What Dahab Means to Technical Diving

One of the reasons I found myself technical diving in Dahab was the result of reading the following excellent article by Jonas on what technical diving means for him:

What does technical diving mean for you?

Adam Miller

Adam Miller

I too felt that same desire for exploration, to evolve by pushing my own boundaries. Re-reading this recently I felt I would like to answer this question myself but with a slightly different spin. Not just to answer what technical diving means for me but to help share what Dahab means to technical diving. Having discovered it later in my life, diving is unarguably my all-consuming passion. Although some might say it was more obsession from the start, dedicating my time to technical diving has made that firmly the case. The inner child in me that looks at the world with awe and wonder was tantalised by the prospect of training that facilitated going deeper, to places that relatively few others have.

I shall never forget the experience of my deep adventure dive as part of my advanced open water…a deep reef at 30m, not yet visible from the surface meaning the initial descent was into the blue. Surrounded by penetrating beams of sunlight I dropped seemingly into the oceanic abyss and as the blue morphed into reef beneath me, a sense of discovering untouched places filled me from within. That feeling of discovery persists still with each dive that begins with a similar descent, of which there is no shortage here in Dahab!

On the East coast of the Egyptian Sinai peninsula, Dahab is a relaxed Bedouin town with diving a first-class citizen. Open sea and some decent winds mean that kite and wind surfing are sibling water sports but are certainly babies of the family. The shore lines the Gulf of Aqaba, a body of water stretching from the main mass of the Red Sea some 160km north separating Egypt from Saudi Arabia and briefly touching Israel and Jordon at its tip. The Gulf is 24km at its widest point and nearly 2km deep in parts!

gulf_of_aqaba_lakeThe generally narrow nature of the Gulf ensures Saudi Arabia is commonly visible across the water making for breath-taking sunrises, at times you could be excused for believing it a large lake. Behind Dahab the South Sinai mountains rise quickly in a variety of hues indicative of the mix of rock types with rich mineral veins and some of the oldest rock in Earth’s history. From a distance, the coast of Saudi Arabia looks remarkably similar, obvious when you realise they were once as one, approximately 40 million years ago before Africa and Arabia began to drift apart and create the chasm-like Gulf of Aqaba in between.

This dramatic event was perhaps one of nature’s greatest gifts to technical divers by sculpting a stunning underwater landscape as easily accessed as stepping from the shore. This accessibility means that Dahab’s charming and relaxed vibe permeates our daily diving as well. No boat schedule dictates our logistics, no off-shore currents control our entry times. We dive when we are ready to dive, when we have finished a thorough briefing and enjoyed a coffee, tea or banana shake with it. On the surface one minute and at 100m almost no time later, and the depth continues far beyond!

TBI Interns Sidemount at 65 m, Bluehole, The ArchTechnical diving is a means to an end and at its inception that end was largely driven from a desire to explore caves and wrecks. With neither present in Dahab’s popular waters, I am often asked what the point is for diving deep? Are we just number chasers, doing it because we can? I couldn’t disagree more and indeed on my first 100m dive, one of my dive computers clocked only 99.1m, the extra 0.9 was not something that bothered me greatly. However, the journey down there while short was spectacular. To be falling into the blue, in that same way I experienced on my first adventure deep dive, for 5 minutes was exhilarating.

But it isn’t for the mild adrenaline hit either; it’s for the visuals you are witness to on the way down, at the bottom and equally on the way up. Dahab’s diving fame is helped in no small part by the Blue Hole, formerly a large cave whose ceiling collapsed and subsequent rising sea levels created one of the most infamous dive sites in the world. Floating within this calm column of water is enjoyable in itself but traversing through the 30m long arch that connects this former-cave to the open ocean is inspiring. At 55m below the surface and extending down to 100m at its bottom, its scale is hard to appreciate second-hand. The humbling enormity of the Himalayan mountain ranges is similarly achieved by the topography of this dive site.

