NAUI Tec training in the Netherlands for NAUI Europa
Diving during December in Holland is challenging, considering the water temperature is close to freezing at 34F and air temperature is 25F with a wind chill factor of – 10F at times.
On December 30 th, Jelle Buisman, the NAUI Europa Training Director, and I arrived early at the Scuba Acadamie in Vinkerveen to complete our training dives with Cees den Toom as the safety diver. It had been freezing the night before, so Cees spent the first hour breaking the ice and clearing a pathway towards the lake. Although cold, the skies were mostly clear and it was a beautiful day. Jelle and I went over our NTEC setups and other than a few minor adjustments, everything checked out. We did our briefing inside the academie to stay warm, donned our drysuits and we were on our way. Since there was still a lot of ice in the water, we had to go
slow and arrived at the dive site half an hour later.
Cees was very concerned about safety and the wind that was predicted for the afternoon, so we had to get in the water in a timely fashion. He was also concerned for my safety in these conditions and I assured him I was familiar diving in these cold conditions in Alaska and the Empress of Ireland. Visibility was at least 15’/5M, which is doable as far as I was concerned.
Both dives went exactly as planned and other than my hands getting cold, even with drygloves, I was very comfortable. Jelle dived in the Dutch Navy for eight years and also as a commercial diver with over 10,000 dives to his credit, 500 + past 300’/100M. Needless to say, today’s dives were a breeze for him.
On the way back, we decided to have some fun and jump back in water without our scuba gear and play a little around the ice, a new experience for me. During the winter months in Holland, Ice diving is very popular of course. Jelle is looking forward to making NAUI Tec the premier Technical training choice in Europe. With numerous wrecks available for diving in the North Sea, I’m looking forward to join some of these expeditions.
Peter Den Haan