Bringing out the explorer in you…
Scores of divers from around Britain congregated in Portland, Dorset to attend the second annual Millennium Dive Fest sponsored by the Millennium Divers club and a group of local businesses.
From free trial dives on Halcyon’s HDVR14 and HDTV16 scooters to GUE surface and underwater workshops, special Sentinel rebreather sessions and dives… to first-hand accounts and updates from world-leading expeditions, 2010's two-day fest was conducted over the weekend of October 2-3 offering something for everyone.
It was a great opportunity to touch base with other divers and old friends after a great dive season!...
Among our special guests for 2010 was Renato Raseta, Project Coordinator and Exploration Diver of the Karst Odyssey – Balkan Cave Diving Project and Phil Short, one of the most prominent cave and wreck explorers of our times and a leading European technical instructor trainer– both giving updates on their most recent expeditions of international significance. Present for the two day event were also Global Underwater Explorers Technical Training Director and UK Director Richard Walker alongside GUE instructors John Kendall and Clare Pooley. Also present was GUE technical-cave diver and IANTD Instructor Howard Payne and UE-UK professional staff and instructors.
Scooter Workshops and Dives
Free MD workshops on both days included scooter sessions with IANTD Technical Instructor Howard Payne where a number of underwater diving vehicles ranging from the new Halcyon HDRV14 and HDTV16’s to Gavin and Suex scooters will be covered. Saturday and Sunday’s land-based scooter workshops focused on everything from maintenance and service issues to individual and team procedures will be followed by free guided scooter sea dives to allow prospective users a chance to experience the vehicles in real-life conditions.
GUE Equipment and Skills Workshops
Global Underwater Explorers UK Training Director and Instructor Richard Walker and GUE instructors John Kendall and Clare Gledhill held GUE equipment and skills workshops on both days leading up to afternoon skills dives. The GUE ethos, equipment configuration, essential skills and future prospects for divers were covered in detail during the surface sessions while skill priming, development and practice were the focus of the subsequent non-certification dives.
Sentinel Workshops and Try Dives
Parallel to these activities, IANTD’s Phil Short was holding free Sentinel surface workshops on the morning of each day where participants were explained and run through the workings of this ground-breaking rebreather. Optional to the free workshops, there were Sentinel Try Dives on Saturday and Sunday for a maximum of four students each on either day. The optional in-water part of the workshop consisted of pool practice followed by a supervised dive at sea.
Equipment Trials and Dives
During MD Fest 2010, GUE and Underwater Explorers (UK) volunteers were also on site to assist with any other optional dives and equipment trials ranging from wings to twinsets, torches to Halcyon rigs and regulators, Silent Planet’s Heated Vest to DUI dry suits – also offering free in-water orientation and primer tasters. UE staff held what turned out to be an extremely popular special Equipment Maintenance Workshop on the afternoon of Saturday October 2, running through essential procedures such as inflator, regulator, wing maintenance and field repairs, front-line servicing.
Buffet and Presentations
In support of the Fest, Portland’s Hotel Aqua accommodated a seated full buffet dinner for up to 50 diners on Saturday night at cost where Renato Raseta and Phil Shortpresented the most recent updates on ongoing diving expeditions of international significance to participants while and Clare Pooley gave an exciting account of the RB80 rebreather.
Full Schedule - Both Days
GUE Workshop 09.00 – 12.30 Presentation and Briefing 12:30 – 14.30 GUE Skills Dive 14.30 – 17.00 Debrief and Lunch
Scooter Workshop 1 (Morning) 09.00 – 10.30 Presentation and Briefing 10.30 – 12.30 Scooter Dive 12.30 – 13.30 Debrief
Scooter Workshop 2 (Afternoon) 13.30 – 15.00 Presentation and Briefing 15.00 – 17.00 Scooter Dive 17.00 – 17.30 Debrief
Sentinel Workshop and Try Dives 09.00 – 12.00 Presentation and Briefing (Open to All) 12.00 – 13.30 Sentinel Pool Dive (Maximum 4 Students) 13.30 – 15.00 Debrief, lunch and 2nd briefing (Limited to Students) 15.00 – 17.00 Sentinel Sea Dive (Limited to Students)
Kit Trials and Workshops 09.00 – 10.30 Presentation and Trials 10.30 – 12.30 Kit Trial Dive
Saturday Only (In addition to above) 13.30 – 17.00 Kit Maintenance and Field Servicing Workshop