Report by Thomas Knedlik, Educational Consultant, PADI Asia Pacific
After several fantastic dives on the amazing wrecks around Sydney (Australia) five trimix divers completed training to various levels with PADI Tec Trimix Instructor Trainer and PADI Course Director Richard Nicholls. Daniel Macherel (PADI Course Director), Matt Hopkins (PADI Master Instructor) and Alex Boulton (TDD Technical Consultant and PADI Course Director) assisted with the Tec Trimix course and are now certified as PADI Tec Trimix Instructors. The students (and guinea pigs) for the instructional team were Junya Kato (PADI Educational Consultant and PADI Master Instructor) and Thomas Knedlik (PADI Educational Consultant and PADI Course Director) who were both presented with their credentials after the final 75 metre dive at the Ex-HMAS Encounter. The Encounter sank in 1932 and is Sydney’s largest wreck at 113 meters length.
Very beneficial during the PADI Tec Trimix course were the pre- and post dive briefings which made for some great discussions. During one evening gas-fill-session (yes, we filled our own tanks!) we adopted the philosophy that one way of saving some of the precious and expensive gas is to use Trimix in the twin-cylinders on our back but also to have a stage (sling) tank filled with the bottom-mix. We would breathe off the stage cylinder with
bottom-mix till the gas supply was nearly depleted and then switch to our back-cylinders. This left us with plenty of gas in our twinset and for the next two dives we only had to refill the stage cylinder with the desired bottom-mix after we re-calculate our gas requirements. This technique will certainly come in handy when we take our dives to greater depths. The revised course allows certified PADI Tec Trimix Divers to explore depths of up to 90 meters after gaining additional experience.
After course completion Richard Nicholls said, “Teaching the revised PADI Tec Trimix course has been a lot of fun. The new course sub-division provides for greater flexibility when facing time pressure or students’ varying ability to meet performance requirements. Although the depths of the local dive sites don’t allow for dives to the revised maximum depth of a certified PADI Tec Trimix Diver, it has been great to incorporate the techniques for more complex logistics and equipment into the course.”