Archive for ‘Special’

Unicorn Wreck

By , 25 July, 2014, No Comment


It has always been rumored that at the time of it’s sinking in 1989 the 60 meter long Unicorn was sunk on purpose as an insurance scam. Local Koh Tao inhabitants said that the ship just pulled up off shore, around a mile north of Koh Tao and over the next couple of hours slowly sank after an explosion on the vessel. No-one was hurt in the sinking. An Insurance fraud was immediately suspected, insurance investigators were sent to investigate the cause of the sinking and to confirm the cargo which was listed as expensive Tuna Fish. Divers descended to examine the wreck, and discovered that the holds contained nothing but low-grade animal Feed (Dog-Food) un-fit for human consumption, NOT expensive Tuna fish as listed on the manifest. hence the nickname it later aquired – the “dog food” wreck.


Lying around 12km north and 20-30mins off Koh Tao and in 50 meters of water the vessel lies, mostly intact, on it’s port side at an angle with the top of the bow at 38meters, and the keel of the bow area several meters above the seabed, allowing divers to swim under this area of the hull. Fishing nets have been removed from the wreck allowing some moderate penetration. Big schools of jacks, batfish and barracuda patrol the area directly above the wreck with a pair of large groupers residing inside the wreck. Here at DJL we often dive the Unicorn as part of our Technical diving program, especially the Tech 45 course. Due to the depth and location it is always quiet and diver free. I dived the Unicorn for the first time in march last year, as the visibility was very good the wreck appeared to have an eerie greenish around the outline of the wreck (maybe just narcosis) and was enthralled by the always curious bat fish.

Mike S

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Wreck Specs

By , 14 June, 2014, No Comment

When I did my PADI Wreck Speciality Course three years ago there were two important things I failed to tell my instructor.

 1. I was afraid of the dark and

2. I was mildly claustrophobic….

And luckily it didn’t matter in the slightest. The excitement of entering a shipwreck at 30m under the sea totally trumped my fears and it has been a course that since I became an instructor, I relish teaching. You learn so much about mapping, reeling, wrecks themselves, the importance of buoyancy, safety and planning and of the historical importance that it is not only exhilarating but fascinating too. It made me wish my degree had been in underwater archeology rather than psychology.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone and why not combine it with PADI Deep and Nitrox so you can go deeper and stay at depth for longer.


By Jo

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Enhance your diving experience with speciality courses

By , 25 May, 2014, No Comment

This week has been an great week at DJL. Some of our Divemaster trainees this week wanted to further their diving education by doing speciality courses including wreck, deep, enriched air and oxygen provider. The wreck speciality course is probably my favourite to teach and includes mapping the wreck, looking for possible entry points and potential hazards. The students also learned how to use reels to tie off on entry points and how to keep a continuous line so they never lose the line and therefore the way out. Of course we always take torches in and the visibility inside the wreck is very good but all these techniques are good practice and you never know when they may come in useful. We had several dives on and inside the wreck and everybody loved it.

The deep course is exactly as it sounds, we go deep. Now with deep dives down to 40m, we need to teach more safety procedures because we can spend less time at 40m than we can at shallower depths and we also use our air 5 times faster than if we were on the surface. This certification is a great card to have as it means divers can go deeper than most recreational divers which might mean seeing some awesome shipwrecks or some aquatic life that you might not see at shallower depths.

The enriched air speciality is possibly the most useful as it means we can change the oxygen and nitrogen levels in our tanks which means we can stay down longer at certain depths. It is a very interesting course as students learn more about the effects of gases under pressure so as well as extending their dive time divers are more aware of the effects of gases on their body and therefore much safer divers. Students also learn how to analyse their own tanks so they know exactly what gases they are breathing.

The oxygen provider course is a vital course if anybody wants to work as a Divemaster, you are required by law (in many countries) to have a licence to provide oxygen in an emergency. During this course students learn how to set up the oxygen tanks for a variety of scenarios with different face masks and flow systems for any type of unlikely emergency.

Laurence, Phil, Silvano and Jeff really enjoyed the week and in fact some were so fascinated that some have decided to continue on and do their tech courses which then opens up even more doors to cave systems, deeper wrecks and longer bottom times.

By Chris

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Shop Op’s course

By , 21 May, 2014, No Comment

A little while ago i did my shop op’s course with DJL’s technical diving Instructor Dave Polley. This is a course that i can highly recommend if you are working or want to work as a dive professional. First of all you look at how compressor’s work and general maintenance. It is good if you are working in remote location’s and you are relied upon to repair or maintain the compressor, as we all know compressor’s are the heart of any dive business as without a compressor there would be no diving.


Then we go on to gas blending, so we look at different blends of Nitrox and the different methods we can use you fill tanks with enriched air. We also took a look at repairing equipment which includes a lot of different regulators, bcd’s and tanks. All of this can come in handy as you are able to service equipment in the dive school you are working for plus as a bonus you can service your own equipment. Last but not least we became O2 technician’s, which means we are able to O2 clean equipment used with enriched air higher than 40%. The course is run over 6 days and is very informative and is a great little add on to your CV.



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Springtime… When a man’s fancy turns to love.

By , 6 April, 2014, No Comment

Titan Trigger FishThe same can be said for some of the marine life we see here while diving on Koh Tao.  For example, it’s just becoming triggerfish mating season here and we now see them digging pits to lay their eggs in.

Other fish are becoming amorous as well nowadays.  And in some crazy ways:

Anenomefish are initially all males when they are young.  The largest of them becomes the dominant female and mates with the males.  Should something happen to her, the dominant male will switch genders and become the dominant female!

Nudibranch get frisky as well.  However, they move so slowly that sometimes finding a partner can be a challenge.  Fortunately for them, they are all hermaphrodites, so everybody has both male and female genitalia.  So, should any two happen to meet, it’s time to get it on.


Even the coral get into the action.  They can’t move of course, so instead of finding a partner, they time their spawning with the cycle of the moon, so that everybody ejects their sperm and eggs into the water at the same time.  Ah, romance.


As for the mating behaviors of the humans on the island, I have no comment.  I’ll leave you to discover that on your own.




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