Covid has affected all of our lives, creating misery and sadly loss for far too many people. Currently, on Koh Tao, we have existed in a bubble thus far, with minimal restrictions and cases on the island. With this in mind, it’s all too easy for us to put a halt to our everyday lives. But if we do, this horrible disease wins, as we stop being who we are. As a result, we are still trying to enjoy tec diving whenever it is possible and safe to do so. It was fantastic to be able to organise a tec diving expedition and get off the island for a short while.
Tec diving expedition to explore new marks
On 27 April, a small team of technical divers set out overnight to look at some newly acquired GPS marks. We set out after getting permission from the local police. Koh Tao was going into its 3rd soft lockdown island style. Early next morning we arrived on the mark. Before I had my wake-up coffee I found myself watching a sounder screen through sleep-filled eyes. There are two marks here, not identical, with some seconds off.
This indicates interest from two separate captains! A good sign there something there. We shot the return, and after some searching, a small return showed itself. The depth was 62 metres to the sand, 57 metres to the top of the wreck. Our team comprised of Antony and Dave two relatively new techies. The second team led by Julia Alberone, comprised of Neil and Marco.
Mark 1 – Diving a wreck mound
Our Team descended, full of wonder. At 50 metres the two open circuit divers held while I ran a circular distance line search. The visibility on the bottom was poor, 2-3 metres, and it wasn’t for a full 20 minutes until I picked up the mound. This is a wreck mound from an old wooden vessel, the ballast stones and cargo were intact but covered in coral growth. Sadly my time was short due to the lengthy search and I was unable to identify the ship any further. This is an intriguing mark that I would like to return to with more helium. But, for now, the sea will keep this secret a little longer.
Mark 2 – Diving the HTMS Pangan
Without a good tie in, we moved off to the next mark, HTMS Pangan. Three hours later I shot and tied into the crane mount, the strongest point in the superstructure. The conditions were fantastic. Flat, calm, and no current. The visibility on the bottom was 10 metres and the team enjoyed two amazing dives on this fantastic wreck. The Pangan still surprises, 10 years after it was located 60 nautical miles from land, and I’m sure that will continue for some years to come.
Another successful tec diving expedition
We slept overnight on the mark completing two more dives before returning to Koh Tao at 2 am. The 10 pm curfew was in place and we had 3 hours to wait until we could return home. The rain that had held off all through decided to welcome us back but it didn’t dampen our mood. We’d completed a successful tec diving expedition and had returned safely to Koh Tao.
If you would like to get involved in future tec diving expeditions contact our team for more information.