Sneaking off to the Torpedo wreck

Take a couple of quiet days during low season, flat calm seas in the Gulf of Thailand and a bunch of techies and you have all that’s needed for a quick dash to the Torpedo wreck, one of the easier-to-reach technical wreck dives from our Koh Tao base.

With ropes off scheduled for 7.30am, preparations were made on the previous day, including gas blending, dive planning and general equipment setup. Whilst the plan had been to dive rebreather, backmount and sidemount configurations, a late-stage rebreather cell problem means three of us are on backmount and one diver is in sidemount configuration.

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With the deepest part of the wreck situated in just over 50 metres, we are using air as our back gas and EAN50 as well as oxygen as decompression gases. Trimix is worth considering in these depths allowing divers to be affected less by narcosis.

Today, visibility is around 10 metres, on the low side for this wreck, but nevertheless allowing for fairly easy navigation, even for our first timers. First dives are completed on time and on schedule, and the teams use the surface interval to agree their dive plans for the second dive. Taking a look at the bow seems a good option and when all is agreed it’s time for lunch. Bring a Spanish person on a dive trip and you get authentic tortilla!

Once all teams have completed two successful dives, it’s time to head back to Koh Tao, but not without taking a look at another wreck mark on the depth sounder. The Gulf of Thailand really is a mecca for wreck divers with plenty of Marus and other wrecks almost on our doorstep. We organise trips to the deeper wrecks regularly and are always keen to invite more techies along. Want to know more? Get in touch about diving the wrecks of the gulf and our expeditions coming up later this year!

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Upcoming Events – Two fantastic diving expeditions!

(1) Moyo Island, Komodo, Indonesia – Dive Camp and Expedition

Interested in discovering a new part of Indonesia’s famous underwater world? Dive where no one has dived before?
We’re running a diving expedition to Pulau Moyo, an island on the edge of Komodo National Park this November. The plan is to scout out new dive sites in one of the world’s most exciting areas for underwater exploration. Moyo is a truly remote location, a great place to see fantastic unspoilt coral and an unparalleled diversity of marine life thanks to being located right in the spot where the Pacific and the Indian Ocean meet. This could easily be the dive trip of a life time.

In short: join us for four days of incredible diving and dive camp accommodation – hurry, spaces are limited! You need to be qualified to Divemaster level or above, technical diving qualifications are an advantage.

For more information about this trip, dates and costs, simply email us with the subject ‘Moyo trip’.

(2) Calling all techies on rebreathers – Explore the deeper side of Cambodia!

At SEA Explorer, we are putting together a truly exciting diving expedition going to Cambodia later this year. Diving around Cambodia is like populating an empty map. New dive sites are being discovered all the time. Whilst there is fairly shallow coral and reef life found close to shore, we’ll be heading out further in search of deep wrecks and pinnacles. We’ll also have a great chance of discovering larger pelagic species.

The sites we are planning to explore are beyond the range of recreational diving and we are looking for Trimix-qualified rebreather divers to join us.

For more information about this trip, dates and costs, simply email us with the subject ‘Cambodia trip’.

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Cave Diving Courses in Thailand

Cave diving in Thailand is a fairly recent activity but is rapidly becoming more popular. In this blog we will cover the TDI Cave Diver courses available here in Koh Tao, Thailand and our next cave diving blog we will cover the cave diving sites around Thailand. Here at Davy Jones Tech on Koh Tao Thailand we offer the full range of TDI cave diving courses, from the TDI Cavern Diver course through to the TDI Intro to Cave and finally the TDI Full Cave diver certifications. We have some incredible caves in Thailand as well, from the beautiful Khao Sok National Park, to the deep sinkhole at Song Hong and Sra Keaw near Krabi.

The pre-requisite for Cave diving is only 30 dives and Advanced diver level, but usually we recommend at least taking the TDI Intro to Tech course before starting the TDI Cavern course. Here we can cover the basics of twinsets, valve drills, long hose deployment, dive planning, trim, buoyancy and propulsion techniques before moving into the more demanding underwater cave environment. For many people getting into cave diving they want to go onto the TDI Full Cave certification, but often these more advanced and much longer cave dives require decompression as well, so we also recommend that divers look into the TDI Decompression procedures and TDI Advanced Nitrox course so that they can carry out deco in the Full cave diver Course

Cave diving has three levels and you need to complete each cave diving level before moving onto the next one. The first cave diver level is the TDI Cavern diver course. We go over the basics again of buoyancy, trim, double use, team diving techniques and start working on lights and reels. Often it is very challenging maintain perfect trim and buoyancy whilst running a reel so we work on team work, line laying and tie offs in the cavern area, we can progress 61 meters from the entrance but must always be able to the exit. The TDI Cavern diver course requires 4 dives and takes 2 days.