Ascending from 100m For me I believe this is the primary joy I get from diving here. Being the subject of a scene where nature makes you feel so small gives me a great sense of mental clarity and the Blue Hole is just the start. The towering wall at neighbour dive site Bells, the deep Canyon pathways of Abu Helal and Abu Talha, the myriad other smaller canyons carved into the coral and rock that hug so close to land. Collectively these provide for stunning beauty while simultaneously giving perfect conditions to train other would-be marine explorers in the proper techniques and procedures required to explore them.

Just as Jonas recalled himself as a boy, peering into a lake and wondering what was there, I find myself similarly captivated with the incomparable blue that is found in the depths off the shore and I look forward to many more enjoyable hours finding out what lies beyond :-)

Adam Miller – Technical Instructor & Operational Manager TBI

TecRec Principals.

TecRec Principals

In this blog we are reviewing TecRec40, perhaps the most important course for any technical diver. It’s here where the student learn the principal skills they need for further training and experiences. It’s therefor crucial that the TecRec Instructor review skills like proper trim, propulsion techniques and how to be correctly weighted in addition to other skills listed in TecRec Instructor outline. While teaching technical diving I use a few ‘on-land workshops’ that enables the TecRec40 student to understand these concepts and prepare them better for further training. Here i introduce some of those workshops.

Trim/Propulsion

trimHave the student to lay down in the classroom. Ask them to arch their backs. Their lower part of the legs should be in an upright position and the feet straight. Their head should be tilted slightly backwards with their arms in a similar position as if they were driving a motorcycle. In this position the diver should be able to see their gauges. When the student got a nice arched position start with the propulsion workshop. Demonstrate proper use of propulsion techniques like frog kicks, helicopter turns and back kicks. By spending some time practicing proper propulsion techniques and trim in the classroom will enable the students to perform better during the first water sessions is my experience.

Gas shut down/manifold drills

manifoldThis skill is conducting with the student sitting down while wearing the twinset fully assembled. Explain verbally at the same time as you demonstrate how, and most importantly why, you turn off the right and the left posts and the manifold. It’s important that the student understand why he/she react in a certain way to a specific situation to be able to react fast and correct in an event of leakage. Start by making sure the student can reach the posts and the manifold. If they can not reach simply adjust the students equipment. When you as instructor verified that the student can reach then demonstrate the drill and give lots of ‘What if’ scenarios. Useful tool for this exercise is an ‘airgun’ to simulate an air leakage from one of the first stages or the manifold. Have the student to identify where the air is leaking from and then react properly to that scenario.

Video the students during the training dives

Remember to video the students during the training dives. The student can then watch themselves after the training dive to see how they are position in the water and how they execute propulsion techniques and other skills. This will help the student to better understand the areas he/she needs to improve in. If the student performed well then post some pics on Facebook and let the student tag themselves. If they did not performed so well then repeat the dive. Another tip that will prepare the student for future technical diving is to conduct all skills in a trim position facing the instructor or another student while conducting all the exercises. These simple techniques worked very well for me while teaching TecRec programs and i hope they will benefit you and you students as well.

Dive well and Dive safe. Click here to find a TecRec Center close to you.

Jonas Samuelsson, TecRec Instructor Trainer

Meaning of ‘Principal’.
1. first in order of importance; main.

Finding the US Tang (SS306).

Tang (SS 306)

We know the approximate position, 25.06N, 119.31E, of the US Tang and we know at what depth, 40-50m, she is resting in. The depth is easy enough – the location is not however. She is in controlled Chinese waters and to get the permission to search the area is going to be the difficult part in addition to raise the substantial funds needed to locate and find the most successful US Sub in the US Navy history. But like USCGC Alexander Hamilton, nothing of real value comes very easy in life, but its all worth it. ‘The journey is the reward’ someone said and regardless what is going to happen the next few years this is a start of an exciting expedition which we all will learn from regardless what will happen.

Commander R.H. O’Kane, set out from Pearl Harbor on 24 September 1944, to begin her fifth war patrol. On 27 September she topped off with fuel at Midway and left there the same day, heading for an area between the northwest coast of Formosa, and the China Coast.

