Price 14,90 € Tax included
grüner see Not far from Cancun… South Africa, Serengeti of the Seas
I have been looking for curiosities about the life of Vasco da Gama, and I have found only three quotes of his. One of them drew m attention: ”I am not afraid of the dark. Real death is better than life without life”. It is not just about cavemen, but about life without life... Can you imagine your life today without diving? Life in which you have not immersed yourself in water, you have never had an air tank with you, you have not done freediving...? Life has its taste. It is often said to be bittersweet. I find it salty-sweet. Before you is the next issue of the Perfect Diver Magazine. Dive into it and rate for yourself how much you liked it. I hope that everyone will find something for themselves. Thank you for another year spent with us. Welcome to our FB page – share our posts, invite friends. They do not have to like us right now, it is sufficient that they watch us. We are supposed to expect a hard winter. The one with frost and snow in northern Europe. And that is during global warming. Strange... I also wish you a warm and peaceful Christmas and a great rich-in-diving year 2020.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
ta b l e o f co n t e n t s
travels 10 Grüner See 16 Not far from Cancun… 22 South Africa, Serengeti of the Seas
30 Philippines 36 Viva la Cuba libre! 44 Lake Bled, the pearl of the Julian Alps 48 Hemmoor, a story of threatening German rules and regulations… 74 Portugal
DAN mobile aplication
Miltitz, an old limestone mine between Dresden and Meissen
archaeology 62 Sunken cities
from a freediver's perspective 70
Discovering Tenerife in one breath
planet earth 82
Setubal, the city of dolphins
Geese, noisy travellers
Publisher perfect diver wojciech zgoła ul. Folwarczna 37, 62-081 Przeźmierowo firstname.lastname@example.org ISsN 254-3319
editor in chief columnist underwater archeology freediving photographer english language translators
Wojciech Zgoła Irena Kosowska Mateusz Popek Agnieszka Kalska Jakub Degee Agnieszka Gumiela-Pająkowska Arleta Kaźmierczak
legal care graphic design and composition
Lawyer Joanna Wajsnis Brygida Jackowiak-Rydzak
the magazine was folded with typefaces
Montserrat (Julieta Ulanovsky)
Open Sans (Ascender Fonts) Spectral (Production Type) printing
tips & curiosities 66
Ratio dive computers
Paralenz dive camera
OTS Spectrum full face mask, diving has become
Wieland Drukarnia Cyfrowa, Poznań, www.wieland.com.pl
dive centers, online store
Pragmatic decompression (part 2)
Marcin Trzciński place
The Editorial Office does not return unsolicited materials, is not responsible for the content of advertisements and reserves the right to shorten, edit, title the submitted texts and select illustrative materials. Reprinting of articles or parts thereof, copying only with the consent of the Editorial Board. Editors are not responsible for the form and content of advertisements.
If you like this issue, donate any amount! Donation is voluntary. PayPal.Me/perfectdiver perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
e d i to r i a l t e a m
He often repeats that he travels by diving
Regional Manager Divers Alert Network Pols-
Polish photographer, winner of awards
and that is his motto. In 1985 he obtained
ka, diving and first aid instructor, technical
and distinctions in world underwater pho-
a yacht sailor's license, and only in 2006
diver and cave diver. In love with all flood-
tography competitions, has already dived
began to dive. In the following years he
ed, dark, cold, tight places and invariably
all over the world: with sharks and whales
improved his skills by obtaining the Dive
from the beginning of the diving route – in
in South Africa, with orcs behind the Arctic
Master degree. He completed nearly 650
the Baltic. Implementing the DAN mission,
Circle, on Galapagos with hundreds of ham-
dives in various climatic conditions. Since
he conducts a series of lectures ”Dive safe-
merhead sharks and humpback whales
2007, he has been taking photographs un-
ly” and Diving Safety Laboratory, so field
in the Tonga Islands. He participates in
derwater, and since 2008 he has also been
research of divers for scientific purposes.
specialist photographic workshops. He
filming. As an independent journalist, he
has been diving for 27 years, he started at
published dozens of articles, mainly in
the age of 12 – as soon as it was formally
journals dedicated to diving, but not only.
possible. He was the first in the world to
Co-author of photo exhibitions in Poland
use the Hasselblad X1d-50c camera for un-
and abroad. He is passionate about and
derwater macro photography. Recently, in
propagator of diving.
the remote Chincorro archipelago on the
Since 2008 he has been running his own
border between Mexico and Belize, he did
website www.dive-adventure.eu. On the
it again, taking a successful attempt to pho-
basis of extensive experience, in August
tograph the eye of a crocodile with a mac-
2018 he created the new Perfect Diver
ro lens with an additional magnifying lens,
which is the world's largest photo of the crocodile's eye living in the wild (in terms of pixel count, print size, quality).
Mateusz Popek ”My passion, work and life are under water.” He has been diving since 2009. Since 2008, he's walking in caves. Underwater archeologist by education. He participated in numerous projects in Poland and abroad. He has been engaged in professional diving since 2011. In 2013 he obtained the qualifications of a 2nd class diver. Has experience in underwater work both at sea and inland. Since 2013 he has been diving in caves, especially in the mountains, and since 2014 he is a diving instructor CMAS M1.
Agnieszka kalska ”I can't imagine living without water, where in a free body I experience freedom of the spirit.” • founder of the first freediving and swimming school in Poland – FREEBODY, • Apnea Academia International and PADI Master Freediver freediving instructor, • world record holder in freediving (DYN 253 m), • record holder and Polish champion, member of the national team in freediving 2013–2019, • winner of the World Championships in freediving 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018, • multimedalist of the Polish Championships and a member of the national team in swimming in the years 1998–2003, • passionate about freediving and swimming.
o u r au t h o r s
wojciech a. filip
The owner of the Płetwal Poznań diving
Has more than 8000 dives on his account.
A graduate of Geography faculty at the
center, a graduate of the Poznan Academy
He has been diving for over 30 years, in-
University of Wrocław and an incurable
of Physical Education, expert in diving at the
cluding over 20 years as a technical diver.
optimist… with a permanent smile on her
Poznan District Court. A PADI, TDI, SSI and
He is a professional with great theoretical
lips! It was probably Destiny that led her
CEDIP instructor. Since 2012, a PADI Course
and practical knowledge. He is an instruc-
to Activtour… and she's been here on per-
Director, as well as Tec Rec OC Trimx Trainer
tor of many federations: GUE Instructor
manent basis. She passionately fulfils the
Instructor. As the first, and so far the only
Mentor, CMAS**, IANTD nTMX, IDCS PADI,
dreams of many, organizing diving trips
Pole in the history of PADI, he became the
EFR, TMX Gas Blender. He participated in
around the world, and she has already
Tec 100 CCR Trainer Instructor. Awarded
many diving projects and conferences as
been diving for more than half of her life.
many times the title of 'Elite Instructor' in
a leader, explorer, originator or lecturer.
Each year she explores a different ‘piece of
2013; in 2016 and 2017 'Silver Course Di-
These included the Britannic Expedition
the ocean’, pinning another pin to her div-
rector'. In 2018, he received the highest
2016, Morpheus Cave Scientific Project on
ing world map. In winter she changes fins
distinction in the PADI system – ‘Platinum
Croatia caves, GROM Expedition in Narvik,
into her beloved skis and gets away into
Course Director’, which so-far received only
Tuna Mine Deep Dive, Glavas Cave in Cro-
the Alps. A recipe for life? ”The only a dead
three Poles in the entire history of PADI. The
atia, NOA-MARINE. Professionally, he is
trunk flows with the current – the explorer's
training is carried out in various regions of
a technical director at TecLine in Scubat-
canoe flows up the river!”
the world in cooperation with many dive
ech, and a director of training at TecLine
centers and instructors. He completed over
3,500 dives, issued over 2,500 certificates, including over 500 at the instructor level. He made, among other things, a partner diving at 151 m, and a team diving during which, for the first time in the world at a depth of 100 m, the Rubik's cube was solved.
President of Ocean-Tech Sp. z o. o., IT NAUI,
A traveller and a photographer of wild na-
A traveler, photographer and the under-
wreck and cave diver. ”Diving is not just
ture. A graduate of journalism and a lover
water world filmmaker, an Asian cuisine
about equipment. It is also discovering se-
of good literature. She lives in harmony with
enthusiast and a PADI diving instructor.
crets and an opportunity to reach places
nature, promotes a healthy lifestyle: she is
He visited over 70 countries and dived on
that an ordinary mortal has no chance to
a yogini and a vegetarian. Also engaged in
5 continents (the other two are planned for
see. Over ten years ago, for this passion,
ecological projects. Sharks and their protec-
next year's expeditions). For several years
I abandoned the prospering business and
tion are especially close to her heart. She
he has also been an instructor and trainer of
founded the company Ocean-Tech, which in
writes about the subject in numerous arti-
the unmanned aircraft flights. A co-author
fact is an online store www.nurkowyswiat.pl”
cles and on her blog www.divingandtravel.pl.
of a travel agency for divers www.dive-away.
