FAQ: Seattle 2017

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GUE Leading EDGE Performance Workshop: March 3-5, 2017 in Seattle USA

For general information on this event, please visit this page.

Who and Why FAQ

Q1: Is this workshop only for Tech and Cave divers?

A: No, the workshop is a non-certification training event for GUE-trained divers of all levels. Depending on your level and experience, you can

  • learn what’s changed since your last GUE class,
  • review and refine your Fundamentals skills,
  • work on provisional or tech upgrades, and
  • for Tech or Cave divers, review skills unique to those environments

Q2: Do I have to have taken GUE Fundamentals?

A: The workshop is open to all level GUE divers, but you must have previously taken REC 1 or Fundamentals to attend. You do not have to have completed these courses. Those who have taken Fundamentals training in years past when it was a non-certification workshop – as well as those who took GUE Cave or Tech training prior to the development of the Fundamentals program – are also invited to join.

Q3: Is the workshop just for GUE Seattle and GUE BC members?

A: No, GUE divers worldwide are invited. We have instructors traveling from the USA East Coast, Asia, and the UK, as well as participants coming from well-outside the PNW region. Meet new dive buddies!

Q4: I just passed a GUE class, why would I need this workshop?

A: Even if you recently completed Fundamentals, GUE Cave, or GUE Tech, you can always improve by working with a different instructor, different team, or in a different environment. Also, the events on Friday and Saturday nights are a great opportunity to socialize, meet new team mates, and enjoy the exciting presentations.

Q5: This isn’t the best time for me to attend, will the workshop be repeated?

A: Probably, but there are no firm plans of where or when. The next workshop might not be in the PNW. This is an inaugural event, we’d love you to join and be part of the learning, fun, and excitement.

Q6: How will my donation to GUE Seattle/GUE-BC be utilized?

A: In addition to being a great opportunity for training and socializing, the Leading Edge workshop is intended as a fundraiser for the GUE Seattle and GUE BC affiliate groups.  In addition to offsetting expense for this event, your donation will be used to help purchase photogrammetry equipment for use in local GUE projects.

The 3D images captured by Kathryn Arant and team on the Dowell in Lake Washington, and Joakim Hjelm‘s latest work on the cloud sponges in Saanich Inlet in British Columbia, are only the start of more up and coming photogrammetry projects in the Pacific Northwest.

The donation levels are $250 for Fundamentals divers, $350 for Cave/Tech.

Q7: When is the registration deadline? And how do I register?

A: Feb 15th is the registration deadline. Your seat in the Workshop will be secured by your donation at the appropriate level here: http://www.gue-seattle.org/edge

This deadline is FIRM and there will be no late registrations accepted, since teams need to be formed and matched up with instructors.

Still have questions? Email us today.

March 3-5 2017 Workshop Logistics FAQ

Dive Length/Temp
Participant Preparation
Evening Session Location
Evening Academics/Presentations
Dive Site & Parking
Schedule of Dive Events
Tech Divers – Stage Bottles
Late Registration = NO

Q8: If I’m not from Seattle, where do you recommend I stay during the workshop?

A:  A search in “Federal Way, WA” or Des Moines, WA” will show available hotels near the Redondo Beach dive site.

Alternately, a search of VRBO and AirBnb properties in these areas will produce a wide range of accommodations; visiting students in the past have reported good results from both providers.  Some participants may wish to stay near the hosting dive shop “5th Dimension” located in West Seattle (approximately 35 minutes north of the Redondo Beach site).

Map of 5th Dimension area

5th Dimension dive shop on Facebook

Finally, hotels in all price ranges are available near the Seattle-Tacoma “Sea-Tac” International Airport (approximately 25 minutes north of the Redondo Beach site).

Near-Airport Hotels

Q9: How we will be handling fills for everyone and tanks for out-of-town divers?

A: It is recommended that each participant have available
– 2 sets of doubles, or
– 4 single tanks
for use during the 3 diving days on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


  • Start the event with both sets of tanks filled;
  • Bring and use your first set on Friday;
  • **Label with your name** and turn over your first set to a GUE Seattle event organizer on Friday night, who will transport your tanks to 5th Dimension for fills;
  • Bring your second set to the dive site for use on Saturday morning; and
  • Collect your first set of tanks on Saturday evening for use on Sunday

If you need tanks for the weekend:

Divers using twin sets – as no local dive shop has ‘doubles’ available for rent, please post a request to borrow tanks as soon as possible on the GUE Seattle Facebook page.

Single tank divers – Underwater Sports Federal Way (the nearest dive shop to the Redondo Beach site)  has LP Steel 80 and mid pressure steel 85 tanks for rent. Google Maps to Uderwater Sports Federal Way

Participants wishing to rent single tanks  should contact UWS Federal Way at  +1 253 874 9387 as soon as possible; in this way the shop may bring in additional tanks from other Seattle area stores to meet the added demand for tanks.

Please reference the dive event schedule and store hours at the UWS Federal Way location (below) in order to obtain  tanks prior to your dives.
Monday – Friday 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Saturday 9:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Finally, you may also contact other Underwater Sports stores in the area (Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, and Edmonds) if those locations will be more convenient.

Q10: How long will the dives be during the workshop?

A: Each participant should plan to do two 45ish minute dives per day of the event. Water temperature is 7-10C (45-50F) so be prepared!

