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Thread: Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

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    RBW Member diverem is on a distinguished road diverem is on a distinguished road diverem's Avatar
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    Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Rebreather Diving in Tulamben, Bali
    By Emma Holman
    A Review of the IANTD Normoxic Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane
    at Villa Alba Dive Resort in Tulamben, Bali, July 2013.

    Having been diving for over 13 years, instructing, cave and technical diving, I was keen to move to a rebreather. After spending several months researching different units, I purchased a rEvo in September 2012 and could not have been happier. I did the entry level “Mod 1” rEvo rebreather course with Rubens Monaco, a full five day course for those new to rebreathers.

    Already thoroughly impressed with the rEvo, I decided to go the next level and undertake the “Mod 2” Trimix Rebreather course in July 2013 with Marc Crane. This course prepares you to conduct and carry out safe trimix dives to a maximum depth of 60m (CCR Diver Training - IANTD Courses). I was keen to dive to deeper depths of up to 60m exploring wrecks and unspoilt reefs with a clear head on trimix.

    I wanted to do the course with a good instructor somewhere warm so Bali seemed like the perfect choice being based in Perth. While Marc Crane came highly recommended, particularly by the Australian rEvo distributor, Damien Grigg, I was warned it would not be an easy course and I would certainly have to work for my certification but if I passed, I would ultimately become a more competent diver. So I contacted Marc and locked in the dates. He kindly organised all my accommodation, transport and any gear I needed (mainly rebreather and bailout cylinders) so I just organised my flights and let him know when I was arriving.

    So having done my homework (prior reading and skills practice), I headed off to Bali with some trepidation and fear of drowning at 60m! I arrived at Villa Alba in Tulamben (the only resort in Bali with full rebreather support) and met Marc who also stayed there which made things easy. I settled in and got ready to start the course the next morning.

    Day one began with a general introduction, some theory (straight into calculations!) and gear configuration. We must have spent about 3 hours on my configuration including an hour and a half in the pool, perfecting how the rebreather fit and the positioning of the stage cylinders. By the end of the session, my unit not only fit a lot better but I could actually swim around the pool with two 80ft alluminium cylinders and it felt as if I wasn’t carrying any stages at all! Nothing was wobbling or rattling around like it had been before and my work of breathing improved dramatically once the rEvo was in the right place. That session alone was invaluable.

    Days two and three entailed a review of all the skills learnt in Mod 1 and introduced some new skills. Progressing from Mod 1 to 2 provides so many more options than “if in doubt, bail out”. There are so many things I could do to solve problems that I hadn’t thought of. I also learnt how to use other options to monitor my PO2 rather than just the Shearwater – it is possible to fly the unit manually just using the HUD without a mask! I was amazed how clearly I could understand Marc explaining things to me underwater, even if he did sound like Mr Bean!

    There was a lot of stage cylinder work too. When swapping both 80ft cylinders with your instructor, I didn’t see the problem sticking one between your legs while I unclipped the other. Having seen Marc’s reaction, I realised this was not the way it was to be done… Further explanation and demonstration showed me that was a much easier way to do this! He makes it all look so easy and it is when you know how!

    Day four began with magically full cylinders again. The “Fill Fairy” did such a great job (Marc does all his own fills)! By this stage of the course, I had to plan the dives and provide the best mix for the next day’s diving based on maximum planned depth and bottom time. Once the cylinders had been filled and gas analysed, I then reviewed the calculations. We dived to 50m next. Surely, no skills at this depth – that would be dangerous surely! But this is why I’m here: how would I get myself out of trouble if I had to bail out at 50m – and that is what I did. The final day’s diving was a 60m pleasure dive, although on a dive with Marc, you should always expect the unexpected!

    One of the biggest areas of learning on this course for me were dealing with the BOOMS (a leak of supply gas either internally into the loop or externally) and realising that there are plenty of other options you can try before bailing out. Trying to whack Marc’s hand off your manual add button isn’t going to work either – you just have to deal with it as if it was real and he won’t stop until you get it right!

    The stress tests weren’t half as scary as I had imagined. The worst part was the anticipation but as long as you watch and listen to everything Marc says, following his example and have covered all “what-ifs” in your head, you will survive! This course isn’t just about learning skills and drills, it’s about a mindset, prioritising problems and working thorough them to get yourself out of trouble when the time arises – as it inevitably will.

