I first came across the GUE in Italy. My friends and I were looking to go away for a weekend of diving and one of the dive shops that we came across was Portofino Divers. I had never heard of GUE and I was shocked at how expensive their training courses were. In the end, my friends opted to go to with Argentario Divers in Porto Ercole. So I didn’t give it much thought. Meanwhile, when I was in Malta doing my speciality diving with Divewise, I met a diver called Ben. He was a technical diver doing his PADI divemaster course. He would often talk about the benefits of the GUE Fundies course and how he achieved a technical pass, though it took him several goes to get it.
GUE has a variety of courses. It starts with the basic recreational courses all the way up to full technical cave diving courses. They require a very specific set of equipment and it must be worn in a specific way (there is no room for individualism). Sidemounting is not done and they really prefer to dive on backmounted doubles. Their courses are more expensive than your usual dive course but there training is more intense and to a much higher level.
I am really interested in doing a GUE Fundies course. Several of my friends have done it and have stated that the course is very worthwhile. But at the moment I do not have a backmounted harness and perhaps my skills aren’t really up to the challenge as I would want to achieve the coveted technical pass. Richard Walker is Director of Training for the GUE, I have met him several times while I was at Divewise, and have been recommended to do my training with him. He is based in the UK and I don’t think that he will be teaching any time soon in the Bahamas, so I may just have to wait until I am on the other side of the pond.