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The Who’s Who of Sidemount



Woody Jasper

Pioneering cave explorer Woody Jasper is considered by those in the know as the inventor, or grandfather of Florida-style sidemount diving. The soft spoken explorer said that he got the idea in 1982 after getting stuck in a restriction in Bathtub Spring wearing double back-mounted 72s. Worse: The switch on Woody’s butt-mounted primary got shut off as he squeezed sideways through a tight spot in the cave, and he couldn’t reach his backup lights, so he was stuck in the dark. Eventually he was able to extricate himself and drive home. 

He had just purchased a copy of Martyn Farr’s “The Darkness Beckons,” and spent the next week pouring through pictures of Cave Diving Group (CDG) divers. “I looked at every picture,” recalled Woody, “and nothing looked right.” Within a few weeks, he designed a single tank no-mount rig with a Y-Valve and a stage, which he took diving. Within months he had developed a rudimentary two-tank sidemount system, which his peers Wes Skiles, Lamar Hires and Mark Long, and later Tom Morris and Ron Simmons, soon adopted and began evolving. The new system enabled them to explore caves that explorers with back-mounted doubles, like legendary Sheck Exley, couldn’t access. “Woody was the first to realize that we needed to pull the neck of the cylinder in tight, snug into the armpit to get through the really tight places,” explained Lamar Hires. “He used a bicycle inner tube across his back to pull the tanks in tight. Today, we use a bungee to do the same thing.” 

But while his peers got into the business of teaching and running dive companies, Woody decided to take a different approach with his diving. The underground gray beard smiled when I asked him if had also worked as an instructor. “When you take what you do for fun, and start doing it for work, it becomes work,” Woody, who had a 30-year career in industrial water treatment, explained. He remains an active cave explorer to this day.

Interview by Michael Menduno

What is sidemount to you?

When I first started cave diving I was older than most of the participants and had suffered from a serious case of arthritis. So I was using a stage bottle for a crutch to get to the water and things like that. For me, going deep, going deep on air had proven to be a bad idea. I got started in about 1980 and so realized going a really long way, wasn’t me either.  I had made a dive with Bill Main the day after he and Sheck Exley had set a new world record of 6600 feet (2,012 meters) in Manatee. And I had been an explorer in a variety of other ways my whole life, but going real far and going real deep seemed like outside the scope of what I had to give. What that left for me was small places. So, what sidemount meant to me was going where no one had gone before without a terrible decompression penalty or huge risk with multi-stage setups to set up the push dive. You know, it got ridiculous at some point on open circuit.

So back to 1980, that’s when you first started developing sidemount systems? I know you worked with Lamar on that, right?

Well, probably 1981 or 1982 for sidemount.

A younger Woody at Bluebird Springs. Photo by Terri Skiles.
And in general, do you think sidemount is still evolving? Do you think there are still improvements to be had or do you think it’s pretty much where it is and should be?

Well, I’m not up on the cutting edge of sidemount which is… dual rebreathers? I guess that would be the cutting edge right now.

That is definitely a trend on big dives.

Yeah, maybe it’s gone past that, but dual sidemount rebreathers seem like the way that you get by without having to tote all the extra safety bottles and taking a whole lot of clutter, which is really, ultimately, what you’re trying to get rid of in a good sidemount system.

I know a couple of people who dive twin sidemount Liberties and they are just like, this is the ideal. You have a massive amount of gas capacity.

Yeah. Forever.

Did you ever have an epiphany moment on sidemount, maybe when you first started that just changed everything?

Well, the inspiration to do it came from a little cave on the Suwanee River, Sandbag. It’s a fairly small shallow cave. So Sheck had put a couple hundred feet of line in it and I went back on a little solo dive and had been able to push a little further. A real wide, low area, and beautiful crystal clear water. You could look through this wide, low area and see more open or bigger caves beyond it, so I had a real trim set of 72 back mounts. I had butt mounted my light so that it wasn’t an additional thought. And I wormed in a couple places with this rig and it worked pretty well. But I got stuck trying to worm my way through to this next section of caves.

