Is Being a Dive Instructor Something You Enjoy?

Then becoming an Instructor Trainer MUST be at the Top of your Bucket List!

Becoming and InstructorBeing an ITW can be heaven-sent for most Instructors, giving them the ability to often combine travel adventures with training

Isn’t it time you started taking your dive career in that direction?

Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready for an IT? We have selected the following dates for the ITW which will be held in Jensen Beach, Florida; April 23rd-30th.

Just 30 miles north of Palm Beach you will find the new TDI HQ. With the Gulfstream in our backyard, the diving is good and warm year-round!

Become an SDI TrainerWe are extremely pleased with our move, and now it is time to continue business as usual with our 1st ITW located in our new office at Jensen Beach. We know many people are eager to further their professional levels in education as a leader in scuba and enjoy the Florida sun at the same time.

For more information, please contact Cris Merz (cris.merz@tdisdi.com) at HQ or your Regional Manager for details.

Visit https://www.tdisdi.com for general information or call us at 207.729.4201

Gas Management Techniques for Sport Divers

Some fun facts about the “pony bottle”

Gas Management
With the rising popularity of sidemount diving, semi-closed and fully closed-circuit rebreathers, and of course the ubiquitous popularity of traditional North Florida Cave diver’s kits (doubles, manifold, backplate and wing), it’s sometimes easy to forget that the majority of divers still manage to have plenty of fun underwater wearing a single cylinder! A single cylinder is simple, comparatively light-weight, easy to set-up and operate and is without a doubt the most common kit configuration among scuba divers around the globe. But as popular as it is, a single cylinder does have one huge drawback, and a growing number of recreational sport divers recognize the short-coming and have opted to do something about it.

Chances are good that if you are a graduate from an SDI Solo Diver program, or if you came up through the University of Hard-Knocks, you probably already know that one huge drawback is that the diver has very limited options when Murphy tags along as a dive buddy. For example, with only one regulator first stage, the only backup life-support system is your buddy’s octo. A massive free-flow really gives little alternative but to share air and get outta Dodge.

Options are even more limited if your buddy is way over there not paying attention to anything but the critter in his viewfinder. A free-flowing regulator can empty a freshly filled cylinder in minutes, and the deeper you go, the faster it drains. Swapping regs and heading to the surface may be the only course of action open to you… unless you count reaching BEHIND your head and feathering the valve on your single tank; turning off your air to fix a free-flow is definitely not something you’d want to try as an emergency ad hoc drill anyway. The truth is that without pool practice and, at the very least, a donated octopus (backup reg) attached to your buddy’s tank in your mouth, a sport diver should never turn off his gas.

The simple alternative is to carry a redundant gas source, and the most functional and practical for the average single-tank diver is a “pony bottle.”

Time for a not-so-simple definition. Just about everyone who has lounged around the aft-decks of dive boats for a season or two will have heard the term Pony Bottle to describe a variety of small scuba cylinders – all a sort of perfect copy of a full-sized cylinder but looking as though they were put through a hot wash and dry cycle and shrunk – and used for a variety of tasks.

Other names for these mini-cylinders include sling bottles, stage bottles, buddy bottles and a half-dozen or so more equally descriptive names. As with so much that has to do with scuba (for example, what IS the definitive definition of technical diving, these days?) there are few unbendable rules when it comes to words and phrases describing pieces of dive gear. A classic example is a pony bottle. I like to tell people that it can only be used for a small cylinder used as a backup air source… exactly what we are talking about here. Of course, that is not absolutely true, but between us, let’s make it so.

Now let’s assume that we have decided that having a backup source of gas is a good plan and that the most practical way for us to carry that gas is to use a pony bottle; there are three more questions we need to answer.

The first is, “how much backup gas is enough?“

Well, the short answer is, “enough to get us back to the surface.” But how many litres or cubic feet is enough? Let’s do some basic calculations using an average consumption rate and an ascent speed that will keep our personal dive computers happy as clams. Let’s also pick a depth that is on the fringe of recreational sport diving: 40 metres or about 130 feet.

