Archive for ‘Internships’

Wreck Spec advice

By , 10 April, 2016, No Comment

wreck spec adviceDavy Jones Locker instructor Dani recently took one of our Divemaster candidates Kieran through his Wreck spec,  following that she has written a new article for the DJL Blog containing some great wreck spec advice. Wreck exploration and penetration is one of the most exciting aspects of diving but does have some inherent risks and dangers that divers need to be aware of.


“Danis Wreck spec tips :

For many divers the greatest thrill is exploring ship wrecks. But, as you progressed through your open water training, you were no doubt constantly reminded about the dangers of entering wreckage or any overhead environment. The dangers are real and valid whether you are a relative new comer to diving or a seasoned dive professional with many thousands of dives.

Cave or wreck?

• The differences between cave and wreck are many. Caves have generally one exit and this makes them seem dangerous. Wrecks, however, appear to have many, and this leads to diver complacency and failure to obtain training. The cave typically has an out flowing current to help your exit, whereas the wreck offers no assistance or consistency and actively seeks to entrap you with its rusted metal claws.

Why should I get my Wreck spec?

• Before you enter any wreck you should obtain Wreck diver training which will help you start appreciating the added hazards that go hand in hand with your trips into the magnetic overhead environment. On completion of training, you will be able to cast off your “open water safety wheels” and enter the most hazardous of the underwater domains…the rusty shipwreck. There are many reasons to go inside a wreck. Many of you will, no doubt, have prematurely been attracted to the darkness and ventured where you shouldn’t. It is very alluring to stick your head in and before you know it your whole body is propelling you into a possible early grave. However, after as little as 3 days training you can safely penetrate these passages and live to tell the tale.

• Wreck Penetration by definition means going into an area where direct access to the surface is not available. Even a brief “look see” means you have penetrated the wreck and should have laid a line to show your exit route. Wreck penetration should always involve line laying, and good line technique is an art in itself. Wreck penetration techniques are beyond the limits taught in a standard Advanced open water course.

wreck spec advice

Standard wreck courses, often called a speciality course, offer an insight into wreck history, focus on basic mapping, kicking techniques, and line laying. These speciality courses are aimed at the diver who seeks more interesting dive destinations without the hazards and dangers of entering the overhead environment. Typically, a linear distance to the surface limit is imposed of 40m, which means that a wreck laying in 25m allows a maximum penetration of 15m. An Advanced wreck course generally has a maximum depth limit of 50m while breathing air, but it would be advisable to use trimix inside wrecks deeper than 30m.

There are no restrictions on penetration other than adhering to the following safety protocols:

1: No entering areas that two divers cannot enter side by side

2: 1/3 rd’s gas management protocols adhered to

3: No equipment to be removed within the overhead environment

4: Guidelines to be used, in all overhead environments.

When entering a wreck the guideline will be attached in two places called the primary and secondary tie offs and you should always lay a new line if you suspect an old one. ollowing a permanent guideline.

Propulsion techniques

• A good propulsion technique will ensure you have relatively clear water to exit in. Many experienced wreckers simply use a pull and glide technique as this tends to preserve the visibility. There are some awkward skills to master, what with laying the guideline sensibly and holding your dive light all while navigating the wreck and avoiding silt outs.
• We will practice Flutter kicks and modified frog kick during dive 3
If the size of the corridors inside allows, divers may wish to use a frog kick or modified flutter kick. These types of kicks direct the power of the fin kick backwards and not up or down which will help maintain visibility. With the fin power directed behind, you should obviously have perfect buoyancy control or you will find yourself constantly falling to the floor

Hazards of silt outs

• Silt is a potential killer while wreck diving and no matter what your fin style, Silt will rear its ugly head at every chance. Silt is defined as particles occurring in the water, and due to their suspension, affecting visibility during the course of the dive. Silt can be either manmade or natural, i.e. rust particles or clay particles. There are various types of silt you may encounter in a wreck, these include:

1. Sand grains: the least serious, generally falling out of suspension very quickly.
2. Mud: A bit more serious, because it is easy to disturb and may take a long time to settle.
3. Clay: More serious, easy to disturb, takes hours to settle, sticks to anything
4. Volcanic ash: While not exactly common, proves a serious problem due to magnitude of deposit and fineness of particulate. Some popular sites in the Philippines suffer very badly, with ash deposits almost a metre deep in places
5. Man Made: Due to the many types of substances used in ship construction, the following are included: Rust particles, carpet fibres, hardboard, and wooden panels, expanded foam panels. Oil /fuel residues, becoming re-suspended, Coal dust etc

wreck spec advice

Wrecks lay in all manner of positions on the seabed; it would be very difficult to say where most silting would occur. With floors becoming ceilings and sidewalls becoming floors, its best just to watch where you are going, and use the most suitable propulsion techniques. In areas of suspected silt build up, it would be prudent to maintain a closer position to guideline, often maintaining a “loose ok” sign where visibility is compromised. A good approach to entering a silty overhead environment is to touch nothing and watch where you are going!

Keep your group small

Wreck exploration is better accomplished with a dive buddy, but not a dive party! The buddy behind can illuminate possible line placements and help with any wreck entanglement problems. The bigger the group that enters the wreck the poorer the visibility and this will have a dramatic effect on group safety.


Equipment should be stream lined with no danglies. Spare masks or back up knives or tools should be kept in pockets, (but back up lights are never put in pockets). A rusty wreck tentacle will actively attract the ill prepared wreck diver, and often, sadly leads to an indefinite bottom time!