She began her adventure with diving fifteen
pl. He documents his expeditions with pho-
years ago by total coincidence. Today she is
tos and descriptions of his journeys on his
a Divemaster, she visited over 60 countries
and dived on 5 continents. She invites us for a joint journey with the travel agency www. dive-away.pl, of which she is a co-founder.
o u r au t h o r s
Diver from 2008. Passionate of the Red
A graduate of the University of Warsaw. An
A graduate of two Poznan universities, the
Sea and pelagic ocean predators. Devoted
underwater photographer and filmmaker,
Academy of Physical Education (coaching
to the idea of protecting dolphins, sharks
has been diving since 1995. A co-operator
specialization – handball) and the Univer-
and whales. He dives mainly where you can
at the Department of Underwater Arche-
sity of A. Mickiewicz, Faculty of Biology
meet these animals and monitor the level
ology at the University of Warsaw. He pub-
(specialty of experimental biology). He con-
of their well-being. Member of Dolphinar-
lishes in diving magazines in Poland and
nected his professional life with this first
ia-Free Europe Coalition, volunteer at Tethys
abroad. The owner of the FotoPodwodna
university trying to influence the direction
Research Institute and Cetacean Research &
company which is the Polish representa-
of development of future professionals on
Rescue Unit, associate of Marine Connec-
tive of Ikelite, Nauticam, Inon, ScubaLamp
the one hand, and on the other planning
tion. For 10 years he has been involved
and implementing research, pushing labo-
in research on wild dolphin populations
riously in the right direction of the stroller
and audits dolphinariums. Together with
called science. In his free time he spends
the team ”NO! For the Dolphinarium” he
his time actively – his main passions are
prevents dolphins from captivity and pro-
sailing (sea helmsman), skiing (downhill
motes knowledge about dolphin therapy
skiing instructor), riding a motorcycle, rec-
unsaid or concealed by centers which make
reational diving and many other activities,
money on this form of animal therapy.
as well as photography, mainly nature.
Big Blue to marka stworzona przez nurka i miłośnika morskiej fauny, Rolanda St John jako Big Blue Aquatic Gifts. Biżuteria i breloczki z motywami ośmiornic, żółwi morskich, rekinów i innych gatunków, powstają w USA są w ykańczane ręcznie, ukazują piękno i różnorodność morskich stworzeń. Jako dystrybutor Big Blue by Roland St John, Ocean-Tech Sp. z o.o. w pełni podziela zachwyt twórcy nad mieszkańcami oceanicznych głębin. Breloczki, wisiorki, bransoletki i kolczyki Big Blue dostępne są na: nurkowyswiat.pl i sklep.ocean-tech.pl. Biżuteria
BY RO L A ND S T J O H N
to idealy pomysł na oryginalny i wyjątkowy prezent.
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Underwater Video Light D910V Max 5000 Lumens
ula wróblewska A lawyer by profession, by passion a cave diver, an underwater photography enthusiast and in an overhead environment. Since 2012, he has been a co-creator of the Polish diving portal Jolly Diver. Diving is freedom for me... a feeling I've been cultivating for almost 11 years, for over a year in complete silence in a closed circuit. I spend every free moment under water. I am still idealistic about the issue of diving safety, expecting an open discussion about diving accidents. www.jollydiver.com; email@example.com
CREE COB LED 120 degree wide angle beam Color temperature 5700K, CRI: RA 92
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katarzyna makowicz An ordinary amateur diver who loves nature. A biologist by profession. She has been diving since 2010. ”Diving is a rest for me, a form of meditation. I am
Cree XM-L2(U4) LED, max 1000 lumens output Uses 1*18650/2*CR123A/2*16340 battery Mechanically head rotary switch offers high reliability underwater
constantly in awe of the beauty of the underwater world and try to discover its new faces as much as possible. By the way, I take pictures, which is my second passion.”
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anna sznajder, mateusz sznajder We are married with one and a half years of experience, we were united, among others, by the love of smaller and larger travels. We make the daily routine
Uses 5* CREE LEDs, max 4000 lumens 90°~180° angle adjustable cable Suitable for both back mount and side mount diving
more enjoyable planning our next trip. The thrill of excitement that appears before each of our next trips color our life. Most of our trips must include in their schedule the time devoted to diving, because Mateusz has been developing his underwater passion for many years and uses every opportunity to dive in a new place.
Kup do końca tego roku dowolną latarkę OrcaTorch, a dostaniesz pierwszy numer magazynu Perfect Diver 2020 GRATIS!!!
Phone: +48 608 520 374 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.orcatorch.eu https://www.facebook.com/OrcaTorchPolska
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GrĂźner See Text and photos Marcin TrzciĹ„ski
It is getting colder and colder. I feel it especially in my feet, where three beautiful cuts in neoprene dry suit have appeared. This is how ends up the desire to help a fellow human being accompanied by the excess of my own recklessness.
eing accustomed to the strong E. Lite suits I did
not think that it was not a good idea to kneel
in a delicate neoprene dry suit on hard and sharp rocks forming the bottom of an Alpine lake. Even if
I was asked for help by a grey-haired diver who had trouble putting on his fins. Soon this possible ances-
through former imperial territory and it was appro-
tor of the entire underwater community (compared
priate to get ready for a meeting with the cuisine of
to whom even Jacques Cousteau seemed a young-
His Highness Franz Joseph I, right? I completed the
ster) was flitting somewhere in the crystal-clear, icy
journey in the evening in Bruck an der Mur where,
water from the melting glacier, while I was shaking
apart from a comfortable bed in the guesthouse,
like a Polish Fiat 126p with a badly adjusted carbu-
a Wiener Schnitzel commonly called pork chop was
rettor and driving on 86-octane poor quality fuel.
awaiting me, served with spicy potato salad with onion. And with raw salads. The meal was fabulous.
The whole adventure started so good... The journey to Austria was a real pleasure. The last traces of
No less pleasant was the morning: brightened by
winter gave way just as we passed Częstochowa,
the sun, fresh greenery and surrounding the valley
Poland, and I could enjoy the warm spring sun-
Alpine peaks in the upper parts still covered with
shine. I was so sunshine-starved that I didn't even
snow. There was no need for me to hurry as I had
mind that the sun was shining straight into my eyes
only thirty kilometres to the lake, while the rest of
on the way south. I just played the Cafe Museum au-
the team, suffering from insomnia, had only passed
diobook by Robert Makłowicz I had recently bought
Wiener Neustadt. They had been banging about in
and enjoyed the stories about the cuisine of the
their old Opel Vivaro all night, but still in relation
Austro-Hungarian Empire. After all, I was travelling
to our arrangements they were roughly two hours
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
late. How long can you wait anyway? After a por-
ed donkey, towards the lake. Finally got there.
tion of hot sausages with crispy rolls, I finally set off
Standing waist-deep in water, I was waiting for my
for the lake, only to get stuck just behind the town
friends when a voice calling from the side brought
in a column of divers driving towards Grüner See.
me back to reality. A wrinkled like a walnut, tooth-
Four Dutch vans toiled, barely panting, in front of
less diver was looking around helplessly. I guessed
me, preceded by cars from Italy, France, the Czech
he could not bend, so putting on his fins was quite
Republic and Germany. All loaded to the limits
a challenge for him. I understood him well, because
with equipment and divers. When me and the long
I don't like gymnastics myself. Especially with all the
column of vehicles finally reached the parking lot
gear on my back. I carefully put my camera away
at the Seehof guesthouse, I was surprised to find
and then... you know what happened next.
that the guests gathered there had seriously taken down to diving since the early dawn. They even ac-
Interestingly, at first I didn't even notice the prob-
tually entered water instead of just talking about it.
lem. Annoying coldness was not surprising, after all
In fact, some of them were already surfacing after
no one expects tropical temperatures in the water
their first dive. However, as I still had some time,
from the melting glacier, right? Ready, steady, go!
I took a winding path along the lake shore and went
The omnipresent buzzing disappeared suddenly
for a walk to capture a few shots of the area.
leaving only the hum of the diving regulator and brilliant, undisturbed visibility. It was ... beautiful!