We start with a gas consumption rate of 15 litres/0.5 cubic feet per minute. (By the way, the imperial and metric measures used in this example are NOT a direct or exact conversion. Close, but rounded for convenience). Let’s also say that if we have to “bailout” to our pony bottle at depth, we are going to be a bit freaked out – Murphy does that to divers – and therefore our consumption rate is going to be doubled. So we can use 30 litres or one cubic foot per minute.

Our depth has a direct relationship to the density of the gas we breathe so at 5 bar/ata (40 meters or 130 feet) we will use about 150 litres or five cubic feet per minute!

Also, let’s make some allowance for fiddling around at depth for a couple of minutes before we start heading back to the surface. How many minutes exactly is tough to guess, but it would be a mistake to think that we would start to head up immediately we detected a problem and bailed out to our pony. It would be nice to think that’s the way things would unfold but the truth is it takes time to get our buddy’s attention, get ourselves calmed down, sort out our gear and start the swim home. Initially, let’s calculate that we stay at depth for three minutes.

Three minutes at our depth and stress adjusted consumption rate requires 450 litres or 15 cubic feet of gas. (Wow that immediately rules out one of those Barbie-sized tanks. doesn’t it?)

Now we can look at the ascent itself. In an emergency, the hard-wired, natural response that kicks in is the aptly-named flight, fight or freeze response. In diving, we have to resist flight – forget about freeze and fight – to remain controlled and panic-free. As such, our ascent rate must be unhurried and moderate. My personal computer is a fourth generation model controlled by a later version of the VPM algorithm, and as such, the controlling ascent speed is about 9 metres or 30 feet per minute. Let’s use this speed to get ourselves from 40 metres / 130 feet up to six metres or 20 feet for a five-minute safety stop, which is once again a conservative choice. This gives us a smidge less than a four-minute travel time. We can round up again and make this a full four minutes. (In fact my computer would serve up a variable ascent speed causing us to slow down to about 3 metres or ten feet per minute for the last few metres approaching the safety stop. But we can ignore that in these calculations; I will explain why later.)

Gas ManagementTo establish how much gas we will get through during that four-minute swim from depth to the safety stop, we have to know our average depth. The halfway point between 40 metres/130 feet and six/20 feet is 23 metres/75 feet which gives us 3.3 bar/ata. From this we can calculate our gas needs as: 30 litres X 3.3 bar X four minutes; or 5 cubic feet X 3.3 ata X four minutes. That’s around 400 litres (396 rounded up) or 14 cubic feet (13.2 rounded up).

So far, we need 450 litres at depth and 400 litres to swim to the stop, which adds up to 850 litres. For the imperial crowd, the required gas volume is around 30 cubic feet (actually 15 + 14 for 29 cubic feet. A note: if you are doing actual calculations to translate from imperial to SI or metric on the fly, there is some slop in the numbers quoted here because of rounding errors and soft conversion values. The differences though are moot and the principle message remains the same).

Now we have to spend five minutes at the safety stop. Using our base consumption rate as a guideline, our diver will use around 240 litres or eight cubic feet, and we can round those numbers up to cover the slow ascent from the stop to the surface. (The numbers are 1.6 bars / ata X 5 minutes X 30 litres / 1 cubic foot.)

Looking at our total gas requirements from the bailout at maximum depth then, we have:
450 litres / 15 cubic feet on the bottom; 400 litres / 14 cubic feet for the swim up; 240 litres / 8 cubic feet for the safety stop. This adds up to 1090 litres (let’s call that 1200) or 37 cubic feet.

Before moving on to touch briefly on some issue that fallout from discovering just how much gas we should think about carrying, let’s make a couple of things clear.

In the calculations used here, we have been conservative with the baseline per minute consumption figure. At least half the divers reading this article would use less than 30 litres or one cubic foot per minute as a working surface rate. However, the other half would probably use more. (And by the way, these numbers do work better if you plug in your personal SAC (Surface Air Consumption) and a factor modifying that volume to account for stress based on your abilities and needs, but frankly, our conservative baseline is a REALISTIC average).