    Overall, Marc went above and beyond during this course. Everything was explained very clearly and in detail. No matter how much you hate calculations, you will be able to do them in your sleep by the end of it – I did! If he makes you calculate loop volumes when you are exhausted, you’ve had a few drinks and you’re ready for bed, there is a reason for it! Yes, you can use a computer to do it for you but how do you know it’s right and I certainly felt better knowing how my dive has been calculated. At the end of this course, I felt so much more confident on my unit. Throw any emergency scenario at me underwater and I know I could get myself out of trouble.

    Without a doubt, Marc is the best instructor I have ever had the privilege to be taught by and the best course I have ever done. I would recommend anyone rebreather diver do a course with Marc if you want to become a more competent diver and not just get a ticket.


    Villa Alba, Tulamben, Bali
    This was our sixth trip to Tulamben in the north east of Bali. We chose Villa Alba as they are the only resort in the area that are fully set up for rebreather diving. In addition to all the normal open circuit dive gear, they can also provide sorb, rebreather/bailout cylinders, oxygen (including boosters), helium, and scooters for hire.

    The house reef out front is just a few metres away and is like their own private dive site as we didn’t see anyone else on it the whole time we were there. We found small fans with several pigmy seahorses, massive moray eels and plenty of other big and small stuff to see.

    Villa Alba has only been open a few months but they have already mastered the home from home feel, offering outstanding service, great food, company and comfort. The hosts, Alex and Jessica are just lovely and will do anything for you – nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are huge, with big double beds, TV/DVD player and a fridge. There are nicely maintained gardens with two pools, one overlooking the sea. The food is prepared freshly by the local staff who can cook pretty much anything. There is a mix of Western, Chinese and Balinese dishes to tempt your taste buds.

    This resort certainly made life easy and you don’t have to worry about a thing except what to chose to eat. The staff look after all your gear and even carry your rebreather around for you. We will certainly be back!


    Links:
    Marc Crane – IANTD Instructor Trainer, Indonesia
    crane_marc@hotmail.com
    Tauchen und Schnorcheln Weltweit

    Villa Alba, the only dive centre in Bali with full rebreather support.
    Villa Alba - Alba Dive Tulamben - Villa Alba Tulamben Home Page

    Damien Grigg – Australian rEvo Distributor
    DKG Drysuits – Repairs, New Otter and rEvo Rebreathers

    Scuba Imports – Australia’s best online dive store
    DiveTub - Australian Online Dive Store

  2. #2
    RBW Member MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb is a jewel in the rough MikeWebb's Avatar
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    Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Great report Em. I've already contacted Marc about Mod2 in Bali. I was hoping he would do his training in tulamben.

    I'm looking forward to my course now and hope my experience will be as good as yours. Many times I've peered down the depths of the drop off. I can't wait to be there.

    Mike

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    Re: Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Edit: Villa Alba isn't the only resort fully catering for rebreathers in Bali, just the north east of Bali (Tulamben). Apologies.

    There are other rebreather-friendly resorts in Bali - in Lovina and Candidasa. :)

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    Re: Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Hey Mike

    Tulamben in the 40-60m range is like a whole new dive destination! Recreational divers don't get down that deep so the reef is just pristine - stunning and so quiet! :)

    You'll have a great time. My best dive was the 60m with Marc at the Dropoff! Met up with an Eagle Ray at 60m too and got to spend some time down there which was nice.

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    Re: Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Thanks for the great detailed report Em, certainly sounds like the place to go!

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    Re: Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Great write up Emma. I would certainly add to your rating of Marc. I did a course with Marc in Bali earlier this year and he was simply excellent. I would very highly recommend him.

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    Re: Trip Report: Trimix rEvo CCR course with Marc Crane in Bali

    Yes another one... I'd absolutely agree to what was said above... Marc is a top notch instructor, I did my rEvo crossover with him and my wife her MOD1, we visited him on Flores, Komodo twice and will be undertaking more training with him in Dec. What makes training with him most valuable he has got loads of experience as Instructor Trainer on quite a fair number of different rebreather units. And he is a very nice guy!

    Just now Marc has relocated to Lovina on northern Bali and from what he told me the location has a great house reef for training and I think I remember a drop off as well plus other nice spots around Tulamben is always within reach for a day trip by car...

    Cheers

    Christian

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