Communication Methods

Wreck spec advice1. Tactile signals can play a big part inside a wreck. You may have the brightest, most expensive dive light there is, and two back ups, but if the visibility is nil then they won’t help you… A touch contact system has been devised that allows a team of two or more to exit safely and quickly. Devised by Don Rimbach (well known Cave Diver), as a means for several divers to exit an overhead environment. This method uses squeeze signals. Lead diver waits on guideline for diver behind to make contact (above knee preferably). Second diver PUSHES ONCE to GO. To stop exit Second diver SQUEEZES ONCE (lead diver waits). To back up second diver PULLS BACK on lead divers leg.

2. Finally, imagine you and your buddy, in zero visibility, are following a line and you encounter a “dead end” and need to turn around. Discuss with your buddy a suitable touch signal you could use to achieve this

3. The hand signals below show some new signals peculiar to the overhead environment. These signals are very similar to those used in Cavern and Cave diving. The signals for “OK”, “HOLD”, “EXIT” are control signals. They are to be mirrored back to originator to make sure that they are understood.

wreck spec advice

wreck speck advice









Ending the dive for ANY reason

When in any overhead environment, any diver can call the dive at anytime for any reason. Never succumb to peer pressure and enter the wreck if you don’t feel “up to it”. All divers have differing performance levels that vary from day to day.
As you swim through the wreck, accept that the dive maybe finished by any of the team for reasons that may not be obvious.”



Air Consumption and Ways to Improve it.

By , 18 March, 2016, No Comment

Air consumption and ways to improve itInstructor Dani has written a new article for the DJL Blog offering some great tips on how make your air last longer when diving. It’s not only about what you do while you are in the water, other factors such as lifestyle and preparation before a dive are also important in helping you breathe underwater efficiently.


“Are you constantly finding you are turning your dives based on your air supply? fastest air consumption compared to your buddy’s on the boat? wanting to spend those extra few minutes with that turtle?

You may never have the best air consumption on the boat but you can have the most improved. Here are 10 helpful tips to help you to improve our air consumption and give you longer dives safely…


Ash Dykes, an Adventurer and Explorer

By , 8 March, 2016, No Comment

Interview with a past DJL Instructor and future hero!

Ash Dykes -Adventurer and ExplorerIt is a great achievement for all our of students who come to Davy Jones Locker and become certified divers, whether it’s completing an Open Water course or progressing through the Divemaster and Instructor internships. Sometimes you meet people like Ash Dykes, an Adventurer and Explorer who takes the level of adventure beyond what what most of us would even dream of.


Ash Dykes Davy Jones locker InstructorWhen Ash came to Davy Jones Locker to take his diving Internship he already had a history of setting himself challenges and consistently overcoming them. After completing his Divemaster and Instructor courses he worked at here at DJL before setting his sights on crossing entire countries unaided on foot. His first success was trekking across Mongolia and recently became the first person to traverse Madagascar. We caught up with Ash and managed to get a brief Q & A with him before he sets off again on his travels…


Sail Rock trip January 2016

By , 5 February, 2016, No Comment

Sail Rock (aka “Hin Bai”) is one of the top diving destinations in the Gulf of Thailand, it has great visibility with large groups of schooling fish, as well as some of the most spectacular underwater scenery.


sail rock mapAfter a leisurely 1 hour  and half cruise from Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, the Davy Jones Locker boat arrives at this truly exciting and extensive dive site. The main structure actually sticks out of the water and the rest of the features are below – Sail Rock’s exposed position makes it a focal point for all the marine life around – stopping to take a break or to visit a cleaning station.

Sail Rock is a deeper dive site and there can be some currents, but by diving in small groups with personal care and attention it’s usually safe for all.


sail rock dive siteColourful cup corals, giant black coral, white eyed morays and raggy scorpionfish are just some of the highlights of the non-pelagic life on the pinnacle. Outside, look out for big schools of fish, particularly jack, barracuda, snapper and batfish, plus hunting king and queenfish and more.


Sail Rock trip January 2016The awesome scenery as the visibility increases is something to be experienced, and there’s even a small vertical chimney for adventurous divers to swim through. You may also be lucky enough to see a whale shark as they occasionally visit the site, but they are not guaranteed!




7. Instructor patricia driving the boatPatricia


Adventure into a career

By , 22 January, 2016, No Comment

“I started out at Davy Jones Locker as an open water student and continued on to my dive master program. My experience as a student and intern was one of the best experiences i’ve ever had. The education was great and the people were like a family, they made me feel at home instantly! I made all these friends that I’ll keep for a life time. Leaving to go home after my internship was a hard decision to make.

Saving up and heading back out 9 months later i get to meet the course directors Guy and Pete, who brought me in to the instructor side of the diving world. They were very thorough with they way they teach and are more than willing to spend extra time with you if you are struggling with any part of the course. Going in to the Instructor Examination I felt very confident knowing I was prepared properly.

I have done my open water, advanced open water, EFR and rescue diver, divemaster, and my instructor development course all at Davy Jones Locker and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Now as an Instructor at Davy Jones Locker working with a very welcoming and enthusiastic hard working team I’m excited everyday to see new faces and show them a new world! Whatever course you take whether it’s an open water course, internship, instructor course or even technical diving DJL is an amazing Dive Centre with a wide variety of options to fill all of your needs!!

by Nick



Myself during IDC


Awesome Davy Jones Locker team!!!