[gardeners] RE: Re: Matt Trahan

M J Trahan (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sat, 11 Sep 1999 23:27:55 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Penny,
 The problem is I'm experienced in other areas, not with nuts and bolts underwater gruntwork diving.
 All of my experience is based on training other people to scuba dive, not really difficult unless they've been dragged there by thier spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. Mostly teaching scuba is about teaching them to be comfortable and safe in the water and familiarizing them with the gear they'll be using and how to use the dive tables properly. (You can only stay so deep for so long, and repetative dives should usually be shorter and shallower). It's a hell of a great "lifestyle" job, but very little money in it.

 Really all I can say as a *commercial* diver is that I'm new to the field. I've been in the water for my company working on scuba and been in the water with a hardhat a number of times, (most of our supervisors started on Mark V's, The huge old copper diving helmets, and some of them were right off the street. I've got more underwater experience than they did when they first started, and they've been willing to let me do some of the easier jobs.
 These guys were diving before there were such things as commercial dive schools. Many of the really older divers across the country came from the Navy program.
 The school itself is only 360 hours in class, but it's only from 8am to 2pm five days a week, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I start October 21 but don't finish until February 17.
 And honestly, it's really just "entry level" training to give me an official status as a commercial diver. While they learned a lot more than they realized in commercial dive school, one of the first things our new commercial divers realize is how much they *didn't* learn in school. It's just one of those OJT mentoring/trainee type jobs.
 Also I work for an "inland" company (as opposed to offshore diving) We do a little something different almost every week. From installing cofferdams, to running fiber optic cable across sections of the intercoastal waterway, to dredging, running jetpumps, working at the hydroelectric plants, just about anything you could do underwater in relation to ships and harbors.
 There's lots of little tricks to make the job safer and easier that you can really only learn from a good dive supervisor briefing you before you go in the water.

 I've been fortunate enough to have spent considerable time in the water before coming here, and have learned a lot as a tender just from being on the job. But I'll never be more than the tender who's sometimes allowed to dive unless I get the training and the official card that removes the more obvious liability problems for my company.
 Some of what I'll get in school will be my first exposure to it, some of it (like the divetables) is something I used to teach myself. It's just one of those things I have to go through to get  a chance to spend a lot more time in the water. It should be a fun and relatively easy 4 months, just a big loss of income for a while.

Have fun,
Matt Trahan    tropicalgarden@email.com
northeastern North Carolina, USDA zone 8
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