2015! Happy New Year!

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A year ago, over a year ago now that I look at the date (Septemeber 23, 2013), I wrote a blog post about my goals and aspirations for 2014. Well, it's January, 2015 now and I suppose it's time for an update. 

Let's see what I wanted to achieve. 

  1. PADI Self-Reliant Diver: 30th of December 2013. Definitely met that goal, a year early! The self-reliant class was a great one, a good precursor to technical diving and helped me develop some solid foundational technical skills. 
  2. PADI Alitutude Diver: Alas, there's not much altitude diving out in the pacific northwest and not many places teach it with a practical component therefore. Maybe a good goal for 2015!
  3. PADI Wreck Diver: Don't know why I didn't pursue this one. Probably another good one for 2015!
  4. PADI Master Scuba Diver: I needed the two specialty certifications above to get this rating, and alas I didn't make it. Not a worry though, I got a couple far better ones below. 
  5. PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer: 18th of December, 2014. This was a big one for me. It required completing 25 student certifications, which when teaching VERY part time is a solid effort. Also requires 5 PADI Specialty Instructor certifications. I have the prerequisites for some specialties that I don't hold with PADI, but did attain with TDI/SDI, and since I have the necessary experience, I was able to pick up specialty instructor certifications for the following classes. 
    1. Dry Suit Instructor: 13th of February, 2014
    2. Night Diver Instructor: 14th of December, 2014
    3. Deep Instructor: 14th of December, 2014
    4. Boat Instructor: 14th of December, 2014
    5. Enriched Air Instructor: 18th of December, 2014
  6. PADI Tec 40: 25th of January, 2015. A challenging and rewarding course, the Tec 40 course was our first real introduction to the Tec diving world. Allowing us to dive such that we incur up to 10 minutes of decompression after a dive, and use up to 50% O2 as a decompression gas, this course took some months and much more theory and practical skills work than we've had to do in the past.
  7. PADI Tec 45: unfortunately time and funding constraints limited this extra course. :-) But we'll get it in 2015!
  8. PADI Tec Trimix Gas Blender: 25th of January, 2015. A certification not on the original list, this was a fun, and long day spent learning the theory and application behind oxygen servicing equipment, parts and systems so that we can use high concentrations of (flammable) oxygen to create custom Nitrox (O2, N2) and Trimix (O2, N2, He) gas mixes. We then learnt the procedures of the gas blending system at our local dive shop and practiced using the partial pressure fill method to fill a scuba tank with a 32% mixture of enriched air Nitrox. Once I fill 50 tanks with custom gas mixtures I'll be certified to become a Gas Blender Instructor! Another good goal for 2015.

So, that's what I achieved in 2014! I had a goal to achieve seven certifications and when all was said and done I received nine! Some different than I had initially hoped for, but all useful. And diving is more than just certifications. I was also able to log 77 dives and 2,653 minutes (44 hours!) underwater, certify 14 students, and dive with a bunch of cool people. One of whom set up a new dive store this year, Bellevue Divers!

2015 will be a busy year for me as I have my own, and two other weddings to attend, as well as associated costs and time away from home. However I would like to shoot for the following certifications this year. 

  1. PADI Tec 45
  2. (Optional) PADI Master Scuba Diver
  3. (Optional) PADI Altitude Diver
  4. PADI Wreck Diver
  5. (Optional) PADI Tec 50

Attaining the Tec 50 level would be rather exciting for me as it then opens up diving up to depths of 50m/165ft and use of up to two decompression gases. But we'll see if time and money alllows for that. :-)  Certainly hitting 60 dives this year is a reasonable goal given how busy I will likely be, and even that is probably aggressive. Otherwise I intend to continue teaching students as my schedule allows, spend time at the dive shop helping out and working towards my goal of filling 50 gas mixtures, and developing my overall scuba skills. 

Should be a good year, certainly off to a great start. 

Michael