Also, we have maintained the “high” per minute consumption rate for the whole of the swim to the safety stop as well as for the safety stop itself. In all likelihood, a diver who has him or herself under control would begin to “breathe easier” as they arrived at a shallower spot in the water column with their circumstances starting to brighten. Using a stressed consumption rate throughout the dive has resulted in a high total gas volume requirement. However, we have not factored ANY gas for a swim back to an ascent line at depth; we have factored nothing in for holdups while ascending, and nothing for blimps in procedures.

We have also opted for a slow ascent, followed by a five-minute stop at six metres or 20 feet. We could just as easily have computed a faster ascent speed and a stop at three metres or 10 feet for three minutes. The resulting consumption figure would have been slightly less. However, I believe that a controlled normal ascent and a five-minute stop provides a better edge against decompression stress in this scenario.

Finally, we have worked out all these numbers based on a dive at the very fringe of sport diving. A 40-metre or 130 foot dive is the maximum sanctioned for a sport diver with special training. Not all sport dives go this deep. However, in more than 20 years teaching divers about the basics of dive planning, — and being downright lazy –I’ve discovered that using a pinnacle dive (one that’s at the far boundary of what’s best practice for your experience and the maximum for your training) to calculate contingency needs follows perfectly the axiom of calculate once, use many times. In other words, if we follow these guidelines and then bailout from a shallower dive, we should have more than enough gas, all else being equal.

Clearly, the default sized pony bottle would be something that can hold this much gas. A decent choice in my opinion is a 6 litres / 40 cubic foot aluminum bottle. There are a couple of companies making this sized tank and they are relatively easy to find in local shops. Also, this tank has pretty good buoyancy characteristics in the water, is easy to handle with a little pool practice behind you, and is simple to carry with you in the water. The important thing is that fully charged, it carries ample gas for the purpose it’s being used for. There is the whole issue about whether to have it piggybacked on one’s main cylinder, carried as a sling bottle (classic North Florida Cave Diver rig) or as a side mounted bottle (my personal favorite because it is out of the way but accessible), but let’s leave that debate for another article. Instead, let’s look at what type of gas would be the best to carry and why.

The simplest and most straightforward choice would be to always carry in your pony bottle EXACTLY the same gas that you have in your main cylinder, but this does require us to be wary of a potentially fatal mistake. For example, last week, hypothetical diver Jillian was diving a wreck on which an EAN38 was perfectly suitable, and she had her main cylinder and pony filled with a nitrox 38. Everything on her dive was perfect and the pony stayed unused. She does not bother to drain it. This weekend, she and her buddy are going to dive a reef and intend to take a photo of an Elephant Ear Sponge at around 40 metres or 130 feet. At that depth, her pony bottle mix is hot, delivering an oxygen partial pressure of 1.9 bars / ata. This is problematic.

A simple fix is to have the pony filled with a gas that CAN be breathed on a pinnacle dive. For Jillian, or for the rest of us non-hypothetical divers for whom the specter of oxygen CNS toxicity is a real one, this would be a mix containing 28 percent oxygen, which delivers a ppO2 of 1.4 bar / ata at depth.

The principle of diving with a bailout bottle or redundant gas source is a sound one. Many divers opt to follow the practice. It gives a diver – and that diver’s buddy – options when things go pear-shaped at depth, and allows for a controlled, independent ascent (by which I mean an assent where we are not tethered to our buddy by their octopus).

As with ANY procedure that’s outside the classic stuff taught in most open-water sport programs, there are a few “good to know” knowledge nuggets focused on pony bottles:

  1. Have the valve and hand wheel within reach, and practice breathing from the reg while feathering the valve.
  2. Fit the regulator with a full-sized SPG and check it before every dive.
  3. Pre-breathe the bailout regulator before every dive.
  4. Drill bailouts often until the process becomes natural and fluid.
  5. Mark the cylinder contents and check MOD before every dive.
  6. Have the hose for the pony bottle second stage long enough to reach your mouth (and your buddy’s) easily. A 40-inch hose is a good start, longer is usually better.
  7. At least a couple of times each season practice complete ascent breathing from your pony bottle.
  8. Splurge on a good quality regulator for your pony bottle. It has to perform when you may be under stress.
  9. Treat your pony bottle system as life-support. Get the components serviced and checked on exactly the same schedule as your main cylinder and reg.
  10. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use the gas volume in your bailout bottle or pony in the gas calculations for a dive. In other words, do not plan your dives around the 1200 litres or 38 cubic feet you have in the pony. That gas is a RESERVE and should be ignored in one’s principle dive plans.

