Came to diving quite late. In Soviet times, when I studied at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute in my group and on the stream were divers, they talked a lot about their hobby, but then it somehow did not catch me. Later, in Ukraine, I became interested in the stories of my classmate about underwater poaching. My classmate and his friend did this at the Cherkassy Reservoir, not often, but quite regularly and all year round, including under the ice. Their main purpose was not to fish, but when the hunt was successful, the goal was to have a good time in pleasant company. They dived in wet suits on the AVMs. I decided to join them, but this did not happen. All limited to a few dives with a classmate on Redkino Lake. In my entire underwater career, I have not killed a single fish.
But everything is in order: having decided to join them, I went for the equipment. It turned out that AVM-we are not sold, and in general that it is outdated equipment. I bought a 12 L steel bottle, the Aqualung Titan regulator, which by the way still works for me without problems, BCD Tusa pseudo-wing, well, everything else: wet suit, flippers, mask, etc. Immediately I was offered to undergo OWD courses in a teaching association with the widest market coverage. Well, it went, it went … I enjoyed diving so much, always and everywhere, regardless of the weather, season and other conditions. I started OWD in December, having passed my skills in icy water and with almost zero visibility. My first independent dive was a solo 40 m deep dive on Sokolovskiy Quarry. After him, I realized the need for further diving education and the acquisition of additional equipment (underwater computer). I continued my diving education in association with the widest coverage of the market, where I reached the level of candidate instructor. Continuing to dive constantly, I began to realize the shortcomings of the teaching system and the final skills that the association with the widest market coverage offered. I began to understand the shortcomings and imperfections of the equipment I used. In addition, the instructor I was studying with, remaining a recreational instructor in a teaching association with the widest market coverage, became a technical instructor at Technical Diving International, abbreviated TDI. I continued to learn from him, but by the standards of Technical Diving International. In parallel with the training, I dived a lot with partners and solos. The path from OWD to Advanced Trimix Diver TDI took a year and a half. At the same time, I did not leave the borders of Ukraine, dived in quarries, in the Crimea, on Snake Island, etc. On my first safari on the Red Sea, I was already being an Advanced Trimix Diver TDI, the safari was technical, its goal was to descend on newly discovered shipwrecks resting at a depth of 86 and 103m. They were found by Czech rebreather divers. The safari was organized by the Czechs, except for them the Hungarians were also on the yacht, and we are also a team from Ukraine. The weather allowed us to dive on the wreck, located at a depth of 86 m for two days. At 103-meter ship wreck, the weather did not allow us to dive. On the second day of the dive on the wreck, gas blender instead of Trimix squeezed my twin by air. Therefore, the impression of gas narcosis is blurred. But still this wreck made an indelible impression on me. Its length is 160m, it was a ferry plying between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He sank in 1996 due to fire, while no one died, all crew members and passengers were evacuated. The weather turned bad, we had to leave this wreck, and we spent the rest of the safari, diving on reefs and recreational wrecks. During diving on wrecks, I again began to feel the shortcomings of my diving education. Truly true ancient wisdom: “when the student is ready, the teacher comes.” On the yacht, I met the legendary Czech cave instructor, who stood at the origins of the European cave diving. In the spring of next year, with another diver from Ukraine in the Czech Republic and Hungary, under his leadership, we became Full Cave Diver TDI. During the descents to the caves of the Czech Republic and Hungary, I was lucky to dive with some Czech and Hungarian cave instructors, I learned a lot from them. This was followed by rather private trips to Dahab, where I dived a lot, relatively deep (up to 130m) for a long time, including to caves (Ras Mamlakh, caves in a deep canyon opposite the Tropitel Hotel, Vagner cave etc.). I continue to dive, developing already as an instructor. I currently am an Advanced Trimix Instructor TDI.