You might think that these two countries would not have a NAUI tech community, but we have a very active one. In 2018 there were NAUI technical courses in Intro to Tech and Technical Support Leader, and a couple of members were starting training and preparing for Tech Instructor courses under supervision by Frantisek Ondrus (NAUI 57297), our new Czech and Slovakia Technical Instructor Examiner.
The dive site called Šifr-Svobodne Hermanice Quarry is a legendary site. It is a slate quarry that filled with water after World War II, and divers use it for training and fun. In 1967 there were two actions there, PERMON III and PERMON IV, in which two men spent 87 and 100 hours underwater. Nowadays, the cold and depth can make this place a difficult dive site.
Cave and technical divers have plenty of locations for training and to get more experience, e.g., the Opal Mines in Slovakia, Moravia Karst, and French caves. Hranicna Mine in the Czech Republic is the latest mine with great potential for exploring and survey training. There is a good place in the Jesenik District that will be open in 2019.
At a November meeting at the quarry near Lestinka, there were workshops for instructors interested in Technical Sidemount, Decompression Procedures, and Intro to Tech. There were presentations, practical exercises, and discussions about standards, translating guides, training videos, and NTEC configuration. Underwater visibility was a little weak, but for technical divers, it was not a problem, and all divers met the challenge with a great attitude. In January 2019 we had Cavern Diver course in Tornaľa, Slovakia.
In 2019 we are planning to extend our offerings and focus to include NAUI Cave and DPV Instructors. We are planning a trip to France. I really enjoyed this year, and I hope next year will be the same or better than last. NAUI was one of the first organizations support us, and I hope NAUI will continue to promote this philosophy of safety in the future.
NAUI Instructor Karel Wilhelm is a member of the Czech Speleological Society.