TekCamp 2018 kicked off in blazing sunshine at Vobster Quay in Somerset on Monday, with 10 instructors, 10 safety divers and 33 attendees gathering together to listen to the morning briefing from Tim Clements.
Tim is passionate about TekCamp, and told us that it was about bringing together the very best instructors who are also out there exploring, discovering & breaking new ground, so that those attending will get great instruction, but will also be inspired to get out there and use their skills further.
The instructors at the event are all household names in tech diving: Paul Vincent Toomer, Martin Robson, Beatrice Rivoira, Mark Powell, Garry Dallas, Adam Wood, Kieran Hatton, Ian France, Richard Walker & John Kendall. They represent a host of different training agencies including: RAID, IANTD, TDI, SSI & GUE.
Once the morning briefing was over, they divided off into small groups, with each instructor and safety diver team taking around 4 students. Some to try rebreathers for the first time, and others getting in the water with diving twin sets and sidemount setups.
The TEkCamp 2018 village at Vobster Quay also saw several equipment manufacturers on hand to talk about their latest kit, and to let those attending try some of it out. Fourth Element, Apeks/Aqualung, Suunto, Mares, Otter Drysuits and Sea & Sea all had gazebos to visit between dives.
At lunchtime, Paul Vincent Toomer gave a talk about expedition diving, so everyone grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the briefing room to listen. Exploring is a passion for Paul and this really came across in his talk about how he got into expedition diving. He was generous in his advice on how those attending could get started too, making the very good point that in modern times where most places have already been discovered, the ocean is still full of opportunities to discover something no-one else has seen.
The diving teams got back together for the afternoon diving session and were soon underwater blowing bubbles (or not!) Not before some entertaining demonstrations and practising of finning techniques! You can watch some video clips of the day below:
At the end of the day, everyone gathered around the BBQs to eat and talk about their first day at TekCamp. But this was not the end of the day, as everyone, including us, was very excited about the keynote speech that evening. It was standing room only to hear about the Thai Cave Rescue from John Volanthen and Chris Jewell and we will be doing a full report on this later.
For more information on TekCamp please visit their website by clicking here.
To find out about Vobster Quay, visit their website by clicking here.