Finally, our team was complete and we could get
We set off along the left shore, with a path winding
ready to enter the water. An undersuit, a dry suit,
below the water surface to guide us. Apparently,
a cylinder... I finally assembled everything and
it was leading towards a wooden bridge hidden
pushed myself slowly, treading like an overload-
somewhere in the distance and we thought it
would be nice to check it out. It was only a pity that the water level had dropped so that the benches in the area were already over the surface. But it was great anyway! You see, Grüner See lake is fed with waters from melting Alpine glaciers, so its depth
…Grüner See lake is fed with waters from melting Alpine glaciers, so its depth and surface change with the
and surface change with the seasons. That day it
seasons. That day it was quite far away
was quite far away from the maximum depth of
from the maximum depth of about
about 12 meters, and in the deepest place there was a chance for 7 metres, but we didn't mind. There was nothing to despair, although we missed
12 meters, and in the deepest place there was a chance for 7 metres…
a lot of attractions. The bottom covered with green grass slowly began to become shallow, so that after a while I almost drugged my belly on the grass,
it. All at once and with no order, but wonderful-
having the cylinder partly on the surface. But in
ly lifting grass and clods of soil from the bottom.
front of me... there was the half-flooded wooden
Just great. It is by far calmer even in a henhouse
bridge awaiting. Only the top of the railing protrud-
during a heated debate of its tenants about the
ed over the surface, while the rest was under water.
new rooster. I waited for a while next to the bridge
It seemed however, that it was not only us who
desiring to take a picture, and for a moment I even
had decided to go here, as the place looked like
had the illusion that it got a little more loosely, but
Bald Mountain (Łysa Góra, Poland) on the night of
just then another group of divers arrived and the
the Witch Sabbath. The divers tried to sit on the
game started all over again. To get a wide shot was
bridge, on its handrails, swim above and below
a pipe dream.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
Instead of wasting time waiting for something that had zero chance of realization, the boys and I headed towards a little deeper water, in the direction of the opposite shore. I glided smoothly over the stony and grassy bottom, which as the depth increased, became increasingly rocky and devoid of greenery. I guess I was already in the area where water is all the time, even in summer and autumn. Despite everything, it was still beautiful, as the long sun rays penetrated the water creating fantastic, undulating mosaics on the bottom. You could float in the depths almost endlessly, watching the light dancing. Almost endlessly, as it was getting colder and colder. Well, the water temperature did not drop, but more and more litres of pure Alpine mineral water poured into my suit. From the waist down I was already completely wet. Mathematically speaking, the attractiveness of diving is inversely proportional to the level of freezing. I know they don't teach it at school or at any diving course, but believe me, it is true. So, despite the beautiful views, what I missed more and more was the the sun-lit parking lot, where I could change into dry clothes.
And nothing improves your mood like a good meal. So as soon as I got dressed in dry clothes I hurried towards the Seehof's buffet for hot goulash soup. My morale improved with each spoon of the soup, and I finally came up with a plan for further action. I needed to dry the suit a little and then cover the torn leg of the suit with silver tape. From top to bottom, applying several layers. Sure, it wasn't very durable, otherwise everyone would have silver dry suits, but it was better than nothing. In addition, in the trunk I had a spare undersuit, so I expected that all this brilliant MacGyver-style solution would give me at least some comfort on the other dive. Because I wasn't going to let it go. You may not know, but mathematically speaking, the determination to overcome adversities and perform another dive is directly proportional to the number of kilometres travelled to the diving site. And believe me, from Poland to Austria there were quite many of them.
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Not far from Cancun… Text and photos jakub degee
The man picked up a transparent mask with a yellow tube lying on the deck and said: ”This is amazing!” and then jumped into the water. I saw a splash and climbed onto the boat. There was only one person there.
asked the deck hand what had just happened. I heard ”The captain jumped into the water! He
said he had been swimming in these waters for almost 30 years, but he had not seen anything like that yet.” There are many diving goals on my list. There are a few dream ones that I have not accomplished yet. I also have my favourite ones. But on this list there is only one place to which you can fly from Europe changing planes just once (and even directly with a charter flight), and which offers a wide variety of underwater experiences. We are talking about the Yucatán Peninsula. Whenever I talk about travelling to Mexico or when I am flying there, I visualise millions of tourists who are flying to Cancún for their long-awaited vacation, but 99.9% of them do not even realize that they are literally a few kilometres from the greatest natural phenomena on Earth. Almost every diver has heard about cenotes, or Mexican caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites, in which fresh water and salt water mix, causing halocline. In the cenotes themselves, which can be visited throughout the year, there is almost no flora or fauna, but just before immersion you can encounter a turtle and even a small crocodile, if we choose the spot well and we are lucky. In November, a large group of bull sharks appears on the beach in Playa de Carmen, and for weeks or months, depending on their humour and reproductive cycle, they integrate with divers on 25 meters. From January to March, sailfish can be observed in the heat of hunting small fish. However, nothing can compare with the presence of several hundred whale sharks in one place. But how can that be? After all, to see a whale shark one has to fly to the Gálapagos Islands. Then wait until
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
the usual dives finish, and after an overnight boat
ride to Wolf and Darwin Islands finally see the larg-
have also got
est fish in the world. But usually there is just one.
Sometimes there are two or three. And Galápagos
is the greatest diving destination in the world, so
shark food festival
we imagine that nowhere else can be better. In the
and increasingly strin-
Philippines, whale sharks are often seen, but most
gent regulations are being
photos show individuals of small size. There are
introduced each year to give the
also places in Micronesia, where the behaviour of
sharks enough freedom to ensure they keep
fishermen has influenced the animals so much that
coming here. It seems that it works, although you
watching whale sharks resembles a circus more
have to take all the restrictions into account when
than observing nature. But still, none of these plac-
planning your trip to have a positive experience in
es have ever seen as many individuals as at Isla de
the water later.
Isla Mujeres Cancun Yucatan peninsula
Mujeres next to Cancún. The most burdensome for freedivers are limitations Of course, it is not so wonderful every day. However,
on the number of people who can stay in the water
in 2015, when the captain whom I described above
and the need to put on orange life jackets. No mat-
jumped into the water, it was just like that and since
ter how many people are on the boat, currently only
that year none of the following seasons has disap-
two and a guide can enter the water. This rule was
pointed. There are days when you just cannot find
intended to limit the number of people chasing one
a feeding herd of the underwater giants, but usually
shark and increase the control that the guide has
dozens of individuals in one trip is the norm.
over the group. The regulation significantly ham-
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
pered the freedom of nature lovers, but effectively stopped crowds of tourists from crazy group chases. The number of people catching or touching feeding fish has also decreased significantly. There is a solution for everything. The main thing is to choose the right operator. Any boat that has a permit will take us to the same place, but our on-site experience will be dramatically different depending on the operator we chose. Most tourist trips promise ”we will show you a whale shark”. And they keep their word. However, it can be on a very crowded boat and only for 15 minutes. After each participant of the trip jumps into the water and spends the designated time there, many operators decide that they have done their job and depart from the area dominated by a herd of whale sharks.
The world's largest fish will never become boring. It will always be the dream of people who love nature and active leisure. … And to the sharks themselves I wish that tourists would follow the rules and that engine propellers be kind to them.
Then, those who stay on can enjoy in peace and without crowds this wonderful phenomenon of nature. That is why choosing the right operator is so crucial. Another benefit is the possibility of entering the water without a life jacket and freediving with sharks. The rules say that if only one person enters the water with a guide and they are more than 100 m away from another boat, this is allowed. In such conditions, you can be quite freely surrounded by giants eating fish roes, dive with them, admire how they take a vertical position called la botella, or you can hunt manta rays with a camera. The world's largest fish will never become boring. It will always be the dream of people who love nature and active leisure. I wish people who decide to go to Yucatán find good guides and that the conditions are as good as those enjoyed by our group. One of my companions described it best, saying ”if I don't have three whale sharks in the frame, I don't press the shutter. I just have too many photos with one or two individuals!” And to the sharks themselves I wish that tourists would follow the rules and that engine propellers be kind to them.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
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South Africa serengeti of the seas
Text anna sołoducha
Photos edward wronka
The least obvious country in Africa. Unknown, intriguing, even dangerous? It is here that 11 official languages and 3 capitals exist and the landscape of the African bush is intertwined with white, openwork porches of Victorian houses.
