When diving around Koh Tao we are lucky enough to have beautiful calm oceans nearly all year round! With this it is easy to get complacent and forget about the special procedures and techniques to use when diving in currents. Meaning when that current does appear it puts some people to the test of what they are supposed to do!
I have come up with 5 tips to help you navigate your way through the currents. Whether it be the surprise current on Koh Tao or some of the beautiful drift dives that Davy Jones Locker Koh Lipe can offer.
1. Swim Into The Current Beginning of the Dive:
This is the first rule if you find yourself at a dive site with a bit of a current. You want to use the most amount of energy and air consumption at the beginning of the dive. This will allow a nice comfortable and relaxing float back to the boat or exit point and will leave you with heaps of air to make a safe exit!
2. Use a Trail Line:
With high winds and storms usually brings strong surface currents. You have had an amazing dive yet you have surfaced just away from the boat. That surface current is a strong one and you are dreading that hard surface swim back to the comfort of your boat! Look at the conditions before entering the water. If a surface current is present, prepare a trail line that people can swim over to. They can pull them selves along to get back to the boat!
3. Maintain Good Trim:
Trim!! It’s the thing all divers are constan
tly trying to improve and better themselves on. In drift diving Trim is key!! Maintaining that correct positioning in the water will allow you to gently glide through the water and give you that sensation of flying! IF your positioning is slightly off you will be pushed around a lot and will find it hard to maintain your depth.
4. Use an SMB:
With most drift dives you jump off the boat, enjoy your dive floating past some amazing wildlife. When you are low on air surface where you are and the boat will be on its way to come and collect you. This is why using an SMB throughout your dive will make it easy for the boat to spot you and come and make a speedy collection!
Not all currents go horizontally! With drift diving you will find that you may come across some pesky up currents and down currents. If you aren’t paying attention you may not notice you have been pulled down or up 10-15m! This is why it is important to keep a constant eye on your computer and make sure you are keeping your levels correct. Otherwise next thing you know you are down at 60m!!
Don’t be scared by the currents, diving in currents and drift diving can be some of the most enjoyable dives. Just keep your head and follow the simple rules to have a very enjoyable experience!!