When I first started scuba diving in 2007, I never imagined that 12 years later I’d be looking at dipping my toes into tech diving. But there comes a time in every diver’s life where they reach a scuba plateau and need to decide what’s the next for their life underwater.
As recreational cold water divers, my husband Joey and I have gradually worked our way from Open Water water rookies to seasoned Divemasters. We are passionate about scuba diving and are constantly looking to further our knowledge and challenge our skills. So when the annual Bonaire TeK week happened to coincide with our extended stay on the island, we made sure to be the first in line to participate, as much as a non-tech diver can.
Bonaire TEK is an annual October occurrence, where Buddy Dive Resort partners with leaders in the tech diving industry for a week of technical dive demonstrations, equipment trials, presentations, training ins and outs, and camaraderie. In a nutshell, it’s a whole lot of expertise and dive knowledge on one small island.
This year, the event ran from October 5th to October 11th, 2019 and was a huge success. Tech divers from all over the world had the opportunity to explore, learn, laugh and dive in one of the best shore diving locations in the world.
One of our biggest draws to Bonaire TeK week was for the equipment demos.
Hang around the diving industry long enough and sooner or later you’ll meet a tech diver decked out in gear. And when you do, it’s hard not to have your interest sparked by some of their robotic contraptions.
At Bonaire TeK week, there were several equipment manufacturers offering tech gear tryouts. These one-on-one 30-minute sessions allowed participants to learn and try out Re-breathers, Sidemount style diving and Dive Propulsion Vehicles (DPV’s).
It was a phenomenal opportunity for Joey and me to gear up and see if technical diving might be the next step in our scuba education.
Having no tech background, we both really enjoyed the Sidemount and DPV sessions, whereas the Re-breather was significantly more complex and out of our element. I can definitely see a Sidemount course in the near future.
On top of the Sidemount, DPV and Re-breather equipment trials, some of the other daily activities of TeK week included courses, training, workshops and diving with pros. While it would have been highly educational to listen in on some of the courses and training, this part was reserved for technical and not recreational divers.
TeK week also had the classic Windjammer dive which occurred on both Thursday and Friday morning.
The Windjammer is a wreck that sits in roughly 55 meters (180 feet) of water and is therefore restricted to technical divers. Divers are only allowed to visit the wreck if they have registered in advance, provided the correct paperwork and have an accompanying guide. Because we are not technical divers we sadly had to sit this one out.
After a long day of fun in the sun (or in this case underwater), each evening included one or two presentations.
From “Women Issues on Technical Diving” to “Maritime Archeology on Bonaire”, Buddy Dive had a line up of interesting experts ready to share their knowledge throughout the entire TeK week. It was a nice way for divers to unwind and relax in an educational setting.
As I’m sure many of you can attest, we are suckers for all things diving and when the opportunity arose to lightly participate in a technical diving event we were all in.
From trying the latest equipment on the market to the evening presentations which included a DAN doctor speaking about health and safety dive concerns for a female when diving, we thoroughly enjoyed our small glimpse into the world of technical diving.
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Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
An elegant lead-free wine glass with a shark figurine anchored inside. The perfect gift for wine and shark lovers everywhere.
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
The dive guide Bonaire is a comprehensive dive guide for use by divers and snorkelers at all skill levels. It describes more than 100 dive sites along with underwater maps and stunning photographs. This all-inclusive dive guide is your handbook for endless diving and snorkeling enjoyment.
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Dive hands-free with a diving flashlight glove. This torch holder has a universal adjustable wrist strap scuba and is made of superior nylon material, which means it’s durable and comfortable to wear.
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Filled with more than 350 images from National Geographic, 100 Dives of a Lifetime provides the ultimate bucket list for ardent scuba divers and aspirational travelers alike.
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
The waterproof scuba diving egg helps keep valuables dry while in the water. The egg is suitable for storing sunglasses, car keys, money and etc.
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GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
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