Archive for ‘Koh Tao’

Christmas Tree Worms

By , 17 December, 2014, No Comment

Davy Jones’ Locker is located in the Gulf of Thailand on a paradise island named Koh Tao were here we are fortunate enough to be able to dive all year around in some of the most beautiful waters in the world.

Koh Tao offers scuba divers (beginners to advanced levels) the opportunity to experience diving with a huge variety of marine life.

In the spirit of Christmas below are some facts on one of the many mesmerizing creatures that live in the underwater world that we love to explore every day: Christmas tree worms…

Christmas tree worms (Spirobranchus giganteus ) are Christmas tree shaped tube-dwelling worms with twin spirals of plumes used for feeding and respiration. They have a tubular, segmented body lined with chaeta, small appendages that aid the worm’s mobility. Because it does not move outside its tube, this worm does not have any specialized appendages for movement or swimming. These worms are sedentary, meaning that once they find a place they like, they don’t move much.

They come in many colors including red, orange, yellow, blue and white and though they are small with an average 3.8 cm in span, they are easily spotted due to their shape, beauty and color always makes an eye-catching display.

Christmas tree worms are found on coral reefs in tropical waters worldwide, in relatively shallow waters less than 30 metres.

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Christmas tree worms are polychaete ciliary feeders that feed using their radioles, the hair-like appendages or “feathers” that circle outward from the central spine, to catch phytoplankton floating by in the water. The food is then passed down a food groove by ciliary tracts — lines of tiny hair-like extensions on the surface of cells that generate water currents to move food or mucus. The food particles are sorted and larger particles are discarded. Sand grains are directed to storage sacs to be used later for tube building.

Plumes are also used for respiration. Though the plumes are visible, most of these worms are anchored in their burrows that they bore into live calcareous coral. Christmas tree worms are very sensitive to disturbances and will rapidly retract into their burrows at the slightest touch or passing shadow. They typically re-emerge a minute later, very slowly, to test the water before fully extending their plumes. So if a worm feels threatened, it can withdraw into the hole to protect itself quite easily. For added safety, the Christmas tree worm can also plug its tube with a small plate called an operculum.

There are male and female Christmas tree worms. They reproduce by sending eggs and sperm into the water. The eggs are fertilized in the water then develop into larvae and become part of the zooplankton to be carried by the currents to then settle on coral heads and then burrow into the coral to form their burrows.

As you can see this is just one of the fascinating creatures that we encounter every day here at Davy Jones’ Locker. Feel free to pop in for a visit and we will be happy to share these unforgettable experiences underwater with you.

 

by Sarah

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Become a diving professional with DJL on Koh Tao

By , 11 December, 2014, No Comment

After another 100% success rate in the PADI instructor exams it is easy to see why DJL is your number one choice for professional level diver courses. Our world famous Divemaster training program continues to go from strength to strength and is now under the direct supervision of veteran DJL Master Instructor Emil. With four world class Course Directors, Pete, Guy, Patrick and Ildo, backed up by their team of multilingual staff instructors we offer the PADI instructor development course in a wide range of languages and offer all levels of PADI instructor training. After your instructor course in complete, master your training skills, by gaining experience working alongside DJL’s team of knowledgeable instructors with our MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) internship. Beyond that you can gain the prestigious Staff Instructor rating working alongside our CDs assisting with an actual instructor course.
Should the technical instructor route take your fancy, DJT Tec can train you to become an instructor in all aspects of tech diving, including trimix, reabreather, full cave and advanced wreck.
Add to your CV with DJLs range of speciality training including gas blending, compressor operator, service technician, deep, wreck, and nitrox.
Perhaps you are interested in a career in underwater videographer. Working alongside our partners at Koh Tao Pro video we can provide all the training you need to film and edit professional quality underwater videos.
Why throw away years of your life and money studying for a job you are not interested in. Take the first step towards the career you really want and start training to be a professional scuba diver today with DJL.

PADI proressional courses Koh Tao

Become a dive professional at Davy Jones Locker

Ed

 

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DMT Event

By , 25 November, 2014, No Comment

At DJL we are lucky to have a very large group of DMT’s (PADI Divemasters) at any one time throughout the year, at the moment we have approximately 20. These guys put in so much hard work and are such a huge part of what makes DJL the amazing place that it is!

