A highly suitable name for the one that has consolidated over the years as the main pilar of GUE training.
The Fundamentals class is a mandatory step for all divers coming from the other agencies who want to refine atthe highest level all the basic recreational diving techniques, taking advantage of the well known efficacy of the DIR diving system. Furthermore, is a prerequisite for more advanced GUE training in Tech or Cave curriculum.
Behinde a such unconditional choice made by divers of all levels from the various training agencies there are so many reasons that one could write a book about…! Among the most significant ones definitely are:
– full and complete understanding/management of the DIR configuration, using both single or double tanks;
– NITROX training and related certification included (recognized elsewhere only as a specialty);
– “team of 3″ team-based dive management, including positioning and communication techniques, also by using a primary light with “Goodman” handle and 2 other reserve lights;
– correction/refinement of propulsion and maneuvering techniques, including helicopter-turn and back-kick;
– Surface Marker Buoyant management (skill unfortunately not required by general minimum standards but extremely important and mandatory in certain places!);
– special emphasis in the neutral buoyancy and horizontal trim control, ability often underestimated which must be strictly maintained during each skill performance and phase of in-water training.
– dive planning and management independent from dive-computer, taking various advantages;
– training in rescue techniques on the surface and from the bottom (real Rescue Training);
– use of the video support during the debriefing for an optimal self-evaluation and correction of weaknesses.
So here’s an exclusive recipe for a class that is seriously challenging not only for the Open Water divers with less experience and aiming at quality rather than certification, but also for the more experienced technical divers; these last are often certified at the highest levels by other agencies with gaps sometimes quite clear in the basic skills that inevitably arise during the GUE training.
The Fundamentals class, right in order to respond flexibly to a target group of students with several different needs/experiences, offers two different levels of certification: the Recreational Pass and the Technical Pass.
In the first case are sufficient the management of a single tank, a good buoyancy and trim control, proficient kick techniques while it is not necessary to handle a primary light.
Differently, the Fundamentals students seeking admittance to Tech1 or Cave1 classes will must meet the requirements for the Tech pass, using double cylinders with isolator manifold system, demonstrating even higher ability in buoyancy and trim control, highly efficient kick techniques and completing all the skills and drills in a more than satisfactory way while handling a primary light during the whole training.
In any case the Fundamentals class provides considerable margin for improvement for any diver certified at any level from another agency, who will learn to take advantage of some extremely effective means, resulting in more fun in any context while fully respecting the underwater environment.
You can consider this a promise!
Be at least 16 years old.
To own an Open Water certification issued by a recognized training agency.
Be able to swim for 275m in less than 14’. To swim at least for 15m on a breath-hold.
The class takes place during at least 4-5 intensive days which include:
– 6 lectures; (Final exam, required at least 90% of correct answers)
– 10 “dry-run” sessions;
– 6 open water dives. In-water training provides a maximum instructor to students ratio of 1:4 and a max depth allowed of 18 meters within the limits of “minimum deco” while breathing Nitrox32. (The certification qualifies for dives up to 30m using Nitrox32 within the minimum deco limits).
- GUE Diver Training; GUE and Course Overview.
– Building a Solid Foundation.
– Dive Planning and Gas Management.
– Breathing Gas Dynamics.
– Diving Safety and the GUE System.
- Equipment fit and function.
– Gas analysis and cylinders marking.
– Pre-dive drills.
– Dive team protocols.
– Propulsion/maneuvering techniques.
– Basic 5 Scuba skills.
– Safety-Drill / Valve-Drill.
– Surface Marker Buoyant (SMB) deployment using a spool.
– Unconscious diver recovery from the bottom.
Required Dive Skills and Drills:
- Proficiency in safe diving techniques, including post-diving assessment.
– Team awareness and support, including positioning, communication and assisting. (Using a primary light with “Goodman” handle during the performance of all the abilities as a requirement for the Tech Pass)
– Proper management and understanding/awareness of the GUE equipment configuration.
– Buoyancy and trim control with minimum variations in any context. (Skills refined furthermore as a requirement for the Tech Pass)
– Proficiency in propulsion and maneuvering techniques. (Skills refined furthermore as a requirement for the Tech Pass)
– Regulator removal and replacement/exchange, long hose deployment.
– Mask removal, replacement and clearing.
– Comfortable demeanor while swimming without a mask, in touch contact.
– Proficient gas-sharing techniques in an out-of-gas diver scenario, using the long hose.
– Proficient execution of a Valve-Drill. (Using a doubles with isolator manifold system as a requirement for the Tech Pass)
– Surface Marker Buoyant (SMB) deployment while using a spool.
– Descent and ascent techniques, also in a gas-sharing scenario, while using an SMB.
– Basic 5 rescue skills on the surface.
The full DIR configuration provides for each Fundamentals student:
– Single tank with single or Y/H valves, or double tanks with isolator manifold system. (Use of a doubles with isolator manifold system as a requirement for the Tech Pass)
– 1 or 2 first stages (depending on the valve’s system), main 2nd stage assembled on a long hose (1,6-2,1m) and back-up one retained by a necklace, pressure gauge.
– Rigid metal backplate with one-piece harness, crotch strap and 5 D-rings.
– Back mounted wing-style BC, minimalist and robust construction, free from any restrictive bands or “bungee” and properly sized basing on the cylinder volume(s).
– (Primary light with “Goodman” handle and two reserve lights mandatory as requirement for the Tech Pass).
– Low-volume mask, properly rigid fins (non-split).
– Proper kind/thickness exposure suit, based on the temperature and time of exposure.
– Time/Depth gauge (it is not necessary a dive computer).
– Surface Marker Buoyant (SMB) and spool with at least 30m of line.
– A cutting device and wet-notes, reserve mask.
Beside the training material provided in electronic version once applied to the class, there are two lectures strongly suggested to the students:
– “Doing it Right: The Fundamentals of Better Diving”. Jarrod Jablonski, GUE, 2001,High Springs, Florida.
– GUE Fundamentals Workbook.