US Submarine US Tang

US Submarine US Tang

In order to reach her area, Tang had to pass through narrow waters known to be heavily patrolled by the enemy. A large area stretching northeast from Formosa was known to be mined by the enemy, and O’Kane was given the choice of making the passage north of Formosa alone, or joining a coordinated attack group (Silversides, Trigger, Salmon, under Commander Coye in Silversides) which was to patrol off northeast Formosa, and making the passage with them. Tang chose to make the passage alone and these vessels never heard from Tang, nor did any base, after she left Midway.

More pictures related to US Tang 306

The story of Tang’s sinking comes from the report of her surviving Commanding Officer. A night surface attack was launched on 24 October 1944 against a transport which had previously been stopped in an earlier attack. The first torpedo was fired, and when it was observed to be running true, the second and last was loosed. It curved sharply to the left, broached, porpoised and circled.

Men on the US Tang

Emergency speed was called for and the rudder was thrown over. These measures resulted only in the torpedo striking the stern of Tang, rather than amidships. The explosion was violent, and people as far forward as the control room received broken limbs. The ship went down by the stern with the after three compartments flooded. Of the nine officers and men on the bridge, three were able to swim through the night until picked up eight hours later. One officer escaped from the flooded conning tower, and was rescued with the others.

Men on the US Tang The submarine came to rest on the bottom at around 50m, and the men in her crowded forward as the after compartments flooded. Publications were burned, and all assembled to the forward room to escape. The escape was delayed by a Japanese patrol, which dropped charges, and started an electrical fire in the forward battery. Thirteen men escaped from the forward room, and by the time the last made his exit, the heat from the fire was so intense that the paint on the bulkhead was scorching, melting, and running down. Of the 13 men who escaped, only eight reached the surface, and of these but five were able to swim until rescued.

When the nine survivors were picked up by a destroyer escort, there were victims of Tang’s previous sinking’s on board, and they inflicted tortures on the men from Tang. With great humanity, O’Kane states, “When we realized that our clubbing’s and kickings were being administered by the burned, mutilated survivors of our own handiwork, we found we could take it with less prejudice.”

The nine captives were retained by the Japanese in prison camps until the end of the war, and were treated by them in typical fashion. The loss of Tang by her own torpedo, the last one fired on the most successful patrol ever made by a U.S. submarine, was a stroke of singular misfortune. She is credited with having sunk 13 vessels for 107,324 tons of enemy shipping on this patrol, and her Commanding Officer has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

On her last patrol Tang fired twenty-four torpedoes in four attacks. Twenty-two torpedoes found their mark in enemy ships, sinking 13 of them; one missed, and the last torpedo, fired after a careful checkover, sank Tang. This vessel was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation twice during her career. Commander O’Kane has been called the Submarine Force’s most outstanding officer; he served as Executive Officer of the very successful Wahoo before taking command of Tang.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 10.35.01 AM

In her five patrols, Tang is credited with sinking 31 ships, totaling 227,800 tons and damaging two for 4,100 tons. This record is unexcelled among American submarines. In her first patrol, spending February 1944 west of Truk and Saipan, she sank three freighters, a large tanker and a submarine tender. Tang’s second patrol was in the area west of Palau, east of Davao and at Truk. She made no ship contacts worthy of attack, but at the latter island she rescued twenty-two Navy airmen during a carrier based strike at Truk on 30 April-1 May 1944. This vessel’s third patrol was in the East China and Yellow Seas. Here she sank six freighters, a tanker, and a large aircraft transport. She covered the waters along the southern coast of Honshu in August 1944. She sank a freighter, a large transport, a tanker and two patrol craft, while she damaged another freighter and small craft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/intodeepwater

Read Alex Kershaw exciting book ‘Escape From The Deep’ about submarine US Tang (SS306). http://www.submarinebooks.com/EscapeDeep.htm

Check out our latest diving exploration. Here we locate and document the first US Navyship that sunk during WWII in the Atlantic.

