Thu, 22 Apr 1999 19:41:52 +1000 Strike wrote >Today (Thursday) was the first day of a two-day International TDI Conference >to be followed - on Saturday and Sunday - by a two-day open Technologies >conference and rebreather forum, both of which are being held at Sydney's >National Maritime Museum, in Darling Harbour. Sounds like quite a techie pow-wow. >Featured speakers include; Brett Gilliam; He can still afford a plane ticket to Sidney after the Uwatec case? :-) Was the ticket one-way? :-)) >Jim Bowden; He was flamed by a former subscriber to Scuba-L for 'recklessness' and 'strokery' . The supreme irony and sadness is that according to 100% reliable sources, the flamer died in a cave dive a few days ago, without having attempted anything extraordinary. >Ann Kristovich; Read much about her in her role as member of the support teams in Sheck Exley's and Jim Bowdens record deep cave dives, and her own depth records in scuba diving. >Richard Pyle; Quite a legend in his recovery from a severe case of DCS, and continued diving routinely below 200 or 300 fsw on air (until relatively recently switched to rebreathers) in search of new marine species. I was the unsuccessful match-maker to consumate the mutual wishes of him and Dr. Dan Manion to be on the same "Deep Diving" discussion panel at DEMA in 1995. He must have been there primarily in the rebreather pow-wow. > and a cast of other diving luminaries! :-) Indeed. The hotel would not have needed any lights. :-) >Although I'm not a member of TDI, it was certainly good to be able to sit in >on the presentations - particularly Jim Bowden's. He impressed me very >much. So much so that immediately after his first presentation of the >conference, he, Ann and myself 'escaped' to their hotel for a long leisurely >chat about some of their work on the Cave Diving Project of Mexico and >Central America. Despite the fact that cave diving has absolutely no appeal >to me whatsoever, I was absolutely enthralled by their experiences and >impressed by the amount of planning that goes into each of their expeditions. I definitely share your view in the last two lines. Those armchair slogan chanters who automatically flame anyone diving "deeper" than what THEY thought was appropriate don't realize that these "risk takers" know about the risks 1000 times better than they do, prepare 1000 times more throughly than they ever imagined a dive preparation would take, and chose to take the risk. I am immensely impressed by the eulogy Jim delivered on Sheck's death in the dive in which he survived. >I also got to chat with Brett Gilliam about SDI (Scuba Divers International) >- a new mainstream training agency that TDI are launching and viewed the >entry level teaching materials; a well presented manual with great graphics >and an emphasis on teaching the use of dive computers. (The use of tables >is also covered, but the focus is very much on computers.) The teaching of some basic elements about dive computers is certainly a good idea in today's diving environment in which the use of dive computers is nearly as commonplace as the use of fins. On any particular dive, I dive with only one set of my several sets of fins, but on one occasion I dived with 5 computers (two Uwatec Aladin nitrox <G> over a series of over 20 dives on a liveaboard). It PAYS to know something about computers. :-) On interesting question raised by skeptics about the SDI syllabus is WHICH computer do they use in their course -- something they sell (which suggests a possible conflict of interest) or dive computers in general? >I think I'm turning into a dive show groupie! :-) Just warming up your reporting skills for the one that REALLY counts, the Coz99NEDfest in June! -- Bob.