Caring for your Equipment

By , 24 May, 2015, No Comment

As anyone that has got seriously into diving and bought the full gear, it is not the cheapest sport to get into. But how do you maintain it in all it’s pristine glory, without having to resort to using shop gear whilst you wait for your regs to be repaired?

There are a few tricks of the trade that you can use that will prolong the life of your equipment saving you a few precious pennies, which can be put towards your next dive holiday!

General advice

One of the first things you are taught on the Open Water course is to rinse all your gear off with fresh water after your day’s diving is done. By doing this you are removing all sand, salt and chlorine, which are corrosive and will start to destroy your kit, particularly if you won’t be using it for a while afterwards. Another good idea is to dry all kit properly before it is stored away to prevent any mold growing. Nothing is more devastating that getting your kit out of the attic (loft) only to find that it’s now covered in mold!

Regulators

By pressing the purge valve whenever you open your tank, this will extend the life of the HP seat within the first stage of the regulator. Once this wears away you will start to notice a small free flow from either of the regulators, and it is time to get it changed.

Tank

Whenever you turn a tank on, turn the valve slowly to avoid particles hitting closed valves at high speeds which can be sources of ignition (think KABOOM!) Also keep your tank out of the sun and have it visually inspected every year, as well as servicing the tank valve. Whenever you have tanks stood around avoid leaving them in direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Tank pressure will increase/decrease by 1 bar for every degree of temperature change.

 

So there you have it. By looking after your equipment it will last longer, and you won’t get into any nasty situations underwater with malfunctioning kit! At Davy Jones Locker in Koh Tao we have Shop Ops course, which will teach you more about servicing your own kit, which will save you a bit of money and also give you opportunity to earn some extra cash by doing it for others!

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Caring for your Equipment

By Chris N.

 

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Coral Nursuries

By , 22 May, 2015, No Comment

Corals are tiny animals that live in colonies. Symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) live inside the polyps. Just like plants on land, the algae need light to photosynthesize . The animal-part and plant-part of the corals live in symbiosis, which means they benefit from the presence of the other.

Often called “rainforests of the sea”, coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They occupy less than 0.2% of the world’s ocean surface, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for 25% of all marine species and feed over a billion people.

Coral nurseries are a relatively new phenomenon. Whereas one or two students tinkered with the idea in the 1980s, the first serious attempts came in the mid-1990s out of marine biologist Baruch “Buki” Rinkevich’s lab at the University of Haifa in Israel. It began when he went to check on some underwater fish cages in the Red Sea and noticed that a few Acropora corals had grown around them. Curious, he set up an experiment to track growth and see how many would die in a nursery over a year.

At first, most scientists were skeptical. Corals are notoriously difficult and slow-growing. Moreover, they have a symbiotic relationship with specific algae, the demise of either spelling death for the reef. But as many have since discovered branching corals actually thrive in nursery environments, and their arms easily break off to form dozens or hundreds of new colonies. The new colonies not only grow faster than wild ones do, but reproduce sooner as well.

With any luck this could be a way forward to help our reefs recover in the various areas they have been affected in.

photo saisha

Coral Nursuries

By Saisha

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The Sattakut

By , 19 May, 2015, No Comment

 

The HTMS (His Thai Majesty Ship) Sattakut has everything; history; eerie-ness; marine life in abundance; penetration points with natural daylight; penetration points with no natural daylight; depths up to 30 metres and correct punctuation from us here at Davy Jones Locker.

It was originally a landing craft infantry vessel commissioned by the US Navy in 1944, and was involved in three battles in World War II; the liberation of the Pilau Islands, the battle of Okinawa, and the battle of Iwo Jima.

In 1946 the US Navy decommissioned it, and it was purchase by the Royal Thai Navy. It lived out its service as a patrol boat, until they decommissioned it in 2011. Shortly thereafter, the Thai Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) purchased the ship with the intention of donating it to Koh Tao to act as an artificial reef, in order to promote tourism. The vessel was stripped of it’s engines, furniture, electric cabling and thankfully it’s ammunition! After being cleaned and sent to Koh Tao, it was sunk on the 18th June 2011.

Unfortunately because a storm came in as it was being sunk, it ended up on its side in the middle of a channel; hardly an ideal location. So in July a salvage team was brought in to right the vessel and move it to a more suitable location.

It currently sits upright in around 30 metres of water, with the bow facing roughly North. The location is perfect, as it sits around 10 metres to the South of a dive site called Hin Pee Wee. This has obviously helped to bring marine life to the wreck, which is evident today- all over it! There is currently a huge Jenkins whip ray that lives underneath the hull. There are huge spotted snapper and giant groupers sheltering from the current near the conning tower, and if you have good eyes you will be able to find some Jan’s pipefish in the rusting railings. Moray eels also like to find places to sit and watch the underwater world go by. For those that want to venture inside, apart from disturbing a number of giant groupers from their hiding places, you will see lots and lots of shrimp.

The vessel is perfect for conducting technical training dives on which we provide here at Davy Jones Locker. There are many places on the main deck to practice reeling skills and teach communication in simulated no-visibility. Plus, there are numerous places to penetrate the wreck, and they vary greatly in terms of how quickly and how badly they silt out, so practising exits in zero visibility can be made progressively more challenging. The wreck is also a great place to conduct decompression procedures training dives, as there are plenty of reference points to use when ascending to meet run times, undertaking deep stops, and gas switching.

But it’s not all about training. Let’s not forget that this wreck has an amazing history, and sometimes it’s just great to go for a long deco fun dive around it, or a penetration fun dive inside it! The ship is the closest dive site to Davy Jones Locker on Sairee beach, and we use it a lot!

Lots of Love from James

HTMS SATTAKUT!!!!

HTMS

 

 

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Plongée de Nuit

By , 17 May, 2015, No Comment

 

Plonger lorsque la nuit est tombée est une sensation tout à fait particulière. Le simple fait de sauter du bateau de Davy Jones locker’ en admirant le coucher de soleil et vous savez déjà que vous allez vivre quelque chose de différent… Lorsqu’arrive le moment de dégonfler le gilet et que commence la descente, chaque fois un petit pincement au creux du ventre… Et c’est parti… Ne voir que dans le faisceau de sa lampe… Le noir tout autour…. oursins, crabes, raies à points bleus, barracudas, c’est l’heure de la chasse pour tout ce petit monde sous-marin et pour notre plus grand plaisir. Le tout dans une atmosphère si différente : couleurs, sons… Tout est absolument différent la nuit. C’est vraiment une plongée à faire. En simple fun dive ou dans le cadre d’un cours Advanced Open Water, il y a toujours une bonne occasion pour plonger la nuit chez Davy Jones Locker’ 😉

photo blog night dive virginie

Le noir tout autour …

By Virginie labellevie.

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Dive with Dave !

By , 15 May, 2015, No Comment

  According to a recent publication in an industry magazine over 25% of dive professionals, worldwide are called Dave, David or variations thereof. The magazine was working in collaboration with social statistics organisation Forms and the social sciences department from the University of Poole.

When narrowed down to Europe and the English speaking world 51.4% of dive professionals are called Dave! The nations with the highest occurrences of a dive pro called Dave are: USA, Australia, Ireland, England, Austria, Spain, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Norway.

  Chances are, if you’re involved with diving you know a pro called Dave and as it happens we have a couple of them with us, here in DJL; one of whom is one of the most qualified individuals on the island. If you want to dive with Dave come to DJL and you could be learning pretty much any course that the dive industry has to offer!

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By Damon

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