Hannah Lusby – Certified Tec Apprentice
Yesterday’s Sail Rock trip was a great success for Big Blue Tech. On top of the technical diving training we provided 14 nitrox tanks to customers from our new nitrox panel.
The day started at 6:30 with loading of gear, customers, food, drinks, nitrox and staff. After both long tails trugged out to one of our boats – Navakid – we began the almost 2 hour journey to Sail Rock. Normally this journey can be quite long and boring, however for us it was broken up with breakfast. Scrambled eggs, toast and jam served to the 30 divers.
Sail rock is a unique dive site and perfect for technical extended range diving because the dive site is extended above the surface and shaped like a cylinder. There’s unique marine life at 2m and 40m. Sail rock is mostly used for dive schools from closer islands like Pangan and Samui, only few schools from Koh Tao venture that far out.
For us, we had quite a long dive planned. This was training dive 6 for Hannah where she completed a simulated extended range dive, switching gas and moving shallower to extend her no decompression limit. The conditions were stunning, large schools of every fish throughout the dive site. From our max depth of 30m we could see clearly right down to 40-45m which was very tempting but not for today. With all skills completed and a great long dive we surfaced, filled gas, socialized with others on the boat and prepared for the real extended range dive.
For real extended range dive you must get on to your richer mix in time or you will go in to decompression diving. Albeit not a concern for us but it defeats the purpose of this dive. Here Hannah was able to switch in time and also practice her tolerance for long decompression hands on the simulated 30 minute decompression stop. One of the hardest things to instill in people is the idea that you can’t just go to the surface whenever you want.
Upon surfacing Hannah had completed dives 6 and 7 and was technically eligible to be certified as a Dsat Tec Apprentice. However she’s not stopping there, she’s moving on to Accelerated Decompression in the next few days and then on to the Trident Livaboard on the 23rd so there’s still much more training to be completed.
Our final dive site of the day was South West Pinnacle, cleverly named after the direction from Koh Tao. To all our amazement there was no thermocline to be found. The water was so clear you could see the light refraction from the surface dancing along the sand at 30m, normally you only see this effect in shallow water like a pool or a bay. This was just a fun dive. We used the rest of the nitrox to do a computer extended range dive without any skills to just give Hannah more time in technical gear and because it was better then sitting on the boat. The next training dives are accelerated decompression which require oxygen and they are more risky so we won’t be doing that until a wreck Wednesday dive.
Today unfortunately we’ll be in the hot sweaty compressor room filling the tanks from yesterday and prepping for the DSAT Gas Blender Course tomorrow as Hannah takes some time off to study for her next exam.