My light switch was mounted on my battery pack and that got turned off by squirming around. And my backup lights were mounted with the clips down at my waist with the light head sticking up on the straps so I couldn’t get to them. So, I was 12 feet (3.6 meters deep), which sucks. I sat there in the dark for probably five minutes without moving, just kind of relaxing and waiting for slack to reveal itself somewhere. My hero, the magician Harry Houdini said there is always slack somewhere. So, I got to wiggling around and found some and got flipped around and wiggled my way back out. All the way home I’m determined I’m going to find my way to this new cave.

When I got home I got out Martyn Farr’s book, “The Darkness Beckons” which had just come out. I had had it for about a week or two. 

Woody’s well-worn DIY sidemount harness and wing.

I sat down and looked at every photograph in the book and I was like, well this is just all clutter. I’m sorry Brits, but you just didn’t think this through. So I decided…Actually, my very first approach at sidemount was “no mount.” I used a single 72 with a Y valve. And then you add the second tank as a stage bottle. So you take the second tank off and you go to your Y valve and then you go to no mount. And there you had the system. 

But then after a while it just became handier to never take the second tank off because there aren’t any places that you needed to take it off to pass, except for a little tube. I’ve gotten into tubes I couldn’t get through with my BC on and had to go take the BC back off.

Tight spaces.

You go into that one backwards, feet first.

I think of you, Lamar, and Wes as, at least in the US, as “The Fathers of Sidemount.” Obviously, the Brits had developed a sidemount approach, but you and the guys took it to a new level (see Rick Stanton’s interview). So how do you feel now almost 40 years later when it seems there are now more sidemount divers in Mexico than backmount divers. So how does that make you feel to see what your baby has grown into?

It would be almost egotistical to say it seems like I have many disciples.

Ha! See what you guys started!

Some of the people that really enjoyed sidemounting have become really proponents. They sell the program as something that lets an older diver stay in the water a little longer without packing 100+ pounds/45+ kg of gear. But really, it’s a tool to get where you can’t get with doubles. Although it really has expanded way beyond that to just be a pretty universally pretty handy way to dive. It’s very stable and when you’re balanced right you can swim on your side, swim upside down. I’ve done quite a bit of floating around in various positions. 

With our original doubles and a belly bag (for buoyancy), you didn’t dare get out of trim. You would go over. You would turtle. That’s the word for it. You turtled. So sidemount certainly has something that you could go head down, feet down, any position. A good sidemount system will let you be in complete zero gravity. Which is something that most double sets really don’t quite let you do because of the challenge.

I was talking to Edd Sorensen last week and he told me, “Even to this day people come up to me and say, you can’t do that in sidemount. I tell them nonsense. I can do anything you can do in sidemount. In fact, anything you can do in backmount I can do in sidemount, not a problem.

He’s right. In fact, you can even add a set of doubles to your sidemount rig. Ha! I ended up with a system that you would put a set of double hundreds on over your sidemount with a couple of rubber band clips. To remove it, 

you just roll upside down, lay the double hundreds on the floor and unclip the clip here, and undo the one waistband, and swim away from the double hundreds. Of course, you can also add a couple of stage bottles. So, you could end up with 800 ft.³ of open circuit gas ultimately.

That’s a lot of gas! So with explorers like Sheck and Jim Bowden doing the big caves so it left the smaller stuff to yourself and colleagues doing sidemount.

Yeah, so I had it all to myself for a few months and then Wes [Skiles] and Lamar [Hires-see Lamar Hires’ Interview] caught on to what I was doing. “Hey, I can show you this really cool stuff if you want to rig up a little bit,” I told them. We called our little group the Moles, and at some point we were joined by a reporter from Outside magazine who hung out with us for a couple weeks and wrote an article about adventures.