Photo Pro Dive
ea lions lie on the rocks, penguins live on the most beautiful beaches of Cape Town, the ”whites” have been liv-
ing on the ”black” soil for generations, Boers at the evening
Sodwana Bay Lodge
”braai” eat antelope meat and drink a local burgundy, and to experience one of the most exciting dives in our lives we
need... tractors. Let us leave the stereotypes at home and fly to South Africa!
north of Durban and 115 km from the border with Mozambique. Sodwana Bay Lodge... everything is in harmony here – the materials from which the houses are made, deer, hornbills and monkeys coming to the terrace, geckos crawling on the walls, peace and overwhelming silence... The diving centre is located on the camp site and the beach is 5 km from the lodge. We go diving in large 10-passenger jeeps, entering the protected area. What captivates me from the first moment are the beautiful, wide beaches, and on them... the tractors. They push the zodiacs boats from the beach into the water so that the skipper can sail deep into the ocean with the right wave. The whole African coast is lined with trucks, pick-ups, tractors, zodiacs and jeeps – you feel like on a construction site, and yet we are in the UNESCO World Heritage area. Sodwana is located in a very geographically unusual area, on the very border of the subtropical and tropical zones. We will see beautiful coral reefs, long, sandy beaches, coastal dunes, a system of lakes and swamps, as well as wetlands covered with papyrus and reeds. Underwater, more than 1,200 species of Indo-Pacific tropical fish live here, hundreds of species of hard and soft corals, sponges, at least 25 species of sharks and rays. Dive sites are determined by the distance from the shore. We dive into the water (at 23°C) of the Two Mile Reef – a 2 km long and 900 m wide reef structure – the largest and most popular reef in the Sodwana Bay complex. Extensive coral gardens, arches, caves and schools of tropical fish make a phenomenal impression on me. Life on the reef is incredibly diverse and surprisingly abundant! Fans of photography are certainly not bored underwater. We admire small shrimp at the ”cleaning station”, thousands of swallowtail sea perches, Moorish idols, turtles, various types of KwaZulu-Natal, which is the land of the Zulu, is charac-
crevalle jacks, scorpionfish, fish leaves, laced mo-
terized by red soil, tropical climate, flattened crowns of
rays, ghost pipefish... We swim through the caves
acacias and high humidity, similar to neighbouring Mo-
hollowed out in the reef and go around the large
zambique or equatorial Kenya. After arriving in Durban,
pinnacles. We admire the pink, orange and brown
the first stop of our trip becomes Sodwana Bay Lodge,
sponges, several meters long, we meet triggerfish,
a typical African camp, located in Park iSimangaliso, un-
large groupers(!) and a huge, human-sized common
touched by human civilization, which lies over 350 km
stingray! The average visibility is 15–20 meters and
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
vertebrate that, according to a scientific theory – became extinct over 60 million years ago. As it turned out, the fish has not undergone the processes of evolution and exist until now in an unchanged form, precisely in the waters of Sodwana. These 2-meter fish, weighing up to 100 kg, were discovered in the year 2000 during a dive in South Africa at a depth of about 100 meters. Earlier, from 1938, individual specimens were already fished in South Africa and Mozambique, but the real scientific breakthrough happened during the dive in Sodwana Bay! The population of these fish is healthy may reach up to 30 m. Depending on the season,
and you can count on a face to face with this ”live
you can find whales, dolphins, whale sharks and
fossil”, however at depths below 60 m.
bull sharks in the waters of Sodwana Bay. On the way to the dive site, we admired dolphins, and in
When the iSimangaliso Park was awarded the sta-
the distance... humpback whales! It is worth men-
tus of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, Nelson
tioning that it may take up to 10–15 minutes to sail
Mandela himself said: ”iSimangaliso must be the only
away from the shore if there is no proper wave.
place on the planet where the oldest land mammal in
Dive guides and helmsmen strictly follow the safety
the world (rhinoceros) and the largest land mammal in
rules – life jackets and foot holders are obligatory
the world (elephant) share the ecosystem with the oldest
when diving in South Africa.
fish in the world (latimeria) and the largest marine mammal (whale) in the world.” And he was right about that.
In addition to the wonderful, very varied, tropical
fauna and flora, Sodwana Bay can boast of one
During a break between dives we spent the night
more thing, namely – latimeria. It is a prehistoric
in the heart of the oldest African reserve, Hluhlu-
we – iMfolozi. Its area is 960 km² of mountainous terrain! In addition to the largest population of the white rhino, you can also meet the other representatives of the Big Five: lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopards. Hilltop Lodge turned out to be another phenomenal place truly in the African style. For two days we were in the centre of the animal world... but this is a story for a separate article. The coast of southern Africa is the home to the largest number of shark species in the world, over 200 in total... and most of them on the Aliwal Shoal reef. Depending on the season of the year, this unique place virtually gives a guarantee of diving together with tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and blacktip sharks. The reef is located at the mouth of the Umkomazi River (uMkhomazi in Zulu), whose name means ”place of female whales” – many of them once used the mouth of the river as breeding grounds. To this day the number of migrating whales is still very large. Aliwal Shoal is a reef formed of petrified sandstone almost 80,000 years ago. The area around the sandbank consisted of dunes, and in heavy rains, sand and slate dissolved to form a calcium carbonate compound, which today is the main part of the shallow. With the displacement of the continental shelf, about 6,500 years ago, sea level rose, causing flooding of the dunes. Over the years, flooded deposits of sand, sea shells and other materials have resulted in a large and sophisticated structure that is known today as Aliwal Shoal. The reef is about 2.5 km long and its width is on average 150 meters. It bears the name of the ship ”Aliwal”, which hit it in 1849. We spend five days in the town of Scottburgh, where we learn the most about the life of a white man in South Africa. It is here that we first notice white enclaves with houses surrounded by a high wall with high voltage barbed wire, we are absolutely prohibited from moving around the city or even leaving the house in the afternoon and evening. We were transported everywhere, cars locked from the inside. Being in Durban, we could only walk along the coastal promenade. Venturing into neighbourhoods where only black South Africans live is strictly prohibited. Al-
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
Photo Pro Dive
sides by a reef with a rocky overhang. After 30 sec-
We looked at the underwater madness of smaller species of fish chased by sharks, we looked at each other and we looked sharks directly in the eye. Adrenaline was at its peak and we did not have enough!
onds of diving, I notice 3 sand tiger sharks, and after a minute... 7–8 specimens. Sharks measured about 2–2.5 m in length and throughout the dive, circled between us. The name ”Raggies” (ragged tooth sharks) comes from their crooked and irregular-looking teeth used to capture prey. Interestingly, behind the front row of teeth are three more rows that constantly move forward, replacing any
though life in this country necessitates compliance
tooth that is damaged or lost (and we pulled a lot
with many rules and is not the easiest, the white
of such teeth out of the sand). During the whole
inhabitants of southern Africa feel at home here.
of their lives, ”Raggies” they can ”produce” about
Despite the specificity of this country, we also feel
a thousand teeth! Subsequent dives on the Aliw-
fantastic, especially when we jump into the water
al Shoal differed only in the bottom topography
for the first time...
– sharks were a permanent element of the landscape. Equally recommendable is the Cathedral
The procedure for reaching the dive sites is exact-
– my favourite dive site on the Aliwal Shoal. The
ly the same as for Sodwana Bay. Beach, tractor,
Cathedral is made of a huge rock arch, forming
zodiac, vests, leg holders and again... seasickness.
a kind of a hole in the southern part of the reef.
We dive! What I saw underwater surpassed my
We see here a natural amphitheatre, created from
wildest expectations. Raggies Cave is a natural
the open, partially roofed hole of almost 20 me-
depression filled with sand and surrounded on all
ters in diameter. The Cathedral is surrounded on
Photo Pro Dive
three sides by coral walls, and the fourth side is
most important thing to do, but not the easiest – we
decorated with an impressive sandstone arch. The
always look sharks straight in the eye...
place was full of sharks. We stared enchanted at the swimming fish until the dive computer warned
It was an unforgettable dive. Great sharks, 3 m
us about decompression. On every dive we met
long, were constantly with us. We looked at the
ragged tooth sharks, loggerhead sea turtles, rays,
underwater madness of smaller species of fish
laced morays... This coral reef has a completely
chased by sharks, we looked at each other and we
different composition from a typical tropical reef.
looked sharks directly in the eye. Adrenaline was at
Algae and soft corals predominate here and cover
its peak and we did not have enough! Such a dive
underwater rocks creating a very interesting topog-
simply has to be experienced...
raphy with many caves and flows. For the second part of the trip, we fly to the very tip The culmination of our immersions with these
of Africa, to the oldest city in South Africa and the
unusual creatures was diving with baited sharks –
place where the world’s first heart transplant was
blacktip sharks. Before entering the water, we get
carried out. It is here that you can taste the best
very detailed instructions on how to behave during
wines in the world, walk for miles on the heavenly
the dive. Due to the fact that human skin glows un-
beaches or live in the luxurious suburbs of Cape
der the water like fish scales, we should remember
Town. From the plane's window we can see the
that our hands must not be visible. It is important
city's business card – Table Mountain with a beau-
to constantly maintain a vertical position – assum-
tiful tablecloth made of clouds above it... I look at
ing a horizontal position we resemble a seal, fish
the ocean a little incredulously... Are we about to
or turtle, i.e. the object of shark's desire. And the
see seals and 30-meter trees beneath its surface?
