Archive for ‘Special’

Peak Performance Buoyancy

By , 14 September, 2015, 1 Comment
How often do we mention buoyancy in one day of diving? I think probably a lot! Buoyancy is probably the most important factor of being underwater, one of the main reasons is due to conservation of our reefs, some of the most amazing things to see underwater are also some of the smallest things, we want to get nice and close to view them however obviously we cannot touch! I’m sure everyone hears this before they dive… touching is a BIG no no in the diving world. Luckily using a few simple tricks of the trade we can learn to master our buoyancy so eventually it becomes easier for us to get nice and close to the underwater reefs.
There are many tricks, but pinpoint buoyancy control is the fundamental skill. Precise control of your buoyancy is what enables you to hover completely motionless, then back out of the area without using your hands at all. The real trick is to be completely correctly weighted and use your breathing to control your buoyancy. In fact, you’ll improve your buoyancy control by using your BC less, not more.

The six factors that affect your buoyancy are your ballast weight and your BC inflation, of course, and also your trim, your exposure suit buoyancy, your depth and your breath control. All these factors vary throughout a dive, the only two that remain the same are your trim and ballast weight. Some you can control, some you can’t. Buoyancy control isn’t as easy as it looks.

Lets go into some more detail about these six factors…

Ballast Weight

The ballast weight you carry doesn’t change during a dive, but it’s often the biggest problem. Many if not most divers are, carrying more lead than they need.

Most instructors during an open water course will overweight their students, it’s not a wrong thing to do, its very similar to a parent putting training wheels onto a kids bike when they are learning to ride it, only trouble is those training wheels need to be removed to progress on from the novice stage. This is a reason why the Advanced course is so advantageous to most open water students, you learn the basics of diving during your open water then during the advanced you get time with the instructor to really refine your diving.

The first step is to just do it–take off 1kg before your next dive. Can’t get below the surface? Before you reach for the lead again, make sure you really need it. Getting below the surface, especially on the first dive of the day, can be surprisingly difficult and can trick you into carrying more lead than you really need. Here are a few tips:

Be patient- especially when wearing a wet suit, it may take time to get that wetsuit fully soaked through.

Reach up. Hold the inflator hose over your head and stretch it upward a little so its attachment point to your BC is highest. This is the main problem students have when trying to deflate, if you don’t hold that inflator hose all the way up you will still have trapped air in your BCD.

Relax. Without realising you may still be kicking your legs and moving your arms, its just nerves, without realising you are kicking your way back to the surface.

Exhale.Exhale and hold it until you start sinking, holding a lung full of air is another manifestation of nerves, it also adds a lot of buoyancy and can be the difference between going down or not, exhale and take shallow intakes of breath until you are below 2 meters.

Force it. Last method, try to force your decent by generating some downwards thrust and kicking down.


Once you are correctly weighted the most important factor to consider is your trim. Trim is your positioning in the water, we want to be completely horizontal in the water, if you try to swim with your legs slightly lower than the rest of your body then whilst your trying to kick to go forwards you are also kicking yourself to the surface. this will cause any air in your BCD to expand so when you vent this you are also making yourself negatively buoyant. if you remain in perfect trim through your dive you wll end up fiddling with your BCD a lot less and conserving a lot more air. Perfect trim is what we aim for in diving and is also helped by the Peak Performance buoyancy speciality.

Tank weight

Tank weight is another thing to consider when diving, especially when using aluminium tanks, you will be considerably heavier at the beginning of a dive than towards the end of a dive, thankfully this change of weight is gradual, so the change wont come as a surprise and you can adjust for this buoyancy change gradually throughout the dive.

Exposure suit

There is no escaping the fact that wetsuits make you more buoyant, the tiny neoprene bubbles inside a wetsuit will cause gas to get trapped and the deeper you go the less buoyant your wetsuit will make you. The good news is once you have your buoyancy dialled in at a given depth the buoyancy wont change unless you change your depth. Many people in the tropics wont wear wetsuits to avoid this problem however in some circumstances wetsuits/dry suits are essential. practise makes perfect when using wetsuits, and the thicker the wetsuit the more buoyant it will make you.

Breath control

Breath control is the most important way to maintain good buoyancy, its the way you want to learn to eventually dive, as long as you remain neutrally buoyant with lungs half full you can exhale and sink and inhale and rise, this will gradually increase the effectiveness of your air usage, if you don’t need to waste air by inflating and deflating your BCD underwater and just use your lungs to control your buoyancy it will give you longer dives.

Putting it all together

Once you have mastered all of this you can start putting this together, the best thing to do is get diving, the more practice you have the more time you have to play with your buoyancy, the end result being that perfect photo or being able to be inches away from the reef without harming it in anyway, your instructor or dive master will applaud. The peak performance buoyancy speciality will be a massive step up to helping you along the way with achieving this.

by Dani


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How I can improve my diving

By , 30 May, 2015, No Comment

As an instructor here at DJL I am always looking at how I can improve my diving, I can then transfer these skills into my teaching and hopefully make my students all round better divers.

Soon after deciding to become a professional diver, I began to think about technical diving and how it could improve my skills and provide another exciting element to my diving. After months of research into this area of diving I finally got the opportunity to partake in multiple tech courses at DJL with our very talented and knowledgeable resident tech instructor David Polley, and I loved every minute!

Here at DJL we have multiple options available for you to move into the world of technical diving; so you can go deeper, see new things and just generally improve your knowledge and skills as a diver.

So if you want to take that next step in your diving career, contact us at the shop and we can discuss all options available to you.

Next month I will talk more about the skills you will learn as a technical diver.

Matt aka ‘Trim-Master-Flash’

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By Matt

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Why Go Pro?….

By , 27 May, 2015, No Comment

Why Go Pro?…

How many people can truly wake up every morning and say i love my job? i can guarantee that i think this every morning. in my opinion there isn’t much better out there than getting to take people of all different varieties diving, and helping them learn how to experience the underwater world.

There are many different reasons that led me to my career as a dive instructor with Davy Jones Locker Koh tao, but it was definitely one of the best decisions i have ever made. As a PADI professional i am lucky to be a part of the most widely recognized SCUBA training organisations on the planet. I have met many students who have come to Koh Tao for a dive course or even just some fun dives and who have got hooked instantly, and lets be honest its not a bad thing to get hooked on. As an instructor at Davy Jones’ Locker i get to work with a fantastic bunch of girls and guys from all different walks of life and we all have the wonderful opportunity of living on one of the most beautiful islands in the world (my humble opinion). Not only is the lifestyle amazing but i also get to show students and fellow divers some of the most diverse underwater life around.  so i urge you to consider taking the leap if you have a passion for the underwater world, the Divemaster and IDC programmes at Davy jones’ locker could just take you out of the real world and into our crazy underwater bubble, where your office and computer are replaced by sun sea and all the fun that goes with it.

By Dani


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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





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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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