I’ve included a link to the story for our readers. I understand that you are also the one responsible for creating the “Gold Line” that is now standard in caves. Well at least in the US  & Mexico. How did that come about?

Guilty as charged. After a body recovery in Orange Grove where the divers had mistaken the Distance Tunnel line for the way out, I ruminated on the problem non-stop for a week: what to do to differentiate main lines from dead end lines?  I bitched and whined about the problem to Wes for an hour with various ideas. He said “Fuck it, just make it another color.”  We called Lamar who was buying a lot of line. He asked the manufacturer who recommended Gold, as a durable color, and the “Gold Line” was born.

Return to: The Who’s Who of Sidemount


Outside Magazine (1996): Deeper by Bucky McMahon

To the peerless Moles, practitioners of the gloomily claustrophobic sport of freshwater spelunking, the ultimate accomplishment is finding a virgin cave 

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Twenty-five Years in the Pursuit of Excellence – The Evolution and Future of GUE

Founder and president Jarrod Jablonski describes his more than a quarter of a century long quest to promote excellence in technical diving.




by Jarrod Jablonski. Images courtesy of J. Jablonski and GUE unless noted.

The most difficult challenges we confront in our lives are the most formative and are instrumental in shaping the person we become. When I founded Global Underwater Explorers (GUE), the younger version of myself could not have foreseen all the challenges I would face, but equally true is that he would not have known the joy, the cherished relationships, the sense of purpose, the rich adventures, the humbling expressions of appreciation from those impacted, or the satisfaction of seeing the organization evolve and reshape our industry. Many kindred souls and extraordinary events have shaped these last 25 years, and an annotated chronology of GUE is included in this issue of InDEPTH. This timeline, however, will fail to capture the heart behind the creation of GUE, it will miss the passionate determination currently directing GUE, or the committed dedication ready to guide the next 25 years.

Photo courtesy of Kirill Egorov

I don’t remember a time that I was not in, around, and under the water. Having learned to swim before I could walk, my mother helped infuse a deep connection to the aquatic world. I was scuba certified in South Florida with my father, and promptly took all our gear to North Florida where I became a dive instructor at the University of Florida. It was then that I began my infatuation with cave diving. I was in the perfect place for it, and my insatiable curiosity was multiplied while exploring new environments. I found myself with a strong desire to visit unique and hard-to-reach places, be they far inside a cave or deep within the ocean. 

My enthusiasm for learning was pressed into service as an educator, and I became enamored with sharing these special environments. Along with this desire to share the beauty and uniqueness of underwater caves was a focused wish to assist people in acquiring the skills I could see they needed to support their personal diving goals. It could be said that these early experiences were the seeds that would germinate, grow, mature, and bloom into the organizing principles for GUE.

Brent Scarabin, Jarrod and George “Trey” Irvine getting ready to dive.
Jarrod with his Halcyon PVR-BASC prototype.
George Irvine and Jarrod conducting the original DIR workshop.

The Pre-GUE Years

Before jumping into the formational days of GUE, allow me to help you visualize the environment that was the incubator for the idea that became GUE’s reality. By the mid-1990s, I was deeply involved in a variety of exploration activities and had been striving to refine my own teaching capacity alongside this growing obsession for exploratory diving. While teaching my open water students, I was in the habit of practicing to refine my own trim and buoyancy, noticing that the students quickly progressed and were mostly able to copy my position in the water. Rather than jump immediately into the skills that were prescribed, I started to take more time to refine their comfort and general competency. This subtle shift made a world of difference in the training outcomes, creating impressive divers with only slightly more time and a shift in focus. In fact, the local dive boats would often stare in disbelief when told these divers were freshly certified, saying they looked better than most open water instructors! 

