Interview: Tec Dive Coordinator Anouck

AnouckAbout tec diving on Bonaire


Meet Anouck. Only 31, years old, she is already the Tec Diving coordinator at Buddy Dive TeK. She has been working at Buddy Dive Resort for over 10 years and leading Buddy Dive TeK full-time for the past 2,5 years. Our communications intern Joep was curious to learn more about tec diving on Bonaire, so he conducted this interview with Anouck… It is too good not to share it with you…

Can you briefly explain to us what Tec diving is?

Many people think Tec diving is only diving deep and outside recreational limits. Tec diving for me, is diving with a specific goal and requiring additional equipment and procedures to achieve this goal. Going deep or diving in wrecks is not that difficult, but doing it safely is the challenge.

How and why did you start Tec diving?

If you had told me at the beginning of my diving career that I would be doing this now, I would have laughed at you. I first learned about Tec diving during my Rescue Diver, Dive Master, and Instructor Courses in Thailand. When I first saw tec divers preparing for their dives I thought, that’s a lot of extra gear, that’s not for me. When I got more explanation about the projects they were doing, the procedures, and the use of the equipment, it got me. I realized there was a lot to see in the deep places I couldn’t go to now. Eventually, I got the chance to do a Discover Tec Dive. In Thailand, I didn’t have the funds to take the tec courses and buy the gear but was hungry for more.

Why did you become Tec-dive Coordinator at Buddy Dive Resort?

When I came to Bonaire, I was able to start my tec courses and have been tec diving a lot in the past years. I continued to develop and I have learned so much. I became the tec diving coordinator because the position became available and I not only love tec diving, but I am also very much interested in the logistics and organization within the tec department.

Can you explain what Operation CCR is?

It’s a yearly event specifically focused on diving with rebreathers. It is a great event for certified rebreather divers, but also a lot of fun if you are just interested in trying a rebreather for the first time. In the mornings our CCR-dedicated boats go out for 2-hour dives on the deep reefs and wrecks of Bonaire. In the afternoon there are usually tryouts and demos of new gear (new units, but also DPVs, etc) and during the evenings there are presentations and moments to socialize and get to know fellow tec divers. Later in the year we also host Bonaire TeK an event especially for tec divers.

What was your best Bonaire Tek/Operation CCR moment?

My favorite moment of Bonaire Tek and Operation CCR was when I got to join the tec divers in the water for the first time. I had been involved with the “dry” part of the events  – mixing gas and organizing logistics- and was beyond happy to finally join the tec dives.

What makes Buddy Dive unique compared to other dive shops that offer Tec diving?

I think the biggest advantages of booking tec diving with Buddy Dive Resort are the easy logistics and flexibility. We have a wide range of services available and since we have all facilities on site, we can deliver gas, services, and supplies/ equipment when and how guests like it. Our tec department with rental gear and gas blending station is located in our Drive-thru, which makes the logistics extremely easy.

Bonaire isn’t a very well-known tec diving destination. Can you tell us what makes Bonaire interesting for tec divers?

In my opinion, Bonaire is interesting for technical diving because of the amazing conditions and simple logistics. It is easy to find depth and the bottom contour makes it very attractive to do tec training on Bonaire. We regularly welcome guests for training or instructors taking students here to do training. The dives are beautiful with deep coral reefs, a few wrecks, and interesting objects at depth such as anchors from Bonaire’s colonial days.

What are your favorite tec diving locations around the island?

This is a difficult question, but I will list a few. 1. The deep wreck of the Windjammer, at 60 meters/ 200ft. It is an old sailing ship that was built when there was a switch between wood and metal construction and sail or motor-driven, with the result that she had the construction of an old sailing ship but was made of metal, so the wreck is in great condition. I also love deep dives at Red Slave where at depth you will come across several anchors that are full-grown with beautiful coral. On Klein Bonaire, you have a second reef system, which is untouched. It is so beautiful there. Finally, it’s worth going down at Karpata, which has an endless wall to dive along.

Why would you encourage potential tec divers to take his or her course with Buddy Dive?

I like the way Buddy Dive approaches the tec courses. We always thoroughly check the participant’s diving skills to ensure the course participants are ready to take the course and whether there is a good chance of success. If not, we help the students get ready for the course. This baseline check allows us to determine what we might have to work on. We focus on great basics, so divers remain stable and focused when they need to start multitasking

What is your most memorable tec diving experience?

That was during my GUE Tec1 course. During an exercise with my team, extra difficulties were imposed on us. Our instructor decided to give us even more problems. At one point, at about 30 meters deep, we only had one person left with a mask, only one left with a light, and we were all attached to someone else’s air. Because we were so comfortable with each other, it still went quite easily. The instructor was quite impressed afterward. Note: This stress training is conducted by highly skilled and trained instructors, who are trained to teach this kind of training.

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen during a Tec dive?

I have to say that I love seeing the subtle changes on the reef and the corals on wrecks and the bottom around 70+ meters compared to shallower water.

What is still on your Tec Dive bucket list?

I do have a wish list that is getting longer and longer. I would love to travel to other places. Maybe not necessarily places, but other wrecks. I would love to go to Truk Lagoon and Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. I would also love to go to the Scapa Flow (World War I wreck) in Scotland. I am interested in history. All these wrecks have a historical story, and I would love to see it for myself.

Which tec course is your favorite and why?

That’s a tough question as I enjoy teaching all courses. I still find the Tec Basics the most fun to teach. I love laying a solid base that students will benefit from throughout all other courses and dives. When students pass the Tec Basics course, they can move on to the next courses with peace of mind and confidence.

What advice would you like to give to future tec divers?

“Take your time to build your skills and search for a high quality training facility. Take a few dives to practice and gain experience before moving to the next course. If, you don’t feel comfortable enough to take the next course, don’t do it! When choosing a training facility, go for quality over a good price or discount.

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