Recreational 2 - Advanced

Recreational 2 - Advanced

Contact Info:
Pete Vanags at UTD Scuba Diving (Instructor)
Company: Unified Team Diving

Instructor: Pete Vanags

Are you ready to take your diving to the next level?

If you are a certified open water diver looking for the next step in advanced scuba training, then UTD's Recreational 2 ("Rec 2") Advanced Diver course is for you. Rec 2 expands your diving to deeper depths, night dives, and the use of Nitrox 32 as a breathing gas.

Rec 2 is based around four modules:

  • Critical Skills
  • Nitrox
  • Deep
  • Night

You must take the Critical Skills module first. Then you can take the other modules in any order.

Rec 2 Modules

The Critical Skills Module includes problem identification and resolution, building the capacity for progressively more challenging diving. In this class, students will be trained in the use of single or double tanks/cylinders (in either back mount or side mount) and in the potential failure problems associated with them. This module is normally conducted over one pool session and two open water dives.

The Rec 2 Nitrox Module includes use of Nitrox 32 for extended bottom times. This module includes two open water dives: buoyancy control and toxing/unconscious diver recovery. The Nitrox Module dives may be combined with other dives from the Rec 2 modules.

The Rec 2 Deep Module includes gas planning and ascent strategies for dives to 100 feet, along with the use of a surface marker buoy (SMB) and mid water ascent strategies. This module requires two open water dives to depths of 80-100 feet.

The Rec 2 Night Module includes two night dive and addresses proper air-sharing procedures at night, navigation, and loss of primary and backup lighting.

Course Information

Each of the four UTD Recreational 2 modules are normally conducted over a 1-2 day period, cumulatively involving a minimum of 32 hours of instruction including academics, pool/confined water, and open water dives. On completion of each module, you receive a certification for that particular module. On completion of all four modules, you receive a Rec 2 certification.

Equipment Requirements

Students are expected to provide all of their own equipment for the class:

  • Exposure protection, including wetsuit or drysuit, hood, gloves and booties. Drysuit thigh pockets or pocket shorts are desirable.
  • Scuba mask. A neoprene strap will make mask skills much easier.
  • Stiff fins suitable for advanced propulsion including backward kicks. Good examples include ScubaPro Jet Fin, Dive Rite XT, Hollis F1, and UTD Precision Fins. No split fins!
  • Two scuba tanks.
  • Regulator with long-hose primary and necklace-style backup second stages.
  • Buoyancy compensator with harness. UTD sidemount or standard UTD/GUE/DIR backplate and wing.
  • Appropriate weights for attaining a balanced rig.
  • A depth-measuring device.
  • Wrist mounted compass.
  • Primary dive light with handle (hard or soft Goodman style).
  • Backup dive light attached to harness strap. 
  • Deployable Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB). 


The instruction fee of $2000 is split between 2-4 students, so you can choose the class size and level of personalization that suits you best. Additional per-student fees are $100 for digital course materials, and $50 for classroom rental and air fills.

Optional extras are boat dives and/or travel (Catalina, anyone?) for the open water portion of the class.

About the Instructor

Pete Vanags is a San Diego based UTD Foundational Instructor. He was originally trained by Bud Gray at Underwater Sports in Seattle in 1986, and has been training others to scuba dive since 1989.

Before he became a UTD instructor, Pete spent 9 years at UC Berkeley teaching scientists to scuba dive and do research under water. It was here among the infamous "UC Divers" that he developed his love for California cold water diving in the frigid waters of Monterey Bay and Point Lobos.

Pete switched from backmount diving to sidemount in 2013, and has been diving and teaching exclusively in sidemount configuration ever since.

Pete's interest is providing the highest quality precision recreational scuba training to his students. In his classes, students learn advanced techniques typically associated with technical diving, with the goal of making their recreational diving as fun and safe as possible.

His current diving activity includes pursuing his own advanced technical scuba training, driving a DPV (scooter) as often as he can borrow one, and going on regular cold-water scuba expeditions around California and the Pacific Northwest.

What do students say? 

"Pete is a thorough instructor, extremely personable, and represents UTD to the highest standards. I was especially impressed with Pete's ability to coordinate with our group on a busy labor day weekend. I would recommend both Pete & UTD to anyone interested in diving." -- Garrett P.

"Pete was outstanding. His patience and commitment to our success was remarkable. UTD came highly recommended by a very good friend and it Did not disappoint. It exceeded our expectations even after completing the on-line course. I will surely be recommending it to any Divers I see struggling or just looking to improve." -- William M.

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