Expedition Hamilton by Ocean Reef from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

Hollis SMS75 Sidemount Unit Review.

TBI has been very lucky once again to be able to get a sneak peak at the new Hollis SMS75.

Hollis Sidemount SMS75 Review

Hollis Sidemount SMS75 Review

“Its the perfect new addition and compromise between those wanting the sleek design system and streamlining of the SMS50 with those that require the additional lift provided by the SMS100.

Hollis SMS75 more info/pics

The system comes in 3 sizes, SM/MD, LG/XL and XXL with an easy and adjustable strapping system making fitting and comfort easily obtained for divers of any size. The ‘standard’ back mounted holes allow for easy additions of the hollis sidemount weighting system with allocations for up to 12kg for those cold water dry suit divers requiring extra weight. The whole team has been diving the unit the past week with minimal adjustments between divers. The shoulder mounted dump valve is perfectly located, easy to reach, and allows optimal buoyancy control while remaining streamlined with a rectangular wing design for a perfect horizontal trim position.

For the deeper canyons systems we have here in Dahab, the SMS75 is easily the new unit of choice. It allows us to sneak through some tighter restrictions while also providing fit capable of carrying 4-5 tanks with comfort.

If you are an avid technical sidemount diver….then we can only HIGHLY recommend the new SMS75 from Hollis.”

Erik Brown & Greg DeSatnick

Recommended retail price: $629. Release date worldwide: April.

Also at Team Blue Immersion and Dahab Divers Technical right now:

https://twitter.com/intodeepwater

The Hollis Explorer Sport Rebreather. from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

HOLLIS PRISM II from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

Filming a diving commercial. Impression from a TBI Intern…

During an Internship with Team Blue Immersion and Dahab Divers Technical our technical instructor interns gets invited on occassions to join on expeditions or filming commercials. This time around we had a photo shoot in Aqaba, Jordan for a recreational diving commercial for OceanReef. We decided to invite a few interns to be part of the team. The commercial is going to be broadcasted during the Dusseldorf Boat show in January 2014. The team was Gal Avital, Katy Fraser, Adam Miller, Huw Rowlands and Jonas Samuelsson. This was technical instructor intern Huw Rowlands impression from the trip. 

Film and diving crew. Filming in Aqaba, Jordan

Film and diving crew. Filming in Aqaba, Jordan

December 2013.

Our trip to Jordan started at 6am, with everyone meeting at the dive centre. After a final check that we had all the equipment we were off on the first leg of our journey to the boarder at Taba. With the amount of camera equipment, full face masks and comms, we were not very optimistic about the speed at which we would get through the four boarder controls that day. It turned out that our fears were correct as it took us a solid hour to be allowed out of Egypt. It looked a bit hit and miss with who they were going to stop though as myself and Katy were let through straight away, where Jonas and Adam were questioned about all the kit they had. We eventually got let through and had to carry our 300kg of equipment across into Israel. With a much easier crossing we were able to have a breather after lugging hundred of kgs of kit through customs. We were only going to be in Israel for 45 mins or so as we were driving straight to the Jordanian boarder. Jonas and Adam had a quick stop to pick up Gal, the final member of out team.

After meeting up again we had a very swift exit from Israel and a long 200m walk with all our kit to get to Jordan. we were anticipating this crossing to be fairly smooth as we had staff from the military intelligence on the other side as it is apparently illegal to us full face masks and large camera equipment in Jordan. Luckily we were able to get permission to use them. BBC and a few other networks had been stopped in the weeks prior to us arriving because they did not have the correct paperwork so another victory for the team. The customs checks started off fairly well. It looked like we were through so our military contact wandered off and then another customs officer need to look at our kit so the crossing took twice as long as needed.

Finally in Jordan we took our kit to the dive centre to get rid of the bulk of our stuff before heading to the hotel. We were meant to go filming that afternoon but the boat had already left. To be honest I think all of us were glad as we were all knackered and hadn’t eaten for 8 hours. After eating at a charming little Jordanian restaurant (Burger King), we checked into our hotel. After crashing for a couple of hours we wandered down to find some food in the hotel. Being in a 5* Movenpick we were spoilt for choice. We decided on the Italian restaurant which was totally empty and was apparently its opening night. Best choice we ever made. Best pasta I’ve ever had! Couple of free extras thrown in and all of us were very happy divers.

