Sharm el Shek native Jaun Rodriquez came to Team Blue Immersion as a very experienced TDI tech instructor for some cross-over training into the PADI system with team leader and Instructor Trainer Jonas Samuelsson. Before tomorrows presentations on deco ratio and assisting on Nene Kurroens trimix course (updates soon) Jaun started his training here in Dahab with both sidemount diver and sidemount instructor courses.
Jaun instantly felt at home in the new Hollis SMS 100 system. A bonus to most SMS (side mount systems) is the ease of finding that proper trim that is required to utilize the sleek profile and exploratory benefits of sidemount diving. Minor adjustments to the equipment (tip and tricks) followed safety and weight checks with some time getting comfortable with the new configuration.
Skill circuits were conducted out front lighthouse bay in the shallows. Dives later that day took place at Mashraba, were Juan showed the versatility of the SMS 100 unit by removing the wing and just using the harness and dry suit for buoyancy. Doesnt get any more comfortable then nothing on your back and only two tanks down the side. Erik joined testing out some custom made harness systems in the shallows.
As part of Juan’s instructor training, he gave a very thorough briefing to Nene Kurronen about the many benefits to sidemount diving and different configuration techniques. Juan used the ipad to show varying units available for sidemount diving. With two major differences in units – a multi purpose system vs a strictly cave diving system, it is important to understand both benefits before purchasing a personal unit.
Dives in the afternoon were used to practice with 4 tanks in preparation for an upcoming technical sidemount dive in The Arch with the entire Blue Immersion team. A certified sidemount diver may combine technical diving aspects to the sidemount configuration if their level of training provides. PADI has annoucned the release of their technical sidemount course and Blue Immersion will be the first to be teaching these courses upon their release.
Yesterdays dive with Juan on technical sidemount was the best dive of the year for myself. Jonas and Nene were conducting a trimix dive as part of her course and Aron was in the water filming and capturing some amazing footage. The comfort of a sidemount configuration combined with integrated technical safety aspects made for an excellent dive in The Arch.
Stay tuned for pics and video updates of a great day the Blue Hole.