The TDI Intro to Cave allows the cave diver to head beyond the light zone into the cave, here we practice much more advanced cave diving techniques, such as tying into permanent guidelines, lost line, lost divers, line marker use, out of air and blindfolded exits from the cave. The TDI Intro to cave course requires 4 dives and around 2 days to complete. After the TDI Intro to cave course the cave diver can move onto the next level with the TDI Full cave diver course.

The TDI full cave diver is probably one of the most challenging and rewarding technical diving courses available today, this very Song Hong cave high level requires 8 dives minimum and takes 4 days or all three course can be completed over 7 days. TDI full cave allow the cave diver to complete complex cave dives such as traverses and circuits, here we usually head to the sink hole of Song Hong to complete complex traverses and explore some of the massive ceilings in this hug cave system. If you are interested in the TDI Cave diving programs send me an email at dave@techdivingthailand.com or drop into our tech diving shop here on Sairee Beach in Koh Tao, Thailand

Happy Diving

Tech Dave :-)

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Technical Diving – Back to Basics – TDI Intro to Tech

Technical Diving – Back to Basics- TDI Intro to Tech

Technical diving requires mastery of the all the basic diving skills, in fact many of the skills that we work on during technical diver training are actually open water diver level skills but at more advanced level. During TDi Intro to Tech diver training one of the hardest skills to master is buoyancy and trim for new technical divers and being able to maintain these whilst performing other tasks such as valve drills and out of air, from open water level we teach neutral buoyancy and streamlining. Getting the fundamental of diving right is one of the most important thing to master and even after thousands of dives can always be worked on, In fact if you are thinking of moving onto technical diving you can practice these skills on recreational dives, being able to hover motionless in trim, mask removal and replace neutrally buoyant etc.

Even at very advanced tech diving  levels like TDI advanced trimix and TDI Full Cave we  train for  multiple failures that are actually open water diver level skills, no mask whilst buddy breathing, holding deco stops and neutrally buoyant is just one multiple failure we teach on the TDI Advance Trimix course! Out of air, maintaining depth on safety stops, and no mask swim are all in the open water diver course however done one a t a time

The hardest thing for many new aspiring technical divers is mastering these basic diving skills before we move onto multiple failures, multiple tanks, increased depth etc on other technical dive courses. Without a good foundation in the diving basics if we increase task loading with a weak foundation at some point the whole lot will come crashing down, with solid foundation to build upon actually the rest is usually easy. Even experienced divers often need to cover the diving basics before getting into Advanced Nitrox and decompression procedures dive courses, so at DJL Tech we recommend the TDI Intro to tech course first.

Recreational divers often ask why technical divers are diving in shallow water with twinsets and stages, not understanding the obvious that we need to train for emergencies and these basics skills in the shallows before we venture into deeper dives and long deco obligations tec.

These basic skills can keep you alive as you advance, simply a matter of the correct fin kick and neutral buoyancy and trim in a cave or wreck with silt is the best way to avoid having to exit blind from deeper penetration dives simply though not stirring up the silt.

The best course to perfect these skills is the TDI Intro To Tech course that we offer at Davy Jones tech in Koh Tao. The TDI Intro to Tech lays the foundation for other technical diving course, and essential for anyone looking to go cave diving or do advance wreck diving in Thailand. During the Intro to tech  course here on Koh Tao we cover doubles configuration, back kicking, helicopter turns, basics of tech dive planning, long hose deployment, valve drills etc. After the TDI Intro to tech course if combined with TDI nitrox diver it gives the diver a great number of exciting and challenging dives and much longer time underwater.

If you are interested in the TDI Intro to Tech Program, email us or drop into Davy Jones Locker on Sairee Beach here in Koh Tao Thailand.

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Got Gas?

When making decompression dives we need to ensure we have gas available to complete our required decompression stops. More commonly than not, we use different gasses, with a higher percentage of Oxygen to “accelerate” our deco. When selecting our deco gasses we have to take a f

ew things into consideration. We need to keep our oxygen partial pressure at between 1.4 and 1.6 to really get the benefits and speed our decompression stops, therefore if we have many stops at different depths it is a good idea to carry more than one deco gas. When we are planning a dive as a team it is important that we all plan our gasses together and everyone uses the same gasses. This reduces confusion while gas blending, and also helps keep the team together while completing deco stops (as opposed to one person gas switching on to 80% at 9m and one person switching on pure oxygen at 6m) so if there are any problems your team mates can help out. We at Davy Jones Tech use a set of standard gasses while diving, to make dive planning easier and to ensure if we overstay our time we can have contingencies already written out in our wetnotes. As you progress through the tec courses not only will you progressively go deeper, you will also start increasing the oxygen concentration and eventually the amount of deco gasses you will carry.

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