English version (text published in a „SOURCES The Jurnal of Underwater Education” I 2013)
NAUI-MDT’s Tech Diving Workshop in January
To prepare for the April’s dives on Gulf Fleet no.31 shipwreck (close to Hurghada, 103m), in January we focused on polishing our diving abilities and also doing some interesting dives (of course if wether would let us).
Our choice was – Dahab. The town lies north of Sharm El Shaikh, on east Sinai. It’s a marvelous place with a safe, paradise blue and warm sea, surrounded by palm trees, little camps on the desert and beautifull mountains.
Check dive takse place just next to the diving center in LIGHTHOUSE. Its easy entrance is ideal to train tech diving. Sandy slope with lots of rocky bits fals down steeply to 60 m. After the dives and all the preparations we are ready to plan our next days. The enthusiastic evening dinner in NeMo restaurant leads to a plan – we will be diving the famous cracks : Canyon, Tomas Canyon and the Little Canyon.
First comes the Canyon – It slope is no that steep – the entrance is at 15 m and is a small cavern with a chimney and some smaller entrances laying further within the ceiling. The crack is almost 200 m long and the exit is at 51 -52 m and leads us to the open sea.
Next day we are joining the Canyon with the Neptun’s cave – a horizontal cave laying in a crack just below the canyon. It about 30 m long, later it becomes to narrow for a diver. Under the cave, the top of the rock opens again and the cave becomes a canyon. Our maximum depth is 78 m.
Planning dives in the Tomas Canyon is a little bit more complicated (the dive site is located in Sharm). But we have the very proffesional team from REEF OASIS DIVE CENTER – our friends, helping us.
Before penetrating the Tomas Canyon we discover the wall of THE BELLS. The reef between the Blue Hole and the Bells is a drop-off. We go down to 75 m and after 25 min we enter the Blue Hole through the Arch (54 – 58 m). The well of the Blue Hole rises from under 100 m, pass the arch at 60 m and up to the surface. We witness the magnificent view of the sun shining through the arch to the abbys. We see the infamous blue below us as we stop for the lazy decompression stop. Dive time – 89 minutes.
The Next Day (as the boss of the REEF OASIS DIVE CLUB says) we have a bus ready for us at 8 o’clock in the morning. The hour drive to Sharm el Sheikh gives us another oportunity to rest. After we arrive we still gave to mount our tanks, analyze the gasses, load the boat… and the… yalla! there we go. After 30 m we jump into the water. The Tomas Canyon opens at 35 m, below that we find a huge crack, parallel to the reef, going down to 90 m.
It is a stunning place. Betweent 50m adn 65m we see two brigdes formed by the reef laying over the crack of the canyon. The five of us move slowly – not because of the narowness of the reef, but because of its amaizing beauty. In 20 min we reack 90 m, it’s time ofr an ascent, that with all the deco stops takes about an hour. Taking of the gear and loading the boat is quick and we have time to share opinions about the dive and talk about our previous experiences from Tomas Canyon. The place is always beautiful and alway different.
Out final dive, that sums up the whole week of workshop takes place in the LITTLE CANYON close to Dahab. It starts as a narrow tunnel with a few entrances it lies between 35m and 55m. Then the tunnel opens and splits into lots of caves, cracks and caverns. Then is winds for about 200 m along the slope and down to 60m. The 25 mins of our bottom time fly too fast, the 40 m deco time is nice and calm in a surrounding of a beautiful untouched reef. Everybody is impressed. Even if it wasn’t our first dive there we all know – we have to reapeat it.
One more thing : We also had a rec group with us with two Junior SD among them. These guys definitely change the expedition statistics when it comes to the time spent at 12m.
Our participants : Michał Werner, Darek Jura , Tomasz Kaczorek, Tomasz Kubiak (NAUI trx2),
Michał Konarski, Michał Padziuk ( PADI JSD), Katarzyna Konarska ( NAUI ASD), Kinga Kołek Padziuk (PADI DEEP) and the writer of these words –