Although not the law, the best general advice for ANY single-tank diver who wants the assurance and personal “cushion” that comes from carrying a pony bottle is that they would do well to get some face-to-face time with a good mentor or instructor familiar with the kit and the procedures governing its use. An excellent certification course on this score is the SDI Solo Diver Certification.

A similar version of this article was first published in issue 24 of Underwater Journal, An Underwater Adventure Magazine, the official publication of SDI™ & TDI™. To learn more visit underwater journal magazine https://www.underwaterjournal.com/

Written by Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis (doppler@techidvertraining.org) is an active instructor-trainer with TDI/SDI and has written scores of articles on dive safety and skills development and is a regular contributor to several online magazines and discussion groups. He occasionally dives “open-circuit with a single aluminum 80” but never without a pony bottle by his side filled with a lean nitrox. His best-selling book called “The Six Skills and Other Discussions” is available at select dive stores and through onLine stores such as Amazon and Create Space eStore via: https://www.createspace.com/3726246.

Do You Know SUDS? …You Should!

All of us at SDI™, TDI™ and ERDI™ ask you to please learn more and get involved!

Suds with the SDI FlagMISSION STATEMENT
Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD is designed to help improve the lives of injured service members returning from Iraq & Afghanistan. By training the warriors in a challenging & rewarding activity it can help facilitate the rehabilitation process & promote mobility. Offering this venue provides the service member with a sport they can enjoy throughout their life. SUDS is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization & a chapter of Disabled Sports USA.

Suds Diving

The SUDS organization has been training wounded warriors to dive as part of their rehabilitation since February 2007.

During this time SUDS has worked with over 200 injured veterans. The scuba instructors are American Red Cross volunteers and active or former military and all the training utilizes SDI™ & TDI™ training certifications.

The SUDS group runs several trips per year to complete the injured veteran’s scuba certification to a variety of great warm water locations.

In December 2011 they ran a trip to Turks and Caicos with six injured veterans from across the country to do continuing education. So far in 2012 SUDS has run its 5th trip to Rincon, PR where four men from WRNMMC (Walter Reed National Military Medical Center ) in Bethesda, MD and two men from the NMCSD (Navy Medical Center ) San Diego participated working towards their Rescue Diver certifications.

SUDS Diving Scuba

The SUDS program continues to offer open water certifications at WRNNMC at Bethesda to our American heroes, and several of these men and women move on to advanced certification.

Follow SUDS on Facebook, Twitter and join the SUDS Newsletter by visiting their web site.

While you are at www.sudsdiving.org see how you can help. Divers like you are needed to help Heroes like these!

To learn more about SDI™ please visit https://www.tdisdi.com

SDI™ Introduces “HOW TO” on YOUTUBE

Just one more time…QUIET ON THE SET!… TAKE # 187535498496498749

YouTube Scuba DivingIf you have recently visited our NEW and we believe BETTER and IMPROVED https://www.tdisdi.com you have seen a myriad of new features that lead to GREAT opportunities. So since our Pro Members and Facilities have been fielding questions from Associate Members just like you, we decided to make using the site even easier than before. Although we have already built an extensive help section on the website, we recognize that videos are easier to follow for many, while reading is best for others; now you both can have it your way – hold the lettuce!

Visit https://www.youtube.com/user/tdisdierdi and check out our first shot.

We will be developing multiple videos over the coming weeks, so keep checking back to see what has been updated.

