Now taking deposits of $1,000 per person
(details to follow)
As you may have seen on our Facebook page, we've scheduled our first ever trip to the Pacific, to a mecca for wreck diving, Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon! Chuuk was headquarters for the Japanese fleet until it was destroyed by a US air raid in 1944. There are several dozen dive sites, including warships, aircraft, and merchant vessels. Several are in recreational depths, but the best of Chuuk is from 100' to 200', well within the sweet zone for technical divers. The warm, clear waters of Chuuk make it a great spot for tech divers of all levels and experience. We scheduled the trip for September of 2020, so that you'll have plenty of time to get ready for the trip of a lifetime!
If you're a recreational diver, here's the road you need to travel to get the training you'll need to enjoy Chuuk to the fullest. Below, we've listed the full complement of technical courses that we teach just so you'll know what's available, but here's what we recommend
AOW -> Rescue -> Nitrox -> Deep -> Cavern/Wreck -> Dry Suit -> Side Mount
At this point, you've got a solid core for tech training. From here, you can start with a rebreather class (we have rental units available), or you can go open circuit tech.
Tec 40/AN -> Tec 45/DP -> Tec 50/ER -> Trimix 65
An Extended Range diver, certified to 180' will be able to enjoy all but the very deepest dives at Chuuk, the San Francisco Maru, which lies from 140'-210'. Add in a little trimix to get rid of the narcosis cobwebs and you'll have some great diving memories!
Here's some information about all the classes that are mentioned above.
Advanced Open Water - We do a simple wreck dive in the class, and it's the prerequisite for just about all the classes that follow. The course consists of five Adventure Dives, and we normally do Peak Performance Buoyancy (PPB), Search & Recovery, Underwater Navigation, Deep, and Wreck. For a potential Chuuk traveler, we'd recommend a drysuit dive in place of the Search & Recovery dive, and then finishing off the weekend with an additional Dry Suit dive to finish up the Dry Suit specialty.
Rescue Diver - Dives in Chuuk will be deep and longer than most recreational dives, so being able to handle underwater emergencies provides a lot of piece of mind. Additionally, Rescue is a prerequisite for some of the technical diving courses.
Nitrox - All technical dives shallower than about 180' are done on Enriched Air Nitrox. Whether it is used as a bottom gas or a deco mix, understanding how to safely dive nitrox is a cornerstone of technical diving.
Deep - There are two ways to qualify here. You can take the Deep Diver course, or you can show that you have experience (10 logged dives) deeper than 100'.
Dry Suit - You won't need a dry suit in Chuuk, but you will need one to do technical dive training in Alabama or Florida. The Alabama quarries we train in are cold below the thermocline, and the Florida springs are pretty chilly as well.
Wreck / Cavern - Penetrating the wrecks will be a highlight of diving in Chuuk. Either the Cavern Diver or the Wreck Diver class will teach you gas planning for overhead environments, line techniques, lights out drills, and refine your buoyancy and trim. The Wreck Diver class will require boat trips for the dives. The Caver Diver class can be taught in the springs of North Florida, so it's a little easier to schedule and not at all dependent on good weather and smooth seas.
Sidemount - Our favorite way to do technical dives. Sidemount is soooo much easier for technical diving than putting a set of doubles on your back. This diving technique gives you two fully redundant scuba systems, and gets you the best possible trim. Taking this class combined with Drysuit makes for a nice weekend of diving.
Tec 40 / Advanced Nitrox - These are the first courses in which a diver gets to go into planned decompression. You'll learn to dive a nitrox or air to a maximum depth of 130' with up to 10 minutes of planned decompression using up to EANx50 for a deco mix. Advanced Nitrox can be combined with Sidemount or Deco Procedures so that you can earn two certifications in a single weekend.
Tec 45 / Deco Procedures - These classes will get you deeper than you've ever been before, diving up to 100% oxygen for deco. Your maximum depth will be 150'.
Tec 50 / Extended Range - Tec 50 takes you to 165' and Extended Range takes you to 180'. The other difference between the two is that you can upgrade the Tec 50 class with a trimix option to use normoxic trimix within Tec 50 limits to reduce narcosis.
Trimix 45/50 - These are upgrades to Tec 45 or Tec 50. If you take either one in combination with your Tec 45/50 class, you won't need the other. You'll learn how to analyze breathing gasses containing oxygen, nitrogen, and helium (trimix), plan dives on trimix within Tec 45/50 limits, using deco gasses up to 100% oxygen.
Tec 65 - This class will take you to 210' on normoxic trimix (at least 21% oxygen). A great graduation dive for this class is the propellers on the USS Oriskany in Pensacola.
Tec Trimix - The deepest class we can teach at SDI. You'll be certified to dive to 300'+ using hypoxic (less than 21% oxygen) trimix gasses, and will be among the elite of the elite tech divers.
Rebreather - In case you hadn't noticed, the classes in this list have been pretty much going deeper and deeper and the list goes on. If you make it to Tec 50 / Extended Range, it's time to take a deep breath (pun intended) and think about your overall plans for technical diving. Going to be an occasional tech diver above 180' or so? Stop at Tec 50 / Extended Range. Going to dive in the 200' - 300' range only occasionally? Choose the trimix course that fits your needs. Want to dive deep all the time? Then a rebreather is the way to go because it uses much less expensive trimix than any other way to dive. The Closed Circuit Rebreather Deco Procedures class will get you to 150'. It does add some complexity to the dive planning and you'll need to rent or own a rebreather, but you'll be the baddest frog in the Lagoon!
I hope you will go with us to Truk!