Cavern Diving

By Jeanne Bear Sleeper What you call cavern diving depends upon where you dive. Most divers will agree that a cavern has an overhead obstruction that prevents a diver from going directly to the surface. If you dive in California, a cavern could be a 10 foot deep crevice in a rock ledge; in Hawaii,…


Naturally Nitrox

By Geri Murphy Have you heard of nitrox but never tried it? Are you curious, but never seem to have the time to take a nitrox diving certification course? If so, youre one of hundreds of thousands of divers who have yet to sample the joys of this new type of diving. A recent poll…


Are You Ready for Tek Diving?

By Karl Shreeves Sometimes a diver will ask me, “Am I ready for tek diving?” I usually answer profoundly, “That’s like asking if you’re in love.” “How so?” “If you have to ask, you’re not.” I hope to get a thoughtful nod as the diver strolls away contemplating my sage advice. But, usually, I get…


Ins and Outs of Cave Diving

By Jeanne Bear Sleeper Since prehistoric times people have been fascinated by caves. Our ancestors found shelter and water, recorded the history of their day, performed religious ceremonies or crawled and climbed to uncover the mysteries of the cave. These prehistoric spelunkers stopped their exploration when confronted with a completely submerged passageway. With the development…


NAUI’s New Technical Diving Program

By Ty Sawyer Most of us are not familiar with the world frequented by technical divers; such places as the USS Monitor, the Andrea Doria, Hole in the Wall off Roatan, Nahoch Nah Chich Cave in the Yucatan and deep water oil rigs. Many exist beyond the 130 foot depth limit imposed by our recreational…


SSI’s Enriched Air Nitrox Course

By Ty Sawyer The use of nitrox in everyday recreational diving is skyrocketing. Just look through the pages of SKIN DIVER for the previous six to eight months. You will see live-aboard after live-aboard and dive shop after dive shop advertising nitrox availability. There is a good reason for this. If used correctly and safely,…


Crunching the Numbers

By Karl Shreeves Sometimes the thrill of tek diving comes from facing the unknown. No one has ever visited this deep wreck. No one has ever dropped so far down this wall. No one has ever pushed this cave so far. Oh, by the way, no dive computers handle helium breathing gas and no one…


The Long and Short of It

By Karl Shreeves Anyone who logs onto a tek diving chat room or bulletin board will eventually run into the long hose/short hose debate. On most technical dives with backmount doubles, standard equipment includes one regulator with a normal second stage hose; the other with a seven foot hose for air sharing. The debate centers…


The Art of Gas Blending

By Karl Shreeves Consider a typical tek trimix dive-you breathe various blends of helium, oxygen and nitrogen, none of which occur naturally. Helium, nitrogen and oxygen occur in nature, but not in the various mixes for the dive, so they have to be made. There are several methods for blending synthetic gases. Industrial gas suppliers…


The View From the Other Side of the Microscope

By Karl Shreeves Zzzaaaaappp! It didn’t really make that sound, but I felt that a chest x-ray should, as cancer-inducing subatomic particles streamed in on one side of my lungs to make a picture of the other. All in the name of science and good health. Maybe they were using a silencer. “See, that wasn’t…