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 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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Tottori Maru

At Davy Jones’ Tech we like to get out to some of the local wrecks to go for a tech fun dive. Later this month we are planning a trip to the infamous Tottori Maru, A Japanese prisoner of war ship more commonly referred to as a “Hell Ship”. The Hellship Tottori Maru and its sister ship, Tokushima Maru were built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1913 – 1914. These 6,057 Gross Ton ships were 423 feet long, 56 feet in breadth and capable of speeds of 10 knots.

When fate finally caught up with the Tottori Maru, she was en route to Singapore in convoy with the Hatsutaka running escort. She was not carrying any POW’s at the time of her sinking.

The Tottori Maru now lies in 75m of water on her port side, bow twisted and nearly broken off, facing the surface.

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Exploring Song Hong

In the next few weeks Davy Jones’ Tech are planning a trip to Song Hong sinkhole in the south of Thailand. Led by head Technical Instructor David, we are planning a Trimix dive to 100m in the sink hole, accompanied by 3 other divers who are Trimix and Full Cave certified. Song Hong lake is the gateway to a huge underground river, which is believed to flow all the way to the sea which is over 60km away, where it flows to and from is unknown due to its depth and sheer size. The deepest dive made in the cave was 140m and over a kilometer in, and this barley scratches the surface. The purpose of this trip is to try to explore more parts of the cave and have some fun at the same time! The roof of the cave starts at 40m and wen you are on the main line you cannot see the bottom or any other walls, despite the water being crystal clear below 30m. It is a great dive, especially if you are interested in cave diving and the possibilities exploration that it offers.

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