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
depth of our dive here does not exceed 12 m. Due to the small depth and the huge amount of air bubbles in the water, visibility is not the best. Despite the difficult conditions, we are having a great time with these African predators! They are very delicate and mobile! It is long since I have seen such cute creatures underwater! In addition, the bottom is strewn with all sorts of sponges, anemones, corals, seaweed, sea urchins and starfish with beautiful colours! Underwater, enchanted kelp forests are places where plants grow to the height of trees. Already when sailing on a zodiac to the dive site, we can see from afar wavy
Before we dive into the cold waters of Cape Town
carpets of plants on the surface of the water. We
for the first time, we admire... sea lions lying on
drop to a depth of about 18 m and we see a forest.
the rocks! The most interesting are those carried
Magic, enchanted forest. The kelp forest is a type
by the waves, with fins raised above the water
of marine habitat formed by seaweed (green algae,
surface. They do this because the fins concentrate
brown algae, red algae) found in California, off the
most of the blood vessels that bring heated blood
coast of Scotland, Sweden, the Sargasso Sea or just
to the rest of the body. Due to the fact that the air
off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa. These
temperature is higher than the water temperature,
forests are home to lobsters, crayfish, crabs, as well
the sea lions stay warm in this way. The average
as gully sharks, shy sharks, pajama sharks or sev-
fish in the world, which you can most often find while diving off the coast... of Bali. The reefs are crisscrossed by ravines, and the sunlight breaking through the wavy crowns of ”trees” means that despite the relatively low water temperature (17°C!), our hearts are truly warmed. Impressions? Awesome! One of the most beautiful dives in my life! We ended the expedition in the southern hemisphere visiting the Cape of Good Hope, driving along one of the most picturesque roads in the world – Chapman’s Peak and admiring a penguin colony at Boulders Beach, which has lived there since 1985! These 45-centimetre birds, weighing less than 5 kg, are another showcase of Cape Town, and from there it is only 3,800 km to Antarctica! South Africa is an extremely colourful and diverse country. It has huge deposits of diamonds, gold and platinum. Here we will see real, wild nature, luxurious neighbourhoods and scary slums. South Africa is the state of Nelson Mandela, the stigma of apartheid and of many contrasts. For me, it is above all a real melting pot of marine biodiversity for divers in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, with its beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish, kelp forests and friendly sea lions. It is primarily a country where I experienced one of the best shark dives in my life. South Africa is a real African diamond.
engill cow sharks. We met... Mola mola! It is the largest skeletal
t r av e l s
Text sylwia kosmalska-juriewicz
Photos Adrian Juriewicz, beata tabak
Some people say that it is a waste of life to visit the same places. Wisława Szymborska wrote however in her poem: ”Nothing can ever happen twice...”, which is why I do not share their view. Each journey is a new story to tell, different people, different mornings, sunrises and sunsets that will never happen again.
e flew to the Philippines for the first time six
a tragedy. We wrote an email to the dive centre on
years ago. Exactly three months after the
Malapascua asking to cancel our reservation. The
strongest cyclone in the Haiyan history hit the land.
centre reacted very quickly and wrote back in one
The number of casualties exceeded 6,300 people
sentence: ”The best you can do for us is to come,
and thousands more were considered missing. We
thanks to you we will rebuild our lives faster.” It is
wanted to cancel our trip, we could not imagine
hard to remain indifferent to such words, we de-
how we could rest in a place affected by such
cided not only to fly there, but also to support the
diving centre. We were inspired by a friend, a diver who lives permanently in the USA and who spent
several months in the Philippines. He organized a fundraiser among his friends on FB. We decided
to go one step further and put a collection box in our office, where each customer visiting us could make a symbolic donation to help the inhabitants
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
of Malapascua. The box was small, but the photo
our actions – even the smallest gestures, such as
on it was moving. The photo depicted a little boy
a smile, do not affect anything, but this is not true.
wading in the water up to his neck, carrying a dog
Everything matters and does not remain indiffer-
on his back.
ent to the world and people around us. The Philippines is an island state with over 7600 islands and
I still wonder what really influenced the fact that
islets, one of which is the destination of our January
people turned out to be so generous, whether it
trip. Malapascua is located north of the mainland
was the media talking all the time about the dra-
of Cebu. It can be reached by a local boat leaving
matic situation in the Philippines, or the upcoming
the port of Barangay Maya, the journey takes no
Christmas, or the natural need to do good which
more than thirty minutes. Once the island was called
each of us carries in their heart… The days passed
Logon and even now local residents use this name.
very quickly, the box was filling up, and our trip was
It was changed by the Spaniards a long time ago,
approaching fast. One late afternoon, just before
when their ship got stuck off the coast of the island
the office closed, a client in a thick, red puffer jacket
due to the terrible weather and they were forced to
came in. I remember the jacket exactly because the
spend Christmas holidays on it, away from family
intense red highlighted the swarthy colour of his
and friends. Then they called the island ”Mala Pas-
skin. He looked at the box and covered his face with
cua” which literally means ”bad holiday”. Today, the
his hands to hide his emotion and after a while he
island is extremely popular, especially among divers.
said, ”I was born in Manila, the capital of the Phil-
It became famous in the world due to the unique
ippines. How is it possible that you care about the
diving site – Monad Shoal, where you can observe
fate of my countrymen and how do you know about
a rare species of sharks. These majestic creatures,
the existence of the tiny island of Malapascua???”
gracefully named ”thresher sharks”, attract divers from all over the world and thanks to them Malap-
Sometimes, completely unknowingly, we can change
ascua is able to rebuild quickly after the hurricanes
someone's day, fate or life. It may seem to us that
that very often hit this region of the world.
We flew to the Philippines in January, three months
We dived every day with the local DM Bins, the wa-
after the tragic events that took place there. We did
ter off the island's coast was much colder and not
not know what to expect at all. We landed in Cebu
as transparent as it usually is at this time of year.
in the morning. The city was stuffy, crowded and
Since then I always take a 5 mm wetsuit with me, no
tiring, so we decided to get to Malapascua the same
matter where I go diving and how warm the water
day. We reached the coast of the island late in the
is. The longer I dive, the more my body cools down,
afternoon, it took us the longest to travel from the
that is why now I use a 3 mm wetsuit only in the
airport to the port, a drive of over four hours on
pool, during OWD courses.
roads that were badly damaged. Dives off the Malapascua coast are not demandI remembered the image that appeared to us when
ing except for the Monad Shoal. Sharks can be ob-
we reached the shore: several broken palms stick-
served here before or during sunrise. That is why
ing out of the sand, dogs playing on the beach, seafront hotels and diving centres which did not look damaged at all. It is strange, I thought, I was expecting ruins, and found the buildings intact. As we later learned from our diving guide Bins, all the wooden buildings on the island were completely destroyed by the cyclone. Only brick buildings such as hotels, diving centres and the church where the inhabitants took shelter during the cyclone remained untouched by Typhoon Haiyan. Thanks to this, nobody on the island was killed. Hotels and diving centres were repaired very quickly with the support of foreign capital. Local residents, on the other hand, had to do it on their own. They received no subsidies or donations. They used what was left of their homes to try to rebuild them.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
rope that marks the border to which the diver can
The shark appeared and disappeared in the dark blue waters of the Ocean, moving with incredible grace. It had a beautiful streamlined shape and a long tail fin, which in some
swim, so as not to frighten off the sharks. The rope is a clear sign for those divers who break all the rules and, despite the ban, swim into the cleaning site, because they want to take the best film or photo of a shark. Very often I witness such behaviours
individuals may be as long as the body. Sharks
that occur constantly all over the world. Sometimes
use it to herd and stun fish while hunting.
