From Open Circuit to Closed Circuit Rebreather Diving

From the moment I finished my first dive on the Dos Ojos Cenote in the Maya Riveria, I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to dive for the rest of my life and in as many places as I could.

I wondered what had taken so long to learn how to dive?! That was in 2014.

That Dos Ojos Cenote dive was my wife, Ashley, and I’s very first after finishing our PADI Open Water Diver course (if you’re wondering about the legitimacy of the shop we certified with you’re thinking the right way). After we surfaced; Ashley asked me “well, what now?”

I replied, “we dive the world!”

And dive we have! We’ve been diving in Hawaii, California, Australia, Fiji, Azores, the Puget Sound, Guam, Florida and more. It wasn’t long before I became intrigued with Closed Circuit Rebreather diving and technical diving. To be able to go deeper, for longer and farther; to see what so few have ever seen before is priceless. Scuba diving is cool enough as breathing underwater makes you a bit of super hero; albeit with limitations. But, with a rebreather, your super powers are enhanced. Imagine being able to dive to depths to hundreds of meters and stay underwater for up to six hours?!

Who wouldn’t want that opportunity?

Closed Circuit Rebreather Diving is a bit like driving a race car.

The amount of task loading dramatically increases. There are more sources of buoyancy to control; your wing, your drysuit and your counter-lungs (counter-intuitive to your open circuit diving brain – your internal lungs are not one of them). There are multiple displays to monitor and you can never forget to monitor your ppO2 (partial pressure of oxygen, or how much oxygen is in the loop and by extension your blood although the two will most likely not always be exactly the same). Not to mention staying aware of your surroundings, where your buddies are, where you are going, navigating, decompression limits; it can be a lot to process. But with those skills the innerspace world is opened up! Plus, you look damn cool doing it.

Closed Circuit Rebreather Diving can be complicated and it certainly requires loads of training; but once you become certified to fly one you might be hard pressed to look back on the open circuit world. I’ve never been able to get so close to so much wildlife under the water. You essentially become a fish; one with the undersea world.

Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to stay up-to-date on new posts and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be documenting my journey from an open circuit recreational diver to a closed circuit rebreather technical diver. – Brian J.