a Poseidon Mk6 training course with Stephen Phillips near Belfast, Northern Ireland and thought it might be interesting to describe the experience.
First a bit of background, I have about 350 OC dives logged mostly UK diving but with a fair amount of warm water diving around the world, and am a PADI DM, currently doing BSAC Advanced.
A few of the guys I regularly dive with use Inspirations, and I did have a try dive first on the Poseidon .
My main interest is underwater photography, and my local dive sites rarely exceed 30 metres, and after some consideration decided on the Poseidon.
As Head of TDI/SDI UK , Stephen is clearly highly competent as an instructor, and his experiences as a diver make for fascinating listening in the rare moments when you are not doing something or thinking about what you should be doing.
Equipment familiarisation and stripdown takes place in a well equipped workshop and compressor room, theory in his kitchen, shore diving in Strangford Lough just a few miles away. Visibility in the Lough was "limited" at best when we were there, not helped by my initial and frequent encounters with the silty bottom until we got the weight right. Shore access was very easy and entry and exit was painless.
Although conditions were challenging, and visiting the wreck of the MY Alastor which lies 22 metres deep only about 50 metres from the entry point, was more like a very murky night dive, it was certainly representative of uk diving and all the more effective for it.
With the Poseidon there are no manual in-water recovery drills to learn other than bailout, so the coure is shorter than typical for other ccr types, but no less intensive for the period you are there, with Stephen's rescue task still a painful memory.
I would describe Stephen's teaching style as highly professional, thorough and supportive but "no nonsense", on one dive where I was informed I was "leading" but where I spent the whole time tunnel vision focused on the ccr, my bouyancy issues etc. and effectively ignored my highly qualified buddy, my shortcomings were politely but firmly pointed out to me.
On the whole I found the course both effective and very enjoyable, and with Poseidon bringing out software and hardware upgrades to extend the range of the unit, I am certain to be back in Belfast."