Here are a few videos we are currently working on for Associate Members and site visitors:

  1. How to create a user account
  2. How to recover your username and password
  3. How to get started with my eLearning course – both by using an access code and without using an access code
  4. How to adjust my settings when using IE 8 or 9 to use the site
  5. How to get a replacement card
  6. How to verify my dive credentials
  7. How to send feedback to the site
  8. How to find a dive center
  9. How to sign up for an additional eLearning course
  10. How do I update my profile
  11. How do I affiliate or un-affiliate with a Dive Center

Let us hear back from you at info@tdisdi.com and tell us what you would like to see next. After all, by now you must realize….special orders don’t upset us!

TDI™/ SDI™ at the London International Dive Show (LIDS)

Do not miss this provocative and thought provoking discussion

Solo Diving – Coming of age

London International Dive ShowSDI™ was the first agency to launch a Solo diving course and to emphasize the importance of Self Reliance. Although still a controversial topic, many other agencies are now following SDI’s lead and launching courses aimed at creating more self-reliant divers. Don’t miss TDI™ / SDI™ Instructor Trainer Mark Powell’s perceptive take on the subject. If you are an instructor, photographer or just dive with a variety of buddies, you will want to hear what Mark has to say on this topic.

LIDS will be held on the 31st March – 1st April at the Excel Centre, London.

For more information visit https://www.diveshows.co.uk/

For more about SDI™ programs, and to schedule your own Solo Course, please visit https://www.tdisdi.com

Know Where All of Your Dive Buddies Will Be on March 23-25th?

At “Beneath The Sea” in the New Jersey Meadowlands Expo Center!

Beneath The SeaIt’s that time of year again… Beneath the Sea is here, and TDI™-SDI™-ERDi™ will be looking forward to meeting with you once again to share with you what is “new and improved” with our agency.

Last year we kicked off with the BTS & TDI’s Tech party. This time around, we would love to do it all over again and ask that you join us. Join Brian Carney, President of TDI™, and the rest of the gang at the Embassy Suites at around 7pm on Friday 3/23 for drinks and light appetizers. But hurry! It is first come first serve, and after all this IS a hungry and thirsty dive crowd!

Invest just an hour of your time, and you will be pleased with the return you get from either of these informative seminars.

  • Members Update- Sponsored by TDI™-SDI™-ERDi™- We will also be doing a Member’s update at La Quinta, just steps from the Expo Center on Saturday at 3PM, if the weather requires a shuttle, we will wisp you away from the Expo Center to La Quinta.
  • Rebreathers in 2012- Sponsored by TDI™- Don’t miss the latest in the industry buzz – rebreathers. Join our seminar “Rebreathers in 2012” and learn all about courses you can take for fun or if you are looking for the right path to become a rebreather professional instructor. This seminar will be at La Quinta, just steps from the Expo Center on Sunday at 1PM. Same shuttle plans are also in place.

To reserve a spot at either of these events, stop by our booth and tell us “I’ll be there!” For more information, contact Cris Merz at cris.merz@tdisdi.com.

We look forward to seeing you at BTS. For more info about the show, visit: https://www.beneaththesea.org/openrosters/view_homepage.asp?orgkey=862

For more about TDI™-SDI™-ERDi™ visit https://www.tdisdi.com

There has never been a better time to join the TDI™-SDI™-ERDi™ family, ask us how!

Your UWJ Magazine is Ready!

Underwater Journal - ScubaUWJ Issue 23 is ready for download. If you’re not yet a subscriber, simply sign in and create an account with your email address (takes about 3 minutes and it’s FREE).

Your winter issue of The Underwater Journal has some great features – from finding the little stuff with photog Mike Bartick to Capt. Gary Mace’s gripping story about decompression sickness. We’re starting 2012 with something for everyone. This issue covers it all: gear, photography, marine life, advanced diving and adventure travel.

Steve Lewis gives us another pragmatic view in his column Nitrox, Voodoo Gas No More, but Still Misunderstood. His discussion focuses on the details of using this gas that many of us don’t fully understand.

Jump into the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula with Eco-photo Explorers Mike Salvarezza and Christopher Weaver. Learn and look at South Florida’s amazing wrecks from our Editor. And be sure to catch the DAN Column, Dive Safety Essentials, and get your dive year started off on a safe track.

There’s so much more to enjoy and learn, get your FREE magazine today. Don’t forget, UWJ is iPad compatible to download and save in iBooks.