Q11: I’m signed up for the event. How do I prepare?

A: Please source your tanks as soon as possible, and bring all your equipment to the event.

A review of the GUE SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) document for skills relevant for your level of training may also be useful.

GUE Standards

GUE SOP Manual For this link to work you must be logged into GUE.com and be a member. Workshop participants who are not GUE members, please email Mer to request a direct download link.
**Please note a new version of the SOP Manual was released 16 Feb 2017, so please do review this document!

Q12: Where will the evening sessions be held?

A: In the same location as our diving, the Highline College ‘MaST’ Center and Aquarium at Redondo Beach.

MaST Center

MaST Aquarium on Facebook

While the ‘MaST’ center is not normally available to the public, GUE’s non-profit status and history of support for the local diving community was persuasive in the college allowing the use of their facility for this event. This means you won’t even have to drive anywhere following diving for the classroom portions of the event!!!!

Doors open at 5 pm and dinner will be supplied during the presentation.

Q13: What are the presentations planned for evenings?

A: The workshop will also feature evening presentation covering updates to GUE procedures and other topics of interest.
Friday evening:

  • “Deco from Fundamentals to T2” by Liz Tribe and Graham Blackmore. This presentation will include recent changes and updates to GUE procedures, including Decoplanner use.
  • “2016 Project Baseline Major Missions” by Mer, Dive Safety Officer for R/V Baseline Explorer. This talk will cover the Bermuda deep reef mission with the Nekton Foundation and the North Carolina Battle of the Atlantic mission with NOAA, and maybe more!

Saturday evening:

    • “Gas Planning from Fundamentals to T2” by Kelly Colwell and Karim Hamza. This presentation will include recent changes and updates to GUE procedures.
    • “Human Factors in Diving” by Gareth Lock, Director of Risk Management for GUE. This is excellent content on team work and psychology that affects us as divers.

Q14: Where will we be diving? What’s the parking situation?

A: Diving events will be held at Redondo Beach in the city of Des Moines, approximately mid-way between Seattle and Tacoma. Evening presentations will be held just a few steps away from the dive site at the Highline College ‘MaST’ Marine Science and Technology Center.


If you have internet access, a Google Maps search for “Salty’s Redondo Beach” [the popular waterfront restaurant next to the dive site and MaST Center] will provide accurate driving directions.

Google Maps Directions


Street parking in the area is free.  Parking in the lot across from Salty’s is reserved for restaurant guests only.

Public parking for divers and boaters is available in the lot across from the MaST Center; ‘pre-pay’ at the rate of $1.00 per hour, or $8.00 per day at the parking pay station near the center of the lot (next to the boat wash down area). The pay station machine accepts Visa, MasterCard, bills (no change given), and quarters.  After payment, please take your receipt and place it in a visible location on your dashboard to avoid a citation or towing.


A map of the Redondo Beach dive site is here.

An aerial view of the Redondo Beach topside features is below:

Q15: Do I need to bring a lunch?

A: We ask that each participant please bring sufficient drinking water/beverages for themselves. We will be providing three types of lunch sandwiches, snacks, and hot and cold drinks throughout the day. We are hoping to have a vegetarian option. If you have greater dietary restrictions or preferences it may be best to bring your own lunch.


Q16: What will be arrangements for dinner?

A: As an added bonus, pizza will be provided for all participants on Fri and Sat nights! This way you can eat and learn at the same time and then not have to worry about getting dinner later.

Q17: What hours will the event run?

A: We will start each day at 8am, sharp. Please make sure you arrive a bit early. Schedule will be jam packed and unfortunately we will not be able to wait for latecomers. We will wrap up diving each day around 4:30pm. On Friday and Saturday, there will be academics, presentations and dinner in the MaST Center between 5pm and 7:30pm.

Q18: Where can I find a schedule of dive events?

A: By Feb 25th we will release a more detailed schedule of the events and topics covered between 8am and 4:30pm each day.

Q19: What paperwork do I need to bring to the event?

A: All diving participants will be required to bring a copy of the standard student profile printed from their GUE login. Sometime between the 15th and the 20th of February, each participant will be introduced to the GUE instructor with whom they will be working during this workshop. Participants should update their GUE student profiles with any new/changed information and fill-in the instructor’s name in the waiver. We will provide more detailed instructors after Feb 20. Additionally, please bring a C-card and your DAN insurance (or equivalent) card to the event.

Q20: For Tech-level participants, do I need to bring stage bottles?

A: You should bring bottles appropriate for your highest level of training. For Tech 1, this would be one Al80; for Tech 2, two Al80s, one Al40, and a leash. These could be filling with the appropriate gas for your level OR 32%, but please coordinate with your assigned team so that you all have the same gases. Workshop will be conducted in relatively shallow water. All bottles must be analyzed and bear appropriate MOD markings for their current contents.

Q21: It’s passed the deadline, but I want to attend the workshop. May I?

A: Unfortunately, no. The deadline was firm and no late registrations are being accepted since teams have now been formed and matched with instructors. Stay tuned for the next GUE Leading EDGE Performance Workshop!

How to register? Your seat in the Workshop will be secured by your donation at the appropriate level here: http://www.gue-seattle.org/edge 

The deadline to register is Feb 15. This deadline is firm.    Back to Logistics FAQ Index