Ever wondered what your favourite dive site looks like during the night? Come for a night dive with Abyss!
Abyss runs Night dives every few weeks for those divers that want to experience something different. These dives are open to advanced or Night Specialty divers or divers undertaking the Advanced Open Water course. These dives are very popular as they allow divers to develop their diving skills and experience while being able to explore something new and exciting.
Night dives allow you to almost re-discover your favourite dive sites in a completely different environment. Even at night, dive sites can look completely different and can really test your navigation skills. One thing that is really interesting with night dives is being able to see the different marine life that is active during these times.
The marine life during the night is very different to which you are used to during the day. While our familiar marine life is hiding away sleeping, many of the photosensitive creatures come out and freely roam the dive sites. You will see Urchins scattered everywhere on the dive sites, and find that Octopus and Cuttlefish are more active at night. You may also find new marine creatures that you’ve never seen before.
Abyss run night dives at multiple dive sites around Sydney, some which can only be dived at night. From sites such as Oak Park, Ship Rock (dependent on tide), Bare Island and also the Currajong wreck in Sydney Harbour. Particularly the Currajong is an interesting night dive as the wreck itself lies underneath the Manly ferry and Jet cat route so can only be dived at night after 1am when the ferries have stopped. This particular dive runs every 2 months. Regular night dives run every few weeks, and on special occasions such as Halloween.
If you haven’t already done a night dive, book on our next one and come join the adventure!
By Mike Wilcox.
As I swim around the artificial reef, both my dive computers start to alarm, five minutes of No-Stop time remaining – I glance at the depth – 38 meters and quickly see that I have been down for 12 minutes…
Normally this would be the signal to ascend to a shallower depth, but not today as this is the TEC 40 course and it’s all about staying down deeper for longer!
Having dived for the very first time in January 2013 on my Open Water course, this year has been a string of courses and dives to get me to this point. I look back on those early dives now, and remember that I didn’t really envisage myself going much beyond my Advanced Open Water Course – I suppose the bug just bit hard!
The TEC 40 course teaches you the skills and thinking required to make dives to 40m with no longer than 10 minutes decompression and using EANx blends of up to 50% oxygen for conservatism. But the course is much more than that. Technical diving requires a different mode of thinking. Fundamentally the in water skills are the easiest part of the course; obviously learning how to handle three gas cylinders in the water takes practice – but the real difference between a Tec diver and all your single tank recreational friends is the way you think. Tec divers are always planning to finish the dive alone if they need to.
For those that enjoy gear, then
. Everything is backed up, so this means torches, cutting devices, regulators and air; and that’s before you consider diving in a side-mount configuration
For those that love the opportunity to explore, well Tec Diving is also for you, how about spending twice as long as anyone else at 40 meters, all the extra time to spend on the wreck or reef.
And for those that just want a little bit of James Bond in your life, well no-one would argue that you don’t look like a cross between James “shaken, not stirred” Bond and a Navy Seal when you are fully kitted up ready to go in your Side-mount gear!
The course takes place over two days and one night. It is fair to say that the tempo does pick up from the recreational PADI courses. The obligatory acronyms are still around, although you will start to talk about things like Mission, Logistics, Inert Gas Narcosis and Gas Planning. You also learn how to plan the amount of gas you consume and will require for a dive; gone are the days where you just turn up and someone hands you a tank, now you have to order the correct size and pressure its filled at!
Jamie our Tec instructor took us though the theory behind planning a Tec Dive, the concepts behind diving as a team and the responsibilities and risks that it carries. Our first day in the water involved working on skills you need as a Tec Diver – long hose air sharing, DSMB deployment, drift hangs and decompression stops. This was backed up by working out our Air consumption rates for later use.
The second day of in water dives take place at 27m and 38 meters, and we again practice safety drills and using DSMB’s to act as deco ascent lines. The final deep dive gives us 27 minutes at approx 38 meters and then we start the slow ascent up the anchor line to our scheduled decompression stops.
One major benefit of training at this level is that everyone on the course is committed, so we quickly made our way through the instruction; Jamie’s skills as an instructor are clearly on show as we work through the trickier skills.
This course is for anyone that enjoys spending more time down at the deeper depths. For me, I never had long enough on the wrecks I enjoy diving, and the best wrecks are in 40-50m of water, so it’s just not worth diving on a single tank. Now that I have the skills to stay down, I fully intend to stay deeper for longer, so my goals are to work through Tec 45 and Tec 50. Hopefully I can dive some of the serious wrecks in the next 12 months. The HMS Hermes in Sri-Lanka is definitely on my hit list!
Hopefully I will see some of you around in the water, and perhaps we’ll meet at a Deco stop soon………
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to try the new Hollis 500SE side breather regulator. Being the first side breathing regulator since the demise of the Oceanic Omega regulator, I was quite excited to dive it. I had not dived the Omega, but had heard many good things about it, and how the few flaws of the Omega had apparently been corrected.
Having never dived a side breathing g regulator, I was excited to see what all the fuss was about, and to see whether I found that it indeed performed as people said - better than a conventional regulator of equal standing.
For anyone who understands a regulator with a servo assisted valve, they know that the flow of air is much greater from a much smaller inhalation effort. It as it is designed with its exhaust system at the side, the regulator will also perform equally as good with the exhaust oneither the left or the right. Perfect for use as a Sidemount regulator coming from the left post, as you would normally need to feed a standard 2nd stage regulator from the left, around behind your head for it to sit correctly. The side breather, being breathable with the exhaust on either the left or the right, can be attached to a much shorter 2nd stage hose not placed around behind the head.
To get a good feel the regulator, I decided to test it on a 2 hour Sidemount excursion around Bare Island, La Perouse. This would give me plenty if time to see just what I thought of it. Setting the regulator up on my Sidemount equipment, I straight away found the shorter hose more convenient. Testing the regulator was quite a surprise as well, as I was amazed at how little effort it actually took to inhale, and how strong the flow if air was! I thought, this is going to be great!!
I began the dive breathing from the 500SE side breather regulator and did not really notice how much nicer it was to breathe until I switched to my other conventional regulator of the right Sidemount tank. Straight away I wanted to switch back! But due to the nature of Sidemount configuration, I was unable to switch back until the gas in my right tank had leveled out to the same pressure as the left.
Towards the end if the dive, we encountered a strong outgoing current that was extremely difficult to kick against. Part way through this part of the dive, I switched to the side breather regulator and immediately found it much easier to breathe. As I was breathing heavier kicking into the current, the added ease of breathing and higher flow of air being delivered by the side breather regulator, meant I could actually keep my heart rate and air consumption down. Awesome!
It has been some time since I have dived with any new equipment and thought how much better it actually is. This is one of those pieces of equipment. I am actually now thinking about converting my existing Sidemount regulators to the Hollis 500SE Side Breathers. If you have not tried this new regulator yet, or have never dived an Omega, you definitely have to try one and see what all the fuss is about!
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