DMs do not react because they want their client to be happy and write a good review afterwards. I always react as soon as I witness such a situation.
every day we get up at 4:30 in the morning and reach the dive site after a 50-minute boat trip dur-
We wait in suspense until the first thresher shark
ing which we admire a spectacular sunrise. Monad
appears. Meeting a shark always arouses great
Shoal is the top of an underwater hill with a flat
emotions in me and I look forward to it with great
surface on which sharks indulge in cleaning and
anticipation. We wait, floating just above the sandy
care treatments provided by tiny cleaner fish.
bottom. It only lasts a moment, then I hear a metallic sound, it was Bins who first saw it and alert-
We dive very slowly, the rays of the rising sun pene-
ed the whole group. The shark emerged from the
trate the water surface and create colourful slides.
abyss and swam very close at hand. The face of
Sunlight is very important to us, because when div-
a thresher shark is very friendly, reminiscent of
ing with thresher sharks you cannot use artificial
a dolphin. I held my breath and felt like I was watch-
lighting or flashlights (they could frighten them).
ing a slow-motion movie. The shark appeared and
We stop at a depth of 27 m near a thick, braided
disappeared in the dark blue waters of the Ocean,
moving with incredible grace. It had a beautiful streamlined shape and a long tail fin, which in some individuals may be as long as the body. Sharks use it to herd and stun fish while hunting. It is difficult to capture the shark's beauty with a video or photo camera due to the considerable depth and the ban on the use of artificial light. Destiny or maybe an accident made us meet Bins, who with great passion told us about Malapascua, on which there are no asphalt roads, cars or scooters. The island turns green during the monsoon, and becomes barren in the dry season. He talked about tourists who celebrate life and admire spectacular sunsets, resting on comfortable pouffes on the shore of the ocean, about colourful lanterns hanging from trees, and a musician who plays romantic ballads on the guitar in the evenings. There was a story of the thresher sharks, which he loves. However, the most moving moment was when he talked about his family. About his wife and children, whom he loved more than his life and about the dream of building a brick house for them ... We managed to make this dream come true thanks to the support of our friends and clients from Poland. We gave all the money we collected to Bins. My friend, writer Magda always repeats: ”We never know when we will experience happiness – we should definitely be ready for it every day.” This year we returned to Malapascua again in May. There were many more tourists on the island, several new hotels, an outdoor disco and a casino. Local diving centres have also introduced fees for using cameras and camcorders during the dive, which seems to be completely absurd. We lost contact with Bins a year and a half ago, when he sold the house and moved out of the island. What I value most in Malapascua has however remained unchanged: thresher sharks and the unique easygoing attitude that prevails on the island.
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t r av e l s
Viva la Cuba libre! Text and photos Anna Sznajder, mateusz sznajder
Probably everyone has already heard something about Cuba, an island as hot as a volcano. Most people at least partly remember its turbulent history during the second half of the twentieth century.
Photo Wojciech Zgoła
he whole world knows the names of the revolu-
nothing should rush them. They had to adapt their
tionaries, Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara
lifestyle to the conditions of a communist country.
and everyone is familiar with names such as the
Everything may be lacking: tap water, basic goods
Bay of Pigs or the military base in Guantanamo, but
in the shops, electricity, internet, but never rum
this small island offers much more.
From the beginning of its turbulent history, Cuba
Tourists wanting to enjoy the charms of Cuba must
witnessed the mixing of three incredibly different
accept some shortcomings and deficiencies result-
cultures: Spanish colonizers, Indian natives and
ing from the specific economic situation of Cuba, to
African slaves. Together, these cultures have pro-
which the locals have adapted thanks to the natural
duced an amazing mix visible in architecture, art,
ability to get creative and create something out of
world-famous Cuban rhythms which have the pow-
nothing. This makes them a bit like the nation of
er to make the most reluctant person dance, or in
the country through which the Vistula river flows.
the Cuban way of life.
The most important thing for tourists is to chill out and not to get stressed, just like native Cubans, af-
Cuba is a small island surrounded on one side by
ter all we are on holidays, and their holidays last
the Atlantic Ocean and on the other by the Carib-
all year. Definitely, world-famous Cuba drinks such
bean Sea. The hot and humid climate makes the
as Cuba Libre, Mojito and Daiquiri can help us feel
island rich in wonderful flora and fauna, which is
in this way.
especially attractive to Europeans, because who among us would not be happy to see dolphins,
The capital of Cuba – Havana is a mixture of beau-
pelicans or wonderful ripe mangoes, coconuts or
tiful restored colonial buildings in the centre and
pineapples hanging at our fingertips.
fascinating, but very run-down places which over the years fell into neglect as a penance for their sin
The Cuban way of life is also specific and you must
of being a playground for the American elite in the
accept it to fit in there. Cubans are in no hurry,
first half of the 20th century.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
It is normal to see beautiful, restored American cars
ful cities of the Caribbean Sea basin are Cienfuegos
driving on the streets of Havana, which attract the
eyes of tourists, as well as little Fiats, Ladas or other museum exhibits on wheels that have served their
Formerly surrounded by sugar cane plantations,
owners for generations.
Cienfuegos became aÂ place for sugar barons to compete in building beautiful palaces that can be
The city is teeming with life, the inhabitants look
admired to this day.
happy despite the visible poverty and destruction in many places. On the streets, the spirit of colo-
Trinidad, though, is the best preserved colonial city
nialism mixes with the wind of the revolution, of
in Latin America. Colourful houses and palaces look
which we are constantly reminded by images of
like they were taken alive from the times when the
the most famous revolutionaries visible on many
Spaniards led their way in these areas. Walking
buildings, especially the world-famous image of Er-
through the paved streets, you can feel as if time
nesto Che Guevara, who has permanently entered
had stopped here.
our pop culture. This being Cuba, there must be places constantly
The southern side of the island attracts tourists
reminding us of the most important heroes of the
with its Caribbean Sea beaches. The most beauti-
revolution and their fight for free Cuba. The city
of Santa Clara is tirelessly taking care of the memory of Che Guevara, and the Gulf of Pigs region
There are no private diving
reminds us of the victory of revolutionaries against
centres here, the state
the American enemy.
economy rules, and therefore
For fans of sunbathing and water attractions, the most important place in Cuba are the beaches of
you need to be patient and have a positive attitude.
the Hicacos Peninsula. A place created especially for tourists, where kilometres of golden beaches and the azure of the Atlantic will satisfy every lover
diving centres here, the state economy rules, and
of sun and sea bathing.
therefore you need to be patient and have a positive attitude. Fortunately, a Spanish-speaking holiday
But the Hicacos Peninsula (where the resort town
rep will be happy to help you arrange diving. There
of Varadero is located) is also a real paradise for
is no need to look for more or less competitive offers
divers. To be so far away from home and not be
– the price is imposed in advance by the state tourist
tempted to explore the undersea world would
operator and only through it you can book a diving
date. The whole situation looked quite funny. The holiday rep phoned the local state tourist office, this
So, diving, diving, diving! Nothing difficult, just find
office phoned the dive centre, which had to contact
a recommended diving centre and arrange a suit-
us with the person responsible for organizing dives
able date... but not in Cuba. There are no private
at that time... such a game of Chinese whispers...
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
es – of course no Polish). Fortunately, the team from
When the time comes to ascend,
the dive centre could easily communicate in Eng-
the guides lead us to a dropping
lish, which is not standard in Cuba. It is enough to
rope, enforcing the mandatory 3-minute stop – full control of the situation on their part.
mention the complications at the airport, when the charming customs agent ladies did not want to let me through the security control because of the dive computer in my hand luggage. Well, it was not so easy to explain to the non-English speaking ladies that it was not spy equipment of the Americans.
We succeeded. The matter is settled – two diving days reserved. Four dives from a boat with equip-
As for the diving equipment that the diving centre
ment cost 120 euros. I was to dive with the Barra-
had at its disposal, well, the equipment was a little
cuda Scuba Diving Centre.
worn, but after all it had to earn money all the time. The centre staff was helpful in choosing the right
Transport from the diving centre came for me on
size of equipment. Even before entering the water,
time. After arriving at the port, all paperwork be-
I saw a manometer of one of the guides, all rusted
gan: filling out health declarations, declaration of
and flooded with water inside. I asked its owner
the diver level, questions about the last dive and
if this manometer was all right, the guide smiled
number of dives performed – this was a standard
and said that it was working and finally added: this
procedure (statements available in several languag-
For me, diving was organized very well, the group was divided into two parts according to their level of advancement. A guide was assigned to each group. Before each descent into the water, briefing: the guides explain exactly where we dive, what depth we can expect, what we absolutely must not do underwater. The water is azure, very pleasant and its temperature ranges between 27–29°C at a depth of 30 meters. We are having a very nice time underwater. When the time comes to ascend, the guides lead us to a dropping rope, enforcing the mandatory 3-minute stop – full control of the situation on their part. Of the four dives I had in Cuba, the most interesting for me was diving on the wreck of a Soviet patrol boat. The wreck is located at a depth of 30 meters but its superstructure begins already at 12 meters. The wreck is preserved in good condition. Very pleasant to watch from the outside, unfortunately the guides did not allow its exploration inside. There are several turrets with cannons on the wreck, and we saw a very large number of lionfish circling around one of the turrets, but what can I say, in such transparent and warm water, the underwater life captivates with its abundance and richness of colours. Lovers of flora and fauna will certainly not be disappointed, while amateurs of metal stuff can admire the wreck itself and everyone will return from diving in a truly Cuban mood – happy and relaxed.