This is YOUR MAGAZINE with lots of benefits. We appreciate your support and encouragement! Enjoy, and please let us know what you think.

Underwater Journal is the official publication of SDI/TDI/ERDI

Time to Schedule your SDI™ Nitrox Course

For some of us, winter is upon us; for others, plans are underway to far off destinations. In either case this means completing that course we started sometime ago, stowing away the dive gear and breaking out the tropical picture show during these extra cold months. But does it have to mean we stop learning new things about diving? No.

There are many locations that will go right on diving through the winter, and in some cases, your diving will even increase. For the rest of us whose waters are great if you like ice skating but not if you want to dive (of course they are good for an SDI Ice Diving course), we still have some options to keep engaged in diving. One great course to take is nitrox. Nitrox is one of those courses that everyone should take for several reasons. Safety is a key concern in diving and anything that can be done to increase safety should be. What nitrox does is increases the amount of oxygen you breathe which decreases the amount of nitrogen you breathe; this in turn decreases the nitrogen uptake into your body, provided you dive nitrox according to air computers or tables. Each year we get a little older and our bodies do not process things as they used to. The way our muscles and tissues process nitrogen are no exception to that rule. Don’t be concerned! There is a solution…

SDI Computer Nitrox Course

Longer Bottom Times. Shorter Surface Intervals. These are among the many benefits of diving Nitrox — a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen in which the concentration of oxygen is greater than that found in air. You’ve no doubt heard of Nitrox, and you probably know divers who use it. You also know that using Nitrox safely requires special training and certification.

Traditionally, becoming a Nitrox Diver required long hours in the classroom, learning how to work obscure formulas and use complex dive tables. No more. Through SDI’s on-line training program, you can complete most of the required academic study in the comfort and convenience of your home or office. As with all SDI programs, you’ll learn to dive Nitrox the modern way, using Nitrox-programmable dive computers instead of arcane formulas and complicated tables.

When you are done with the self-study portion of the course, you will meet with your SDI instructor to review your final exam (academic review) and to take part in a brief, practical application session. Here you will get hands-on experience with oxygen analyzers and Nitrox computers. Your instructor may even provide you with the opportunity to make one or more Nitrox dives. When you have completed the academic review and practical application sessions, your SDI Dive Center will order your permanent certification card. What could be easier? Nitrox opens a world of possibilities, leading to better, more enjoyable diving. What are you waiting for? Get Started Now!

Diving 10,000 Year Old Ice

There is a very old dive site that has just been floating around waiting to be discovered…

Iceberg Scuba DivingAsk the average scuba diver what they think of when someone mentions ice diving and chances are good they’ll tell you about diving under the winter ice cover of a freshwater lake. But did you know you can dive ice in the summer too?

Every year it is estimated that as many as 50,000 icebergs calve off the glaciers of Greenland to start their long journey south driven by ocean currents. A few hundred travel down the North Atlantic coast of America and make it as far as the island province of Newfoundland. The most famous got in the way of the Titanic 100 years ago (April 1912); and the stream of berg’s since that historic collision has grown stronger in recent years thanks to global climate change.

The process of carving goes on year-round but the best time to see Newfoundland (or Atlantic) icebergs “in person” is in the summer, and one of the best places to find ones that are “safe” to dive is Conception Bay, near that Canadian province’s capital city of St. John’s.

“Safe” of course is an entirely relative term in all types of diving but most certainly in this particular flavor of adventure-diving. An iceberg is a dynamic entity; constantly moving, shifting, stressing and straining. Rolling and splitting are two of the constant threats presented by a huge chunk of frozen fresh water floating in a slightly warmer flow of salt water – and gradually melting away. Of course, these events can be disastrous for anyone close by, whether on the surface or underwater. Because of this and other factors, diveable bergs are bergs that are grounded. These are sometimes called Ice Islands.

Iceberg ScubaGrounding? Let me explain. There is no such thing as an average Newfoundland iceberg. Some are the size of a football stadium, and some look as small as a garden shed (see table), but what they all share is that approximately ninety percent of their bulk is “hidden” underwater. What we see floating is just the tip of the iceberg (sorry; couldn’t resist the pun). As air temperatures effect it – making it melt and crack due to changes in surface temperatures and internal pressure – a free-floating berg is always at risk of turning over or calving off mini-bergs of its own.