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By this point in my career, I could see the problems I was confronting were more systemic and less individualistic. In retrospect, it seemed obvious that key principles had been missing in both my recreational and technical education, not to mention the instructor training I received. The lack of basic skill refinement seemed to occur at all levels of training, from the beginner to the advanced diver. Core skills like buoyancy or in-water control were mainly left for divers to figure out on their own and almost nobody had a meaningful emphasis on efficient movement in the water. It was nearly unheard of to fail people in scuba diving, and even delaying certification for people with weak skills was very unusual. This remains all too common to this day, but I believe GUE has shifted the focus in important ways, encouraging people to think of certification more as a process and less as a right granted to them because they paid for training. 

L2R: Jarrod Todd Kincaid and Rickard Lundgren plotting their 1999 Britannic expedition.

The weakness in skill refinement during dive training was further amplified by little-to-no training in how to handle problems when they developed while diving, as they always do. In those days, even technical/cave training had very little in the way of realistic training in problem resolution. The rare practice of failures was deeply disconnected from reality. For example, there was almost no realistic scenario training for things like a failed regulator or light. What little practice there was wasn’t integrated into the actual dive and seemed largely useless in preparing for real problems. I began testing some of my students with mock equipment failures, and I was shocked at how poorly even the best students performed. They were able to quickly develop the needed skills, but seeing how badly most handled their first attempts left me troubled about the response of most certified divers should they experience problems while diving, as they inevitably would. 

Diving Fatalities

Meanwhile, I was surrounded by a continual progression of diving fatalities, and most appeared entirely preventable. The loss of dear friends and close associates had a deep impact on my view of dive training and especially on the procedures being emphasized at that time within the community. The industry, in those early days, was wholly focused on deep air and solo diving. However, alarmingly lacking were clear bottle marking or gas switching protocols. It seemed to me to be no coincidence that diver after diver lost their lives simply because they breathed the wrong bottle at depth. Many others died mysteriously during solo dives or while deep diving with air. 

One of the more impactful fatalities was Bob McGuire, who was a drill sergeant, friend, and occasional dive buddy. He was normally very careful and focused. One day a small problem with one regulator caused him to switch regulators before getting in the water. He was using a system that used color-coded regulators to identify the gas breathed. When switching the broken regulator, he either did not remember or did not have an appropriately colored regulator. This small mistake cost him his life. I clearly remember turning that one around in my head quite a bit. Something that trivial should not result in the loss of a life. 

Also disturbing was the double fatality of good friends, Chris and Chrissy Rouse, who lost their lives while diving a German U-boat in 70 m/230 ft of water off the coast of New Jersey. I remember, as if the conversation with Chris were yesterday, asking him not to use air and even offering to support the cost as a counter to his argument about the cost of helium. And the tragedies continued: The loss of one of my closest friends Sherwood Schille, the death of my friend Steve Berman who lived next to me and with whom I had dived hundreds of times, the shock of losing pioneering explorer Sheck Exley, the regular stream of tech divers, and the half dozen body recoveries I made over only a couple years, which not only saddened me greatly, but also made me angry. Clearly, a radically different approach was needed.

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Learning to Explore

Meanwhile, my own exploration activities were expanding rapidly. Our teams were seeking every opportunity to grow their capability while reducing unnecessary risk. To that end, we ceased deep air diving and instituted a series of common protocols with standardized equipment configurations, both of which showed great promise in expanding safety, efficiency, and comfort. We got a lot of things wrong and experienced enough near misses to keep us sharp and in search of continual improvement. 

Casey McKinlay and Jarrod with stages and Gavin scooters in Wakulla Springs. Photo courtesy of David Rhea

But we looked carefully at every aspect of our diving, seeking ways to advance safety, efficiency, and all-around competency while focusing plenty of attention into the uncommon practice of large-scale, team diving, utilizing setup dives, safety divers, and inwater support. We developed diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) towing techniques, which is something that had not been done previously. We mostly ignored and then rewrote CNS oxygen toxicity calculations, developed novel strategies for calculating decompression time, and created and refined standard procedures for everything from bottle switching to equipment configurations. Many of these developments arose from simple necessity. There were no available decompression programs and no decompression tables available for the dives we were doing. Commonly used calculations designed to reduce the risk of oxygen toxicity were useless to our teams, because even our more casual dives were 10, 20, or even 30 times the allowable limit. The industry today takes most of this for granted, but in the early days of technical diving, we had very few tools, save a deep motivation to go where no one had gone before.

