My dream about becoming a tec diver started in 2005 when i was working for Blue Planet Divers in Koh Lanta, Thailand. They were just setting up their Tec diving market with instructor Ben Cottrell in the lead. Every day as i was teaching beginners how to dive i was watching the big boys setting up their twintanks on the boat and calculating their dive profiles using decompression software. I was only 22 at the time and a full tech tig with deco tanks weighed more than me. I wanted to try it on, i kept on telling myself that one day, one day i will do it.
Time passed and i moved back to Koh Tao. While i was conducting Open Water courses, monitoring my students as they were doing surface skills at japanese gardens, the MV Trident would pass by filled with tec divers out exploring wrecks. For a brief second my mind would drift away, thinking about all the adventures laying deep down on the botton of the sea, all the hidden treasures of history yet waiting to be discovered. Over the years i heard numerous stories about discoveries, the one about USS Lagarto, an american submarine sunk in the gulf of thailand during second world war, struck me with a desire to be able to go deep. Being surrounded by tec divers gives you the great benefit of learning just by listening, and as with everything else, the more you learn about something the more exciting it gets. On the occasional day off on Koh Tao i went to try on a twinset on and ”go for a shallow bubble” or read up in my Tec Deep manual hoping to take the step and actually enroll in the course sometime soon. For some reason that never happened.
When i got back to Sweden after several years of diving in Thailand of course the first thing i wanted to do was to go diving somewhere else. Now the good thing with being back in europe is that it´s so much closer to the Red Sea. Red Sea… A name thats been pronounced with joy and excitement everytime i´ve heard someone telling me about their diving experience in the country of pharaoes. Ever since i saw Jaques Cousteaus movie Le monde du Silence i´ve wanted to explore the depths of ocean in this end of the world. Last year my friend and colleague Jonas Samuelsson moved to Dahab, Egypt, to focus on technical diving. He then set up Team Blue Immersion. For months i Prepared for my trip by watching videos on youtube, researching the net and ask around for nformation in various diveshops in Stockholm. It was a bit unreal but the day i booked my ticket to Egypt a ton of rocks just fell off my shoulders. Finally i was gonna learn about tec diving, and finally i was gonna dive the red sea. Two dreams come true at the same time as i get to catch up with old friends from Koh Tao. Couldn´t have been better. An experience is always better if you get to share it with someone. My buddy for this trip was Stoif, an old colleague from Koh Tao nowadays based in the south of sweden. It´s so nice to talk about diving with someone who shares the passion of the ocean.
When we landed in Sharm El Sheik after a suprisingly smooth and short flight from Copenhagen I realized that in my excitement i´ve actually forgotten to write down the address to where we were going, we didn´t even have a phone number. We flipped a coin about what to do and ended up playing the wild card by taking a taxi to unknown destination, telling the driver to go to Dahab and look for Planet Divers. Not having everything pre organised allows for more room of impulsive experiences. Driving in the desert at night opens your mind and lets the thoughts spinn around freely, it´s dark and warm, lots of sand and you can see the stars clearly. The adventure had started and i felt like home again even though in a new country. We had our divegear and passport with us and thats all really needed anyway. Travelling like travelling was done before, not relying on mobile phones, facebook and instand access to internet reminded me about how thrilling it is, how big and small the world is at the same time and how amazing the nature and culture differences can be.
Having slept only a few hours we met up with tech instructor Erik Brown. Using the dive today attitude it only took an hour or so before we were in the water wrestling with a twinset on our backs, trying to achieve good trim. Having done thousands of dives before and being used to have total buoyancy control in the water this was more difficult than i remembered. Then again me and my buddy, both having quite a bit of teaching scuba experience, put alot of pressure on our selves. We were talking diving day and night. The first day or two we spent in the shallows practising skills and working on the trim. Zdenek and Erik providing great expertise and many good laughs. I felt like an open water student again but starterd getting the hang of it quite soon. After a few days Jonas and Aron came back from their Iceland expedition and at the same time team holland Paul Diependaal and Ewald arrived to do the Tech Deep course.
One of the most amazing feelings i´ve ever had was the first dive in the Blue Hole. We went quite deep on air and the euphoric feeling of exploring and being in the Arch for the first time was epic. At that moment all world problems disappeared and the blue glow of the open sea on the other side looked so tempting almost inviting. I´ve never been religious but this was like my very first religious awakening. I´d like to steal an expression from Zdenek ”tech diving is my religion and the arch in the blue hole is my church”. I think that describes it pretty well.
Me and Stoif were taking turns on being bad buddy and good buddy. Sometimes not too easy since i´m a depth addict and need space.
I always thought it would be very heavy carrying all these tanks. It is. Until you get in the water. It took a little while to get used to. Using the V-Planner we planned deeper dives together with our fellow buddy team of Jreome and Sophie. I never thought i´d use that much yellow tessi tape. Calculating gas consumtion and deco time we got ready for our first real deep dive to 75 meters in the blue hole. Sophie and i seemed to share an interest in going as deep as possible. Bang bang bang on the tank meant return to your planned depth. I was looking for mermaids and dreaming away. Maybe a bit narced but definately happy. The Blue Hole with it´s magic was singing it´s song trying to get me to follow it´s spirits through the arch down to the bottom of the sea. So tempting, but then the mantra ”plan your dive and dive your plan” kept on running through my head. The dive went really good and already upon descent we started planning for the next adventure. A three digit dive. The ultimate dream of a depth addict. The start of a new era in my diving life. A hundred meters is very deep. The skyscrapers in which i worked in in Stockholm are only 72 meters tall. This was gonna be an experience of a lifetime. Using trimix blends we planned our dive and built up our expectations. When the big day came we were all really excited and before i knew it i was decending down the Blue Hole to finally do it. Once we reached the bottom my suunto divecomputer read 102 meters. The feeling of achieving a goal i´ve longed for for such a long time was amazing. Before we returned to shallower depths to start our off gassing session i sung a song into my regulator that me and my mate used to sing underwater in koh tao as a tribute to the love of diving. I´m not sure if anyone heard me but if you did you were not just hearing things there was someone actually singing. The dive was perfect and timing was good. Though the deco stops i watched all the divers in our team relax and collect their thoughts with a glimps in their eyes. This dive i´ll remember forever.
The Tech Deep and Trimix course thaught me alot about diving. Diving has been my passion for many years now and the best thing about it is that it still thrills me. Tec diving has now opened up oportunities of exploration and i´m already planning more and deeper dives. It is so addictive. I decided to stay and enjoy the deep diving in Egypt a bit longer and pick up as much knowledge about technical diving as possible. If you have the same desire about deep diving as me come down to Dahab and join us!
Great Thanks to Team Blue Immersion for the superb training and the enthusiasm that spreads around you guys. And thank you all my buddies during this adventure for an unforgetable experience.
I´m Emmy and i´m a Narcoholic