Photo Wojciech Zgoła
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k n ow l e dg e
In the middle of 2019, its premiere had a mobile app: Divers Alert Network (DAN). We will try to take a closer look at the possibilities of the application and briefly present to you the operation of the app.
oday it is hard to find a diver who does not
people who have not read the insurance terms
use a smartphone with Internet access. In re-
and conditions – here we will find all essential in-
sponse to the needs of most users, in the DAN
formation in a form of bulleted list.
application we will primarily find our DAN card confirming the insurance, its type and duration.
In the profile in the DAN application we can also fill
In most diving centres and bases presenting an
in our data, e.g. contact number and notifications.
electronic card is sufficient when registering for
a dive. On this card, which can be easily flipped
However, apart from the things that we can also
over with the touch of a screen, we can also find
find on the plastic version of the card, the applica-
basic information about what our insurance cov-
tion has a very important functionality – its main
ers. This information is very useful especially for
screen has a round SOS button.
After entering the SOS menu, we can select one of the three options – call the DAN Emergency hotline, send our geolocation data and enter the option with the scheme of proceedings in case of emergency. The contact field for the DAN Emergency Hotline initiates a direct connection with the DAN alarm number and reports an emergency or accident. Sending geolocation data causes – provided the GPS is enabled in the smartphone – sending our current location to the DAN centre. This can significantly facilitate determination of our location, especially in remote, not well known places. On the other hand, the guidance menu in the event of an emergency gives us access to the latest schemes of conduct, both in the form of a graphical flowchart and in a descriptive form. In addition to the SOS part, the DAN application gives us access to selected articles published on the pages of Alert Diver, so that we can get acquainted with curiosities and news in the field of diving, diving medicine or diving journeys. We will also find there a calendar to check which European diving events in the nearest (or more distant) time as well as meet the DAN team. An interesting option of the application is also the possibility to directly communicate with DAN specialists – we can write a message about the issue we are interested in, choose the scope of our message – e.g. membership, insurance, training, events, etc. And after entering the content, we can send it directly to people responsible for this particular scope of service in DAN. Interestingly, active DAN members can also carry out a medical consultation as part of the communication through the application. As part of the benefits package, each DAN member has the opportunity to consult their, even most unusual, health issues in the context of diving with hyperbaric medicine specialists. Now you can do it even easier than before – through the DAN application.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
t r av e l s
the pearl of the julian alps
Text and photos katarzyna makowicz
The lake located on the outskirts of the Triglav National Park and surrounded by mountain peaks is undoubtedly one of Slovenia's landmarks.
Maribor lake bled
The goal of our holiday trip was to traverse the Alpine trails climbing on our way the highest peak Ljubljana
of Slovenia – Triglav. However, it is difficult for me to imagine a really enjoyable trip without diving. I started to browse the Internet in search of water reservoirs at the foot of the mountains so that we could plunge under the surface of water at least
for a moment without changing our plans... I came he water surface is 475 m above sea level and
across a centre offering diving in the beautiful Lake
the area 145 hectares. It is 2.1 km long, 1.3 km
Bled. I was encouraged by photos showing clean,
wide with a maximum depth of 30.6 m. Thanks
emerald water, large catfish and zander. So after
to active thermal springs supplying water to the
arriving at the place, we contacted the local centre
northern part of the lake, the temperature here
and arranged our diving. The diving centre is run
reaches 26°C, which makes it the warmest of the
by a delectable Matiaz Repnik and it was him who
was our guide during the dive.
August in Slovenia is the month most crowded with tourists. This is because of the location of the route surrounding the lake and the crowds of bathing tourists, who besiege each and every unbuilt patch of the shore. They effectively roil the crystal-clear waters, causing the drop in visibility under water to 3–5 m. Being accustomed to diving in Polish waters, this did not discourage us. We made an appointment at the Grand Hotel on the lakeside, in the very centre of the town. We dived right next to the hotel and followed our guide under the wooden bridge – a platform, stretching along the shore for about 100 m. After a while we saw the first large catfish. During over an hour of diving, we met dozens of them, from 0.5 m to 1.5 m long. In the light of our flashlights they emerged here
In addition to catfish, we found herds of zander,
and there, hidden among the wooden beams of
perch and pike under the platform and in the
the bridge, between which we were manoeuvring
depths. Unfortunately, it was impossible to see carp,
in the dimness. They did not escape when I was
though it is said that in the lake's waters there are
approaching them with the camera, just floated
about 50 over 30-kilo giants. I don't think I had met
lazily away a meter or two.
so many big, freshwater fish in one place earlier.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
To sum up, it is definitely worth diving in this area,
In addition to catfish, we found herds of zander, perch and pike under the platform and in the depths. … I don't think I had met so many big, freshwater fish in one place earlier.
but I advise you against travelling there during the summer months. Crowds of tourists and traffic jams make Bled resemble popular seaside resorts in peak season. In addition, finding accommodation at an affordable price is almost impossible. We were staying in a tent on a campsite, several kilometres from the lake. If you do not mind Spar-
The next day we had one more dive in the Sava
tan conditions, I recommend you two such places
River: fairly strong current, crystal water and
– Camping Garden Park with a beautiful view of the
flocks of rainbow trout whirling around. What
mountains and Robinson River Camp, where you
a great experience.
can put up a tent right on the banks of the stream.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
t r av e l s
Hemmoor a story of threatening german rules and regulationsâ€Ś
Text maciej jurasz
Photos krzysztof malengowski
We, Poles, clearly have a problem whenever anyone tries to impose anything on us, gives us orders or forces us to do anything. This, obviously, ensues from the history of our wonderful country and neighbouring powers, whose policies and actions have undoubtedly left their mark on our national identity. Somewhere deep under the skin, even today, in the 21st century and in free Poland, if we are told to do anything, we ask ourselves whether we really have to comply with this or that requirement.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
few years ago I com-
dread to think', ‘Maciej, Germans control everything,
pleted a successful trip
even your dive computers after leaving the water’,
to the area of German Dres-
‘Maciej, just do not conduct any training there, you
den to explore local quar-
are not allowed to, it's forbidden’ and so on.
ries flooded with water. In Poland we had three, and now
Now, while writing this article, when I confront my
there are just two such reser-
experience of Hemmoor with what I had heard be-
voirs (Jaworzno and Piechcin),
fore my journey, I can laugh at all those ridiculous
while in Germany there is a real
stories rumouring in Poland about such a beauti-
abundance of them. What posi-
ful, charming and safe diving site as Hemmoor is.
tively surprised me were the very
Due to the fact that professionally I train mainly in-
good infrastructure and diving cen-
structors and sometimes analyse diving accidents,
tres open all year round at these more attractive
while visiting a diving site, I appreciate it in terms of
reservoirs. Ant it was on my way back from Dres-
attractiveness of its flora and fauna, but I also pay
den – it was well more than 10 years ago – when
a lot of attention to the organization of the diving
I first heard about the Hemmoor quarry.
site and safety at the facility. So, how is it really in the Hemmoor quarry?
From Poznań to Hemmoor, depending on the route,
there are 650–750 km if travelling through western
After a day of the journey, we reached the quar-
Germany around Hamburg, which gives us at least
ry in the evening, where a key to our hotel room
eight hours by bus with all the gear – so because
was waiting for us, and the hotel itself was located
of the distance I didn't feel like going there. Finally,
literally 3 minutes from the entrance to the wa-
however, I had done some research and had been
ter. The apartment was clean, spacious, with its
slowly gathering information to be prepared as
own kitchen. Really high standard. At 8.00 in the
much as possible to actually dive there, since trav-
morning we went diving, holding our medical cer-
elling that far away to the other end of Germany.
tificates confirming our ability to dive, we had our
Internet is just internet, so what I based mainly on
licenses and diving cylinders with current verifica-
was information from those who had been there.
tion, two valves, with two separate first stages – in
And these accounts concentrated mainly on threat-
a word, we were ready to face the requirements of
ening: ‘Maciej, I am not sure if you will dive there.
the Hemmoor diving site. In the office where we
Germans demand such certificates that I even
bought tickets (11 euros a day), a very nice gentle-
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
man put down the data of my group and handed to us the rules and regulations of the facility... note this... in Polish! The first thing I noticed was the lack of all those terrifying standards, orders and bans. With great interest I studied the 13 rules and what did I find? You need to dive according to the guidelines of an accredited training organizations. The maximum limits are 45 m of diving on air, 1.4 ppO2 for the
The above rules were so natural to me that I asked a nice gentleman at the reception desk for the remaining pages of these regulations . But that was all. I just couldn’t understand why in Poland I had heard earlier such distorted opinions about that place.
