On Friday the 6th of May Rachel and I (Jacob) headed to MiCamp for TecFest which was at Lake Taupo. It was a long trip and we had the music blasting, I even managed to get a quick snooze before all the diving started!
We got to TecFest just after the first talk and we got our goody bags. We were entered into spot prizes and had to wear a Dive Rite cap the whole weekend! Rachel took me down to the lake to start meeting other divers that were at the event. I even managed to sneak in a deep dive with the Victoria University guys we went down to 22m for 30 minutes.
Later that night we went to the Cave Diving talk! This was a very interesting talk and it really opened my eyes into all the different types of tech diving. I can tell you now that it looks amazing.
The next day was pretty full on! We started off with breakfast then we went down to the Lake to start our day off. I had try dives that I wanted to do and those were, Side mount, twins, and back plate and wing. I ended up not doing dry suit as I was already soaked from my wet suit. The first dive of the day was my side mount try dive. Side mount was my favorite try dive we swam out to 10 meters unclipping the bottom of our tanks and swinging them in front of us and also doing share air drills. This was definitely an awesome experience plus having two tanks is even better.
Next dive I tried out the Apex backplate and wing with their Apex Regulators. This was very interesting as it wasn’t like your standard BCD jacket. I found it very odd as it wasn’t fitted to me correctly but I loved being able to put it on/off so easily with no effort. This did make me a bit wobbly during the dive but hey it’s all in the learning experience and it doesn’t help being slightly overweighted…
My last Try dive was on TWINS! And wow what an experience that was. I went with a French man and the instructor Simon, I struggled to stay at the bottom at 3m. This didn’t make it that much fun at all. We ended up going roughly to 15m and oh boy I didn’t struggle keeping down anymore! I found that at that depth it was a lot of fun since I could be neutrally buoyant. We did sharing air skills and also played around getting the feeling for twins. I had fun rolling around with all the weight and it really did affect my buoyancy, getting out of the water was the hard part.
Well that was the end of my diving for that day. We all just relaxed at the end of the day and I got to meet some really interesting people and finding out all the different ways people dive it was really cool. Later that night was a couple more talks and spot prizes! I ended up winning a mask strap which is nice, sadly I can’t use it since I lost my mask a couple of weeks back.. 🙁
After TecFest a group of us went and dived the Waikato river and boy that was fun! I started on 180 bar and went straight down to 50 bar within 30 minutes. Trust me it’s a drift dive for a reason you can’t fight it, it will always win!
But in the end it was an amazing weekend and I would like to thank Rachel for all her help and of course TecFest New Zealand they did an amazing job sorting and organizing a great weekend.
Jacob – Tertiary Dive Student