All in a dive of diving for the WKPP.

Many of these adventures included friends in the Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP), where I refined policies within the team and most directly with longtime dive buddy George Irvine. This “Doing it Right” (DIR) approach sought to create a more expansive system than Hogarthian diving, which itself had been born in the early years of the WKPP and was named after William Hogarth Main, a friend and frequent dive buddy of the time. By this point, I had been writing about and expanding upon Hogarthian diving for many years. More and more of the ideas we wanted to develop were not Bill Main’s priorities and lumping them into his namesake became impractical, especially given all the debate within the community over what was and was not Hogarthian. 

A similar move from DIR occurred some years later when GUE stepped away from the circular debates that sought to explain DIR and embraced a GUE configuration with standard protocols, something entirely within our scope to define.

These accumulating events reached critical mass in 1998. I had experienced strong resistance to any form of standardization, even having been asked to join a special meeting of the board of directors (BOD) for a prominent cave diving agency. Their intention was to discourage me from using any form of standard configuration, claiming that students should be allowed to do whatever they “felt’ was best. It was disconcerting for me, as a young instructor, to be challenged by pioneers in the sport; nevertheless, I couldn’t agree with the edict that someone who was doing something for the first time should be tasked with determining how it should be done. 

This sort of discussion was common, but the final straw occurred when I was approached by the head of a technical diving agency, an organization for which I had taught for many years. I was informed that he considered it a violation of standards not to teach air to a depth of at least 57 m/190 ft. This same individual told me that I had to stop using MOD bottle markings and fall in line with the other practices endorsed by his agency. Push had finally come to shove, and I set out to legitimize the training methods and dive protocols that had been incubating in my mind and refined with our teams over the previous decade. Years of trial and many errors while operating in dynamic and challenging environments were helping us to identify what practices were most successful in support of excellence, safety, and enjoyment.

Forming GUE

Forming GUE as a non-profit company was intended to neutralize the profit motivations that appeared to plague other agencies. We hoped to remove the incentive to train—and certify—the greatest number of divers as quickly as possible because it seemed at odds with ensuring comfortable and capable divers. The absence of a profit motive complemented the aspirational plans that longtime friend Todd Kincaid and I had dreamed of. We imagined a global organization that would facilitate the efforts of underwater explorers while supporting scientific research and conservation initiatives. 

I hoped to create an agency that placed most of the revenue in the hands of fully engaged and enthusiastic instructors, allowing them the chance to earn a good living and become professionals who might stay within the industry over many years. Of course, that required forgoing the personal benefit of ownership and reduced the revenue available to the agency, braking its growth and complicating expansion plans. This not only slowed growth but provided huge challenges in developing a proper support network while creating the agency I envisioned. There were years of stressful days and nights because of the need to forgo compensation and the deep dependance upon generous volunteers who had to fit GUE into their busy lives. If it were not for these individuals and our loyal members, we would likely never have been successful. Volunteer support and GUE membership have been and remain critical to the growing success of our agency. If you are now or have ever been a volunteer or GUE member, your contribution is a significant part of our success, and we thank you. 

Photo courtesy of Kirill Egorov

The challenges of the early years gave way to steady progress—always slower than desired, with ups and downs, but progress, nonetheless. Some challenges were not obvious at the outset. For example, many regions around the world were very poorly developed in technical diving. Agencies intent on growth seemed to ignore that problem, choosing whoever was available, and regardless of their experience in the discipline, they would soon be teaching. 

