Archive for ‘Special’

Shop opps course and DJL

By , 23 September, 2014, No Comment

DJL offer a wide range of scuba and tech diving courses, PADI open water up to instructor and everything else in between, but they also offer a range of courses called shop opps, a 4 day course which is learning how to fix and maintain scuba equipment, such as BCDs and regulators, compressor maintenance and gas blending. Being out of the water with an ear infection, I decided to take the course as I wanted to expand my knowledge of scuba equipment as well have something new to add to my diving CV.


First thing we did was compressor maintenance. This proved to be dirty work as we were learning to change the oil the tank compressor. At first I struggled a bit with the using the tools but Ed the instructor was very helpful and patient and I soon got the hang of it. We also learned how to fill the tanks and change the filter, a very handy skill for anyone looking to get a job on a dive boat.


Next we learned how to service regulators. This again is a very usefully skill to have as getting your own regulators serviced can be expensive and learning how to do it your self can save you money. We also learned how to identify and fix any problems a regulator may be having, whether it be a leaking SPGs to a wet breathing second stages. We also looked at fixing leaking tanks and how to patch up BCDs that have holes in them, two more very usefully skills to have. There is also the option of taking gas blending course, which teaches you how to mix gases for nitrox and tech diving, which I will take later in the year.


I would definitely recommend the shop opps course to anyone, especially professional divers. Skills such as the ones you learn over the 4 days are incredibly valuable and many dive companies will look for it on a CV.


by Sophie

opp course blog








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New way diving rescue diver

By , 2 September, 2014, No Comment

While I teach a lot of Open Water courses my favorite course to teach is the PADI Rescue Diver. Here at Davy Jones Locker we typically spread over 3 days with theory, confined water training followed by a session in the sea. The course is often taught in conjunction with the Emergency First Responder (primary and secondary assistance course). It runs through possible scenarios of what may go wrong before and during a dive and will teach you how to recognise them and respond to them safely. The fun part for me is being able to relate to students real stories of problems that have occurred but exaggerating them to test how the rescue students cope in different situations and getting them to start thinking safely by going over what we did and how we would do it differently next time so that we all improve our diving skills, and my teaching skills as there is always something I can do better.

It will be highly unlikely that you will ever have to use these rescue skills, but wether you are honing your dive skills as a recreational diver or taking it as a step towards the PADI Divemaster programme it will teach you to be a more safer and aware diver whilst giving you the training and confidence to deal with an emergency.


Mike S






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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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