Yesterday i did a dive in the Blue Hole down to 101 meters, which made me become the first woman in Iceland to trimix dive that deep. I was not out to break any kind of records, i actually did’nt have a clue about it. I was just going after my goal which was 100 meters. this definitely counts as a “life event ” in my books, achieved goal. What an amazing feeling and an honor.
Me and My teacher Aron coming up from our 101 meters
Mel took that picture, she is so good at capturing the perfect moments.
So my teacher wanted me to make a thesis about my dive, and we thought it would actually be a good idea to break it down into my posting here, and explain a little bit “what’s it all about”?
Few points i will be making
- Why pick the Blue Hole?
- What gas mixes i chose and why?
- Why would i want to dive trimix? Goals?
- Why did i pick Team Blue Immersion, Dahab Technical?
WHY PICK THE BLUE HOLE?
All over the world The Blue Hole in Dahab is well known and praised, respected and feared for many obvious reasons. Many divers have had fatal accidents because of poor planning, diving deep with air or other reasons. Although the Blue Hole is known for that kind of reasons, it is actually the best training site for Tec and Trimix divers because of environmental factors , and because the hole itself is like a huge secure bubble which is protected by the massive coral walls.
(Here below you can actually see a very good mapping of The Blue Hole, yesterday i saw the bottom of this thing inside the Arch. ;-))
It’s a perfect training site, there are almost none, or very mild currents. The water is fairly warm, therefore less factors of the environment you have to take into consideration, therefore more carefree diving which leads to less things to think about or struggle with . But for me, personally the obvious reason.. I pick The Blue Hole for its seductive energy and beauty.
This picture was taken yesterday at our dive, there we are at a deco stop. Deep down under.
WHAT GAS MIXES I CHOSE, AND WHY?
Here it gets a little complicated if you want to explain this to people who are not divers. My thesis had four pages written about this subject, but i will try to narrow it down and explain it a little bit in “human” language.
There are some factors to account for and consider when you pick your gases for a trimix dive.
- How deep are you going
- END = Equivalent narcotic depths
- Enviroments = SAC rates ( how fast you breath, breaths in minute) currents, water temperature
- Dive mission = in this case, a ” bounce dive” going to 100 as it is the main goal, and back up.
To understand this even better you have to understand what Trimix is. Trimix is a breathing gas, which contains three important gases , Oxygen, Helium and Nitrogen therfore the name, Trimix.
When you plan your dive you are also responsible for the mixes you breath, how much oxygen, Helium and Nitrogen is in there! at what depths! and why!!
So mainly, the deeper you go, the more you want to decrease the oxygen, you want to increase your Helium and you want to stabilize your Nitrogen content as much as possible. Everything works together all depending on depths you are at, thats why we want to breath different gas mixes at different levels, the gas i breathed down at my 100 hundred, i could for example not breath at the surface, due to its low oxygen content. would i have done that, i would have passed out. It’s very dangerous to breath from the wrong cylinders at other depths then calculated for, it can lead to death, therefore very important to read on your cylinders and follow procedures by the book completley.
I had six tanks down there with me. Five of them were 11.6 liter cylinders, and one small tank which i had clipped to my twinset, that little bottle had air in it which i used to inflate my drysuit with. In my twinset i had a mix that i could breath from 10 meters, down to 100. I had 6 minutes to get down there and two minutes as bottom time, then i went up to 65 meters where i switched over to one of my three travel gases, and breathed from that one until my next deco stop which was at 28 meters. There i switched to another mix until my next switch which was at 9 meters, where i had my final and last switch or what we call Notox. You do all that, and in a trim. You have to be buoyant and ascend slowly to surface, with stops which we call decompression stops. The time of the decompression stops varies, depending on your dive profil, depthts ect. So crucial to stay buoyant because your body is what we call off gasing, where Nitrogen and Helium are released from your body tissues. you want that process to be as smooth as possible to avoid number of things that can happen.