You might say that the berg is constantly changing its buoyancy and trim! Only when that hidden portion of the berg bottoms out on the ocean floor is there ANY opportunity to partially manage these risks.

However, few icebergs are held fast for long. As their bulk and mass gradually lessens, buoyancy changes and ever-present currents and tides will tend to push it along, often dragging its way through the seabed. Many berg divers check out this Ice Scour or Gouging – given depth limits – before getting close to the body of the berg. This is an indication of how long the berg has been grounded, and in some part, how it has behaved during its time as an ice island. Also, since the seabed in Newfoundland is home to all manners of cold-water creatures, the gouge often uncovers hidden critters and can attract larger predators to an open feast — take a camera!

Once a berg is confirmed to be grounded, divers usually submerge at a safe distance and swim toward the iceberg. This is one of the most unique experiences. Remember, an iceberg is fresh-water, perhaps more than 10,000 years old. It is pure and unsullied by mankind. As a diver closes in on its walls – which incidentally have the appearance of a multi-hued abstract sculpture – she will pass through the meltwater zone, where seawater and freshwater mix. Her buoyancy will change and she will experience passing through a distinct halocline. Also, the quality of sunlight or daylight will change, and it is not unusual for the visibility around a berg to be “virtually limitless.” The ice itself seems to glow from transmitted sunlight and the berg’s walls will shimmer with countless shades of blue from pale aqua to deep violet.

It will be, all in all, an unforgettable experience.

Size Category Height Length
Growler Less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) Less than 5 metres (16 ft)
Bergy Bit 1–5 metres (3.3–16 ft) 5–15 metres (16–49 ft)
Small 5–15 metres (16–49 ft) 15–60 metres (49–200 ft)
Medium 15–45 metres (49–148 ft) 60–120 metres (200–390 ft)
Large 45–75 metres (148–246 ft) 120–200 metres (390–660 ft)
Very Large Over 75 metres (246 ft) Over 200 metres (660 ft)

Data supplied by International Ice Patrol

Iceberg Diving

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Often an iceberg will be surrounded by small chunks of calved ice (Growlers or smaller). If possible, collect one or two of these and use them in your cold drinks (in Newfoundland, this might be an after dive drink of Screech). When berg ice melts, it makes a fizzing sound called “Bergie Seltzer.” This sound is caused by escaping air originally trapped and then compressed as prehistoric snow layers became glacial ice.

WHO IS ICEBERG DIVING FOR?

Iceberg diving is great for advanced divers, equipped and experienced in cold-water diving since even in summer, the water temperatures at depth in Newfoundland hover only a few degrees above freezing. Divers with a sense of adventure and a yen for something out of the ordinary are also recommended.

There are several SDI/TDI instructors working in Newfoundland; to find out more about adventure diving, contact them through our website https://www.tdisdi.com or call us 207.729.4201

REMEMBER no dives outside your comfort and training should be undertaken without proper instruction and guaidance!

INTERNATIONAL TRAINING EXHIBITING AT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SHOW, TORONTO, 24-26 FEB

This year, International Training (ITI) will be exhibiting at the Outdoor Adventure Show (OAS), Toronto, Ontario.  The OAS is the largest consumer show of its type in Canada, with over 30,000 visitors attending last year’s event.  Cris Merz (National Sales Manager) and Steve Moore (HQ Training and Regional Manager Eastern Canada) will be representing the agency throughout the show, with the assistance of local SDI/TDI/ERDI facility staff.  Please come along and visit us at Booth 419 in the SCUBA World section of the show – we’d love to see you!

The OAS is being held in The International Centre, Hall 5, 6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, Ontario on 24th, 25th and 26th February 2012.  Full details, including directions, can be found via the following link:  https://www.outdooradventureshow.ca/toronto/visitor/index.html

Cris is contactable via cris.merz@tdisdi.com and Steve via steve.moore@tdisdi.com.