Film and diving crew. Filming in Aqaba, Jordan

Film and diving crew. Filming in Aqaba, Jordan

First day of diving. This was going to be a wreck dive for the Advanced Wreck course Adam and I were going to do. Katy and Gal were also planning on diving the wreck in order to get generic shots for the commercial. Jonas threw us in the deep end during this dive. Straight in with line laying and then out of air drills both with mask on and blindfolded. We ended up spending around 20 mins blindfolded out of a 60 min dive. Weirdly this was one of the most fun dives I’ve ever done. After the dive we couldn’t do a second as we only had one twinset each so we started trying to record the sound while the rest of the divers on the boat did their second dive. Due to the wind we weren’t able to get anything of use but we learnt a lot that we could use on later dives.

Read PADI Staff Trevor Sanfords blog on padi.com about his experience diving with Team Blue Immersion

Day two of diving was the first day of filming. We were going to attempt to get as many of the scenarios done on this dive, however we may have been a bit ambitious with the amount of air we will use. The first scenario was missing diver, where Jonas, aka Raymond, would get lost. we would then show how much easier it would be if I,as the ‘Master Diver’ had an Integrated Diving Mask (IDM) to talk tot he surface with. The first shot with all of us on normal masks probably looked hilarious with exaggerated signals and expressions. After a quick underwater mask change for me to the IDM we shot what would happen if I had the mask.

Next scenario we shot was what would happen if there was bad weather and the boat wanted to call us back. This just involved me playing with the buttons on the IDM a bit and then telling the other divers using the M101A, a handy little comm that you can hold up to a divers ear and speak to them.

The final scenario of the dive was swimming into a strong current as we needed to reach a predetermined point to get picked up by the boat. The dive without the IDM had Raymond panicking and shooting to the surface. With the IDM I call the boat to change direction to go with the current preventing any problems before they start. Were meant to do a second dive to pretty much complete the filming, but all of the batteries for the camera were dead and with no power on board we could only do a bit of sound recording on the laptop.

Interested in doing a technical diver or instructor internship with TBI? Read more here.

oceanreef commercial

oceanreef commercial


Day three was meant to be and Advanced Wreck day, however as we only managed to film during one dive the day before we had to film again. We finished the strong current scene and filmed a scene where Raymond is suffering narcosis and I have to tell Jane (Gal) to keep an eye on him. Without the IDM we struggle to communicate t each other, however with the IDMs I can get my point across well. After a quick change of tanks we jumped back in to film the final scene where Raymond is ill and needs to go up. Without the mask communication between us is bad and he panics and bolts to the surface. I have to go up rescue him, leaving Jane and Tim (Adam) on the bottom. Using the IDM and M101A I was able to speak to Raymond to calm him down while calling the boat and also tell Jane and Tim to stay on the bottom and wait for me to come back down. This was our last dive to film and thankfully we were pretty much able to get everything we needed. We also managed to finish the sound recording and Katy got all the surface shots she needed with the crew.

Read testimonials from others

Next morning consisted of packing and more packing. After several attempts we got everything to fit in their boxes and we started the long journey back to Dahab. Thankfully all the boarder crossing were easy this time. They boarder control officers at the Jordanian and Israeli boarders recognized us from last time and the Egyptians just didn’t really seem to care, so a pretty quick trip home.

This trip may have been for business and there were sometimes when things did get a bit stressful. However it was an incredibly enjoyable few days with some great friends and is definitely a major highlight of my Internship with TBI. Just want to say a big thanks to Dive Aqaba, OceanReef, TBI and especially Jonas, Katy, Adam and Gal for an amazing experience.

Huw Rowlands, Technical Instructor Intern 2013

TDI Instructor Courses, Dahab, Egypt

News January 2014.