So to show these guys how much we appreciate everything they give to this school, a DMT Event was organized culminating in a pool party and BBQ! This event was a mix of having fun as well as improving dive skills and dive knowledge! We were lucky enough to have Koh Tao Pro Video film the entire 2 day event and make an amazing film for us all! We had the guys go to Buoyancy World for an underwater treasure hunt, where they were graded on a variation of different tasks, including tying knots and having to show their knowledge of diving hand signals! We also had a quiz where our DMT’s showed off their dive knowledge, a ‘James Bond’ event, a beach clean up and other tasks!

So from DJL to our DMTs, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FOR US!!!

 

by Fiona

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Turtles of Koh Tao

By , 21 November, 2014, No Comment

Koh tao means turtle island, and it is the dreams of many divers to see one of these beautiful animals in the flesh. There are two types of turtle common to koh tao: The Green turtle and Hawksbill turtle. The Green and Hawksbill turtles look very similar to each other however they have some differences in appearance.  The Hawksbill can be distinguished from the Green Turtle by its sharp, curving beak with prominent cutting edge, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins.

The Green Turtle is the most typical sea turtle, possessing a teardrop-shaped carapace and a pair of large, paddle-like flippers. Despite the turtle’s common name, it is lightly-coloured all around while its carapace’s hues range from olive-brown to black in Eastern Pacific green turtles. The turtle is actually named for the greenish coloration of its fat and flesh.

The Hawksbill has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies and the Green turtle can be found throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Unlike other members of the turtle family, the Green turtle is mostly herbivorous. The adults are commonly found in shallow lagoons, feeding mostly on various species of seagrass.  Sponges are the principal diet of hawksbills once they enter shallow coastal waters and begin feeding on the bottom. Some of the sponges eaten by Hawksbills are known to be highly toxic and lethal when eaten by other organisms.  Hawksbills are also known to feed on other invertebrates, such as comb jellies and jellyfish. This is why you must be careful with things like plastic bags as if they end up in the sea a turtle could eat it thinking it is a jellyfish. The largest Green turtle ever recorded weighed 395 kilograms whilst the Hawksbills are generally smaller with the largest recorded tipping the scales at 127 kilograms. You can see both types of turtles at many dive sites through out koh Tao, including sleeping turtles on night dives. If you do see one, make sure to keep a respectful distance and let them go about their day.

 

Sophie

Tortle

 

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Why so slow and deep?

By , 21 November, 2014, No Comment

Breathe in…. Breathe Out…Breathe in… Breathe Out…Breathe in….and breathe out…

This is something you have been doing unconsciously since the day you were born, without ever giving it much thought, other than the time you went to ‘find yourself’ at the yoga retreat.

Suddenly though you turn up to Koh Tao to do your PADI Open Water, an instructor will help kit you up, and minutes later your breathing is very conspicuous. You may hear someone say the feeling should pass, but breath control underwater is the difference between a novice diver and an experienced diver.

If you are correctly weighted and neutrally buoyant in the water, how is it some people can make diving look so effortless, whereas when you begin it can be quite exhausting moving your body position to swim over things. The secret is something you have been doing all your life – breathing. Being able to work out how much air you need to inhale and exhale at any given point will turn you into a more competent diver.

So what tips can I give? Well the first is that your lungs are probably bigger than you think, and so at any given moment you are storing more air than you realize. As a little test breathe all the way out right now. Now without breathing in breathe out again. And again. See how much air is still in your lungs? Use this when you next go diving so you can sink quicker if you need to (please be careful of your ears while doing this!)

The next tip I can give you is in situations that require much greater buoyancy control (going through swim through, wreck diving) is you can breathe in stages. Try to get the feeling of filling your lungs up to a quarter, now a half, then two thirds, and now fill them up. By doing this you are controlling the rate at which you will ascend over something like a pinnacle. Now breathe out in stages. The trick here is to always allow a very small amount of air to be constantly being inhaled and exhaled to keep the airway open (remembering the first rule of diving) whilst not necessarily breathing all the air out at once. This way you are controlling your descent, just like you do on a fin pivot, and will start to look like a pro, achieving the second rule of diving, always look cool.

As a final little thing to practice which you can do on dive sites less than 18 metres, is as you descend to the bottom, try and control it so you stop vertical position just above the ground. To other divers around it will look as though you have landed on a glass table, and you’ll be looking like the next dynamo!

Koh Tao has loads of great places to practice buoyancy control, which in this bloggers opinion is mostly just breath control. If you would like further instruction after your Open Water, then sign up for your PADI Advanced Open Water course and your instructor will play loads of buoyancy games with you on the Peak Performance Bouyancy dive.

So there you are, a few tips for breath control. If that all sounds a bit much, just take a slow, deep breath.

 

Chris N.

diver

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