This decision to promote people with limited experience became especially problematic when it came to Instructor Trainers. People with almost no experience in something like trimix diving were qualifying trimix instructors. Watching this play out in agency after agency, and on continent after continent, was a troubling affair. Conversely, it took many years for GUE to develop and train people of appropriate experience, especially when looking to critical roles, including high-level tech and instructor trainers. At the same time, GUE’s efforts shaped the industry in no small fashion as agencies began to model their programs after GUE’s training protocols. Initially, having insisted that nobody would take something like Fundamentals, every agency followed suit in developing their own version of these programs, usually taught by divers that had followed GUE training. 

This evolving trend wasn’t without complexity but was largely a positive outcome. Agencies soon focused on fundamental skills, incorporated some form of problem-resolution training, adhered to GUE bottle and gas switching protocols, reduced insistence on deep air, and started talking more about developing skilled divers, among other changes. This evolution was significant when compared to the days of arguing about why a person could not learn to use trimix until they were good while diving deep on air. 

To be sure, a good share of these changes was more about maintaining business relevance than making substantive improvements. The changes themselves were often more style than substance, lacking objective performance standards and the appropriate retraining of instructors. Despite these weaknesses, they remain positive developments. Talking about something is an important first step and, in all cases, it makes room for strong instructors in any given agency to practice what is being preached. In fact, these evolving trends have allowed GUE to now push further in the effort to create skilled and experienced divers, enhancing our ability to run progressively more elaborate projects with increasingly more sophisticated outcomes. 

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The Future of GUE

The coming decades of GUE’s future appear very bright. Slow but steady growth has now placed the organization in a position to make wise investments, ensuring a vibrant and integrated approach. Meanwhile, evolving technology and a broad global base place GUE in a unique and formidable position. Key structural and personnel adjustments complement a growing range of virtual tools, enabling our diverse communities and representatives to collaborate and advance projects in a way that, prior to now, was not possible. Strong local communities can be easily connected with coordinated global missions; these activities include ever-more- sophisticated underwater initiatives as well as structural changes within the GUE ecosystem. One such forward-thinking project leverages AI-enabled, adaptive learning platforms to enhance both the quality and efficiency of GUE education. Most agencies, including GUE, have been using some form of online training for years, but GUE is taking big steps to reinvent the quality and efficiency of this form of training. This is not to replace, but rather to extend and augment inwater and in-person learning outcomes. Related tools further improve the fluidity, allowing GUE to seamlessly connect previously distant communities, enabling technology, training, and passion to notably expand our ability to realize our broad, global mission.

Photo courtesy of Kirill Egorov

Meanwhile, GUE and its range of global communities are utilizing evolving technologies to significantly expand the quality and scope of their project initiatives. Comparing the impressive capability of current GUE communities with those of our early years shows a radical and important shift, allowing results equal or even well beyond those possible when compared even with well-funded commercial projects. Coupled with GUE training and procedural support, these ongoing augmentations place our communities at the forefront of underwater research and conservation. This situation will only expand and be further enriched with the use of evolving technology and closely linked communities. Recent and planned expansions to our training programs present a host of important tools that will continue being refined in the years to come. Efforts to expand and improve upon the support provided to GUE projects with technology, people, and resources are now coming online and will undoubtedly be an important part of our evolving future.

The coming decades will undoubtedly present challenges. But I have no doubt that together we will not only overcome those obstacles but we will continue to thrive. I believe that GUE’s trajectory remains overwhelmingly positive, for we are an organization that is continually evolving—driven by a spirit of adventure, encouraged by your heartwarming stories, and inspired by the satisfaction of overcoming complex problems. Twenty-five years ago, when I took the path less traveled, the vision I had for GUE was admittedly ambitious. The reality, however, has exceeded anything I could have imagined. I know that GUE will never reach a point when it is complete but that it will be an exciting lifelong journey, one that, for me, will define a life well lived. I look forward our mutual ongoing “Quest for Excellence.”

See Listings Below For Additional Resources On GUE And GUE Diving!