TDI Instructor Courses @ Team Blue Immersion and Dahab Divers Technical

TDI is the leader in technical diving and has been since 1994. TDI offers a wide choice of programs available to continue your technical training.

The TDI Divemaster Course is the first professional level certification in the TDI Leadership levels. During this course you will be challenged and learn what it is like to work with divers as they begin or continue their technical diving experiences. You will learn how to manage divers, work the dive deck of a boat, and conduct enjoyable dives. Dive physics, physiology, how conduct pre-dive briefing, how to assist technical instructors as well as how to be a professional TDI Divemaster are all part of the course. Your skills will be refined to demonstration quality and your knowledge increased to that of a professional.

Should you decide you want to teach technical diver courses you will need to be a Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor, here you will learn more about academic and in-water presentations, conducting courses and diver management. Once you become an open water instructor you can expand your résumé and add the technical areas that interest you to teach.

Technical Diving Instructor courses available:

Intro to Tech Instructor (Euro 200)
Nitrox Instructor (Euro 150)
Advanced Nitrox Instructor (Euro 390)
Decompression Procedures Instructor (Euro 450)
Extended Range Instructor (Euro 650)
Trimix Instructor (Euro 720)
Advanced Trimix Instructor (Euro 890)
Technical Sidemount Instructor course (Euro 480)
Advanced Wreck Instructor (please ask, added cost for traveling)
Nitrox Gas Blender Instructor (Euro 250)
Advanced Gas Blender Instructor (Euro 350)

Not included: Helium, Instructor Certification Fees, Manuals

There are two options to become a TDI Instructor:

Option 1:

You complete TecRec Training with us and then crossover those ratings. To crossover takes approx. 3 days to complete for each Instructor Level. You are also required to show proof that you certified 5 divers for each level before progressing to the next level.

Option 2:

You decide to go straight from your SDI or equivalent Recreational Instructor level into the TDI System. By doing this we can teach you Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedure Instructor. After that you need to certify 5 students for each level to continue you training to become Extended Range Instructor or Heliox Instructor and so forth.

TDI pre reqs(1)

 

Looking back at DEMA 2013

DEMA Show 2013 was wrapped up today. There is no other event in the world that brings together the entire industry like DEMA Show. Coast-to-coast and from around the world, the dive and travel industry converged in Orlando, Florida.

Team Blue Immersion was represented during the show by Erik Brown and Aron Arngrimsson. During this show we introduced the new TDiver Integrated Diving Mask that we produced in partnership with OceanReef.

We produced commericals for the new Hollis Explorer and another for the OceanReef Tdiver mask. Both commercials was received well by the industry folks and there was a lot of interest around both products.

The main objective for TBIs participating during DEMA 2013 was the release of the documentary ‘Expedition Hamilton’. A three year long journey culminating in the dives in august 2013 where we attached a memorial plaque on the first US Warship that sunk during WWII in the Atlantic.

The 24 minute documentary had premiere on the 7th of November and was attended by 100s of industry leaders.

We would like to thank OceanReef and Hollis Gear for the great partnership during this years show and we cant wait for DEMA 2014.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

New members of TBI – Ola Nielsen and GUE

Ola bio pic

Team Blue Immersion is proud to announce that our old friend and dive buddy Ola Nielsen is coming back to us in the capacity of TBIs GUE, Global Underwater Explorer Instructor. Ola is mainly going to focus on the GUE Fundamentals Course described below starting in January 2014. GUE Training follows in line with Team Blue Immersion training philosophy and we are very excited about the new partnership.

Ola started his diving career some 10 years ago while travelling South East Asia. Being dive educator since 2005 he has worked and dived in countries like Vietnam, Sweden, Thailand and Greece logging some 2000 dives. Credentials includes but are not limited to liveaboard guiding, instructor development, technical dive instruction and dive center management. The array of dives includes deep multigas diving, wreck diving, ice diving and mine diving. Today teaching for Global Underwater Explorers, focus is set on teaching refined diving techniques. Ola is very passionate about building stable fundamentals for more advanced diving to come and fostering sound and wise divers.