Helium is the most expensive part of the whole dive, and plays a very important roll, with Helium it’s easier to breath at depths and it has very little almost non narcotic effects, and you want to avoid having to deal with that doing deep dives. So every gas serves its important prupose.
Another thing that is VERY important on every deep dive, is having support divers. I had two on my dive, one who was waiting at 65 meters and another who was at 30 meters. Support divers are there to help you, if you get in some kind of trouble with your tanks, lose them or other problems. Your support diver has all the same gases as you have, a whole extra set of cylinders clipped on him, plus it’s good in case of any emergencies to have Support divers and surfase support as well.
Me and Aron my teacher with our tanks after our dive, by the Blue Hole.
WHY WOULD I WANT TO DIVE TRIMIX? GOALS?
Until the 22 of November, 2011. i had never in my life dived ( apart from a one time very dubious fun dive i did in Acapulco in september month). My intention was to finish my open water and then travel on as planned. My original plan was to travel the world for some insurance money i got from an accident i had. I knew i wanted to do some diving while travelling, but not that my whole worldtrip would change into a new career move and finding a new passion. My subconscious definitely knew that this would happen as soon as i would try out diving, but i did’nt have a clue myself. i know this now because all my travel plans had countrys and places where there is great diving, like Australia and they’re Great Barrier Reef.
So i was sold, on the spot because four months later ( and an empty bank account) here i am !! spent all my ” world trip” time and money on diving and doing Tec and Trimix ,Happy to have found this new passion and am doing something every day that i love. I fell for Trimix before i did diving for the first time, i did’nt know much about it but it has always captured me and i’ve always wanted to try it, although i never thought i ever would. I like the recreational diving, but i love the Trimix. Everything about it is capturing, the mixes, the gear, the theory and the whole planning process and then you’re off. doing some deep dives.. Like 100 meters.. I do Trimix for that reason, i’ve found it, it had been missing in my life. I cant imagine letting go again.
Here is a picture of that happy girl after a dive, just to prove a point.. 😉
To be a better Trimix diver with time. Practise makes one better. And go down to 140.. Next time. 😉
WHY WOULD I PICK TEAM BLUE IMMERSION, DAHAB TECHNICAL DIVERS?
Because the diving industry and world is so new to me, i did not know so much about the guys behind Team Blue immersion. Somehow i came across one of my teachers there, Aron who introduced me to Team Blue immersion and told me what they were up to.
I got the impression from the internet and reading articles that this was the place to be at if you wnated to learn from the “best” and get the most out of your education in Technical and Trimix diving. Therefore, i changed my travel plans, drastically and came to Egypt, Dahab to join them.
I have not regretted. I have gotten what i believe is the best education you can get in this field that’s available out there. It’s been tuff at times but then again, so worth it.They’re good reputation says it all, they stand up to it.Therefore i am thankful for the opportunity i got with Team Blue Immersion, to be apart of it as they’re trainee, and for everything i’ve learned. There is no cutting corners in this field of work and i’ve learned so much from them.I am definitely returning again to do more diving, and to do more courses.
A picture of the boys, Jonas, Aron and Erik
So that’s about it. My dive in the Blue Hole was indescribable. It almost felt like i was’nt there at that depth at all,because you go down there, spend two minutes at the bottom,then you are up again, and going up takes more then an hour because of deco stops… Guess for people who have never done these dives, or dont live and thrive in this world, this must seem “weird” and impossible to understand, but it’s always like that, you understand it first when you try it.
Tomorrow is my last day in Dahab, the day after tomorrow i will be on my way to Mexico. I will miss the boys here at Team Blue, and all the wonderful people i’ve gotten to know, although im sure my path will lead to many of them again one day.. Thank you Melanie for all the amazing pictures you have taken. You are an extraordinary good photographer, and very talented as a diver as well 😉 .
Aron, Jonas and Erik, again thank you for everything you have thaught me and for taking me down to these depths.
I will write again, next time from Mexico 🙂 Adios for now.