Jarrod is an avid explorer, researcher, author, and instructor who teaches and dives in oceans and caves around the world. Trained as a geologist, Jarrod is the founder and president of GUE and CEO of Halcyon and Extreme Exposure while remaining active in conservation, exploration, and filming projects worldwide. His explorations regularly place him in the most remote locations in the world, including numerous world record cave dives with total immersions near 30 hours. Jarrod is also an author with dozens of publications, including three books.

A Few GUE Fundamentals

Similar to military, commercial and public safety divers, Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) is a standards-based diving community, with specific protocols, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and tools. Here are selected InDEPTH stories on some of the key aspects of GUE diving, including a four-part series on the history and development of GUE decompression procedures by founder and president Jarod Jablonski.

Anatomy of a Fundamentals Class

GUE Instructor Examiner Guy Shockey explains the thought and details that goes into GUE’s most popular course, Fundamentals, aka “Fundies,” which has been taken by numerous industry luminaries. Why all the fanfare? Shockey characterizes the magic as “simple things done precisely!

Back to Fundamentals: An Introduction to GUE’s Most Popular Diving Course

Instructor evaluator Rich Walker attempts to answer the question, “why is Fundamentals GUE’s most popular diving course?” Along the way, he clarifies some of the myths and misconceptions about GUE training. Hint: there is no Kool-Aid. 

The GUE Pre-dive Sequence

As you’d expect, Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) has a standardized approach to prepare your equipment for the dive, and its own pre-dive checklist: the GUE EDGE. Here explorer and filmmaker Dimitris Fifis preps you to take the plunge, GUE-style.

The Flexibility of Standard Operating Procedures

Instructor trainer Guy Shockey discusses the purpose, value, and yes, flexibility of standard operating procedures, or SOPs, in diving. Sound like an oxymoron? Shockey explains how SOPs can help offload some of our internal processing and situational awareness, so we can focus on the important part of the dive—having FUN!

Standard Gases: The Simplicity of Everyone Singing the Same Song

Like the military and commercial diving communities before them, Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) uses standardized breathing mixtures for various depth ranges and for decompression. Here British wrecker and instructor evaluator Rich Walker gets lyrical and presents the reasoning behind standard mixes and their advantages, compared with a “best mix” approach. Don’t worry, you won’t need your hymnal, though Walker may have you singing some blues.

Rules of Thumb: The Mysteries of Ratio Deco Revealed

Is it a secret algorithm developed by the WKPP to get you out of the water faster sans DCI, or an unsubstantiated decompression speculation promoted by Kool-Aid swilling quacks and charlatans? British tech instructor/instructor evaluator Rich Walker divulges the arcane mysteries behind GUE’s ratio decompression protocols in this first of a two part series.

The Thought Process Behind GUE’s CCR Configuration

Global Underwater Explorers is known for taking its own holistic approach to gear configuration. Here GUE board member and Instructor Trainer Richard Lundgren explains the reasoning behind its unique closed-circuit rebreather configuration. It’s all about the gas!

GUE and the Future of Open Circuit Tech Diving

Though they were late to the party, Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) is leaning forward on rebreathers, and members are following suit. So what’s to become of their open circuit-based TECH 2 course? InDepth’s Ashley Stewart has the deets.

Project Divers Are We

Diving projects, or expeditions—think Bill Stone’s Wakulla Springs 1987 project, or the original explorations of the Woodville Karst Plain’s Project (WKPP)—helped give birth to technical diving, and today continue as an important focal point and organizing principle for communities like Global Underwater Explorers (GUE). The organization this year unveiled a new Project Diver program, intended to elevate “community-led project dives to an entirely new level of sophistication.” Here, authors Guy Shockey and Francesco Cameli discuss the power of projects and take us behind the scenes of the new program

Decompression, Deep Stops and the Pursuit of Precision in a Complex World In this first of a four-part series, Global Underwater Explorers’ (GUE) founder and president Jarrod Jablonski explores the historical development of GUE decompression protocols, with a focus on technical diving and the evolving trends in decompression research.

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