We asked Ola to explain some more about GUE and the Fundamentals…

“Being committed towards Exploration, Education and Conservation, Global Underwater Explorers – GUE – originates from extensive exploration and conservation work, putting into use very advanced and refined diving skills and techniques. Absolutely crucial elements for the successful outcome of these commitments are standardization of skills, procedures and equipment, as is team diving.  

The GUE Fundamentals course is designed around those standardized procedures and techniques in order to be a platform for more elevated diving.  The course, normally conducted in four-five days, encompasses the GUE holistic diving philosophy , the concept of team diving and standardization of skill-set and equipment. Time will be shared between academic sessions, practical workshops and extensive in-water training. The academic portions of the course will cover dive preparation and planning and gas management amongst other topics. The in-water training will be focused on providing the tools for the diver to perfect his/her diving skills. This by addressing swimming and propulsion techniques, fine-tuning buoyancy, balance and trim, rehearsal of safety scenarios, practicing safe yet efficient ascent procedures and establishing the concept of team diving. The outcome is a very capable diver.

 The successful training results in either a recreational pass or technical pass, making the course suitable for any committed diver willing to invest in premium dive training and skill development. The prerequisites for the course is a diving certification issued by any recognized training and being a non-smoker, at least 16 years of age and a reasonably fit. The training standards are set very high by highly trained educators and explorers with the aim to educate new accomplished divers, underwater ambassadors and explorers.

 The equipment configuration being taught is standardized DIR-style gear, which emphasizes simplicity, familiarity and modularity. Configuration and streamlining of equipment is a focal point of the education, as is weighting and balancing of the rig. The course can be conducted in either a single-tank(rec pass) or double-tank (tec pass) configuration to accommodate different student preferences”.

From all of us at Team Blue Immersion we would like to welcome Ola Nielsen and GUE into our family.
First course is scheduled for the 25th of January, 2014.

Press. Expedition Alexander Hamilton – brief history.

Team Blue Immersion | Promote your Page too

Ocean Reef would like to invite each and everyone of you who is attending DEMA in 8 days to join us for the film premier of Expedition Hamilton by Ocean Reef.

The premier will be held in our booth (1209) on Thursday November 7th at 4:00 PM sharp. Arrive early to meet the members of Team Blue Immersion. We will also be holding a drawing at the conclusion of the film for a Predator Tdiver mask, part of our exciting new technical diving line (must be present to win).

Hope to see everyone there!!

October 2009

The phone rang. It was Sigurdur “Sigge” Harlsson on the other line who told me that he got marks for a ship that sank 28 miles outside Reykjavik. He was very excited and updated me that the Icelandic Coast Guard managed to identify the ship as US Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton using a Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV). Sigge’s words were “we have to dive this ship”. This was the start of an amazing adventure that lasted over three years and brought us all memories for a lifetime.

From Expedition Hamilton 2011.

Odyssey to Niflheimr – The World Of Ice from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

January 1942

The attacks on Peal Harbor happened just a month before. US Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton, named after the Treasure Secretary with the same name, was on a mission to guide ships safely to destinations in the northern Atlantic. The German type VIIC Submarine U-132 came in silently and was undetected. The torpedo hit the starboard side that instantly killed seven crew members onboard Hamilton and many more got injured. Salvage attempts were made without success and the American Destroyer USS Ericsson fired upon the wreck three times to send her to the bottom of the sea.

June 2011

All the gear is packed and ready, all 220 kg of it. We were on our way. We were four divers on the expedition. Aron and I flew in from Egypt and Sigge and Valgeir “Valle” Petursson was already based on Iceland. Our expedition mission statement was simply to see if a dive on Alexander Hamilton was possible and to open way for a second expedition where we together with the support of the related family members of the crew were to attach a memorial plaque to honor those brave men who sacrificed their life for our freedom.

The two weeks prior to the dive on Hamilton was spent training and preparing. Gisli Arnar Gudmundsson, owner of the dive center “Dive the North”, showed us the giant submarine looking cones called Strytan in Eyjafjordur. These geothermal chimneys are unique in the sense that they are the only ones of its kind shallow enough to dive without a submarine. According to many scientists it was at chimneys similar to these, who support life through chemosynthesis rather than sunlight, where life once started. We also dived the British steamship El Grillo at Seyoisfjordur, who sank in 1944 as a result of an attack by the German Air force who came in from Norway. The training between the tectonic plates in Silfra, apart from having perhaps best visibility in the world and being a spectacular dive, prepared us for the cold water environment we were about to encounter. We also did some deep dives at Lake Kleifarvatin where something very interesting occurred. Valle said this after the dive “We were at 75 meters and I was thinking that Jonas, who was the dive leader, was lost. He was swimming in circles without any real direction. Jonas looked at me with a smile and a bit of a confused facial expression”. After we came up I explained that the compass needle was suddenly pointing in the opposite direction. We talked to a few scientists on Iceland who explained to us that 700,000 years ago the magnetic field was opposite to each other. By diving in areas exposed to rocks from that time the compass actually got a reading where north was pointing south and vice versa. Sigge later stated that “always trust your compass, except when diving on Iceland” as a joke referring to diving organizations text books that teach the divers to “always trust their compass’.

From Expedition Hamilton by OceanReef 2013. Trailer.

Expedition Hamilton by Ocean Reef Trailer from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

We boarded the ship with its crew: Sigurjon, Veigar Pordarson, his father, safety divers and surface support from the “Sport Diving Club of Iceland”. The journey took over five hours, but the sea was as friendly as the Icelandic Sea gets. We constantly looked at the sonar and suddenly there was something. At the exact coordinates that we had received from the Icelandic Coast Guard, there was a shape of a large ship. We descended down. At 80 meters I still could not see anything, but there was no current to talk about. I remember thinking “could we have done a mistake, did we see a ghost on the Sonar”. At 90 meters and still nothing. Suddenly there she was, at 95 meters lying peaceful on the side. The proud US Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton at her final resting place.

Hope to see you all at the DEMA Show for the full video of Expedition Hamilton by OceanReef.

TBIs new adventures…

Lots of interesting diving and great moments. CCR diving with Hollis Explorer and Prism II have been focal point this week. Also lots of Technical Instructor training, TDI and TecRec Courses. Guided dives deeper than 100 meters with a few final dives to 120 meter with 70-80 meter visibility at the bottom phase. We are also working full on with editing for new videos that is going to be broadcasted at DEMA in November. So very busy times and lots and lots of great tec diving!!!
Team Blue Immersion | Promote your Page too

Congratulations first to Magued and Zaid who got their first tec certifications this week! Also congrats to Anna who completed both Sidemount and TecDeep. Tec Interns, Adam, Huw, Katy, Greg, did an intense 8 days of Technical Instructor Training with lots of classroom and water work. Andy and Huw finished off their Advanced Trimix Course. Huw and Alison did a 120 meter dive with Jonas after the training with spectacular vis. Olli completed the IDC with Jonas and Greg and is on his way to the Instructor Exam.

Expedition Hamilton by Ocean Reef Trailer from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

Matthew, Ruby, Aron and Erik was spending 3-4 hours per day diving the Explorer and the Prism. Erik also went to Eilat to teach David Maor and Ariel Auslander -the Hollis distributers and TDI regional representatives the PRISM II Course. Daniel and Erik did a few 100-120 meter dives with the PRISM and the Pelagian.

Lots of new greetings from different sources for Expedition Hamilton – thank you all for the support!

Old friend Jamie came for a visit and did some tec diving with us – always great to have you over!

We also released the trailer for Expedition Hamilton. The video was published on the TDI and TecRec Sites. Also on the Scuba Diver Lifes and US Coast Guards site. Total reach of the video the last week was over 4.000.000 people.

So lots of amazing diving and lots of laughs as always.

Next blog… DEMA Show, Sidemount training, New videos.

Cincopa WordPress plugin