operating phase, 1.6 ppO2 for the decompression phase, and END for Trimix is 30 m. The student-instructor ratio during technical training is 2:1; in
The above rules were so natural to me that I asked
addition, you must have insurance against diving
a nice gentleman at the reception desk for the re-
accidents and a diving scheme, as well as a cer-
maining pages of these regulations. But that was
tificate confirming that you are certified to train
all. I just couldn’t understand why in Poland I had
others – if you do so – on a rebreather or scooter,
heard earlier such distorted opinions about that
if you dive with a scooter. The centre reserves the
place. Were we, the Poles, so horrified that some-
right to prohibit diving to those who, while diving,
one was forcing us to follow what simply seemed
pose a threat to other divers, do not comply with
to be an ordinary security standard? A verified cyl-
the regulations or have not registered at all in the
inder, insurance and diving according to the ac-
diving centre office.
quired qualifications and experience. In addition,
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
the owner of the centre employed people who worked as rescuers, who emerged with the first aid kit at the marked exits from the water and actually checked after surfacing whether you hadn’t lost your partner, if you felt good and if you hadn’t exceeded the limits of safe diving. At the same time, their approach to their tasks and activities was very professional and in my opinion it translated into the maximum improvement in safety at the diving facility. Although I am aware of the controversy of this procedure, I believe that this solutions from the Hemmoor quarry should be implemented in the entire diving industry. Now, what can we see under water there? The photos in this article only partially reflect the beauty of this place, which you simply have to visit in person. At the registration point you get a map where you have 42 attractive diving positions marked. Characteristic for the quarries cascaded walls end at a depth of 56 m. There are 7 sites around the facility from which you can enter the water, and each entrance can be approached by car. There are also comfortable tables everywhere on which you can put your equipment. Visibility under water is 30–40 m and this is the standard; only in winter it reaches 50 m. However, should you look for any objects at the bottom, it will be all in vain, as they are suspended in a really ingenious way in the depths of water; such is the case with a well-preserved plane wreck, which seems to be ‘flying’ in the depths of clear water. Boats, cars big and small, planes, an artificial shark, a bridge... there are enough attractions for as many as 4–6 long scooter dives. On the social networking site you can find at least two Polish groups of divers from Hamburg, who will help you with honest congeniality and a smile and provide you with factual information, and if necessary, they will share their soup cooked over the bonfire with you. Summarising, Hemmoor is a safe and attractive place, with great diving centre logistics, a visit to which, despite hundreds of kilometres, is a must.
Poznań, October 2019
Court expert at the Regional Court in Poznan PADI Platinum Course Director Płetwal Poznań Diving Center email@example.com +48 501 472 997
c av e s
an old limestone mine between dresden and meissen
A stony landscape of melancholic beauty deep underground.
Text irena kosowska
Photos ula wrรณblewska
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
miltitz Leipzig Dresden
A bit of history
and cleared again to fill the lower, empty spaces
The extraction of limestone
with gravel and prevent the collapse of other parts
and small amounts of silver
of the tunnels as well as landslides. However, at
ore at Miltitz probably began
the end of the 1960s, these pumps were turned off
around 1400 A.D. and the
forever, and the mine filled with water again to the
first documented data on the
state we know today.
open pit dates back to 1571. The mine was operated up to the 19th century when the min-
The Miltitz mine has been open to the public for sightseeing and diving since 2000.
ing operations were moved to the currently lowest tunnels at a depth of 60 meters. At
Some practical information
the beginning of the 20th century, due to the high
Diving in Miltitz is only possible for a few months
level of groundwater, the lower parts of the mine
in the year and only after signing up previously for
began to collapse, and mining was transferred to
a specific date. Diving dates are announced at the
other nearby mother-loads. In 1924, after the mine
beginning of the season and the entire season is
ceased to be exploited, the existing mine tunnels
quickly booked by divers ‘in advance’, so it is not
unusual that trying to sign up for the dive we will have to wait even a year, until the next season.
During World War II, there was a plan to use the
mine again for the production of aviation fuel and
Registration is only possible through two diving
aircraft parts. However, this project was never com-
schools: Tauchtreff Dresden (Peter Panitz) and
pleted. After the war, the corridors were drained
Cave-diving.de (Udo Krause). The diving costs
40 euros and the advance payment is made at the
surface level – of course, the equipment needed
time of registration.
to be transported for quite a distance, but there was lighting everywhere, hard ground, and it was
It is not possible to fill the gases on site – for this
possible to borrow a wheelbarrow on the spot (and
purpose it is necessary to go to Dresden.
it came in handy!). It is cold in the mine – about 8°C, so even in summer apart from appropriate foot-
To sign up for diving in Miltitz, you must provide
wear you should have suitable clothing and a cap.
the required documents, such as diving insurance covering cave diving, medical certificate of no con-
traindications to diving, cave diving certificate of
The flooded part of the mine itself has several lev-
a recognized diving organization and licenses for
els: starting from the level at a depth of 6 meters,
the gases used. It is forbidden to use DPV scooters.
partly being a mine lake, in which you can come to surface with no problems, to a huge hall at a lev-
Parking spots are available next to the mine, very
el of 60 meters. The deepest spot of the mine is
close to the entrance. The dry part, including toilets,
allows you to comfortably get changed, get warm and have a rest. Logistics at the very entrance to
In Miltitz mine we spent in water less than 5 hours
the water is at a very high level – we were greatly
during two diving days and it was enough time to
impressed by steel benches for equipment, bench-
sightsee all tunnels. The mine is very easy to move
es to get changed and a rescue system including
around and very well roped at levels of the same
a hydraulic winch. Compared to other mines we
depth – if we want to descend to the next, low-
knew, this one was extremely user-friendly on the
er corridor, we must ‘jump’ – i.e. spread our own
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
rope between the existing ones. Dedicated places
tic several meters high walls and stairs leading
for jumps are easily found even for someone who
us down to Adolf-von-Heynitz-Halle at a depth of
is in the mine for the first time.
63 meters. At the lower level of 45 meters another tunnel opens before us.
Diving in Miltitz, despite the relatively small area to visit, provides a lot of diverse experiences. Incredi-
Many tools, signs, old labels and markings, entire
bly pale blue and almost unrealistically transparent
cabling and communication systems, as well as
water allows you to enjoy all parts of the mine with
e.g. a bicycle, have remained from mining times.
delight. Visibility of 40–60 meters is an absolute
The shallower levels are riddled with rusty remains
standard here. The rocks around us change – once
of mine transport systems. The remains of shoe
they are more brownish, then white and grey or
traces are also very impressive – almost as if the
clearly shiny. From the bottom not only limestone
water flooded the mine that night. Thanks to all
and marble were quarried, but also calcite and
this, while sightseeing we can find something inter-
pyrite crystals, and even fine solid silver wires on
esting or surprising every now and then.
the edge of the mother-lode. Is it silver which is so shiny there?
After the dives we definitely better understood the structure of Miltitz mine and the diving map,
While diving here, we will find typical ‘square’ cor-
which had looked quite strange to us before. The
ridors with remains of railway sleepers, such as
old mine resembles a huge, regularly patterned hall.
a tunnel stretching for 24 meters, in which we are
The dome is made of the rock, the uneven floor of
‘scared’ by an artificial skeleton, a spacious ‘cave’
which tilts at a depth at the angle of about 45 de-
level at 34 meters ended with a hall and majes-
grees. It is a giant cave in which stone pillars were
bers between the pillars are 8 meters wide and long and about 12 meters high. We can see many old inscriptions on the pillars. These are so-called Markscheider inscriptions, permanent notes of surveyors. When planning a dive to levels at a depth of 30–34 meters, we can use air. When planning to circumnavigate the lower corridor and lower hall, an absolute requirement is trimix, and an additional stage with 18/45 trimix for the diving group, which is left at the entrance in the event of a rescue operation. Each pair just before entering the dive gives their assigned number, and rescue divers record the time of immersion and the predicted runtime, i.e. the duration of their stay underwater. If you do not surface 30 minutes after the runtime expires, a search action is undertaken. Visiting the lowest level, however, was really worth meeting all of the above requirements. Just reaching this level gives you a feeling of walking through a huge rock palace – spaces in which the subsequent halls opening before us are several meters high and are separated by a stone colonnade, stunningly beautiful, leading us to the gate of Adolf-von-Heynitz-Halle. Arriving there for the first time, we just remained suspended in the depths somewhere in the middle, absorbing the majestic vastness of this place. This level, like the others, is roped at a depth of about 50 meters, which means that we have a another 10 meters to go below us and twice as much over us. Our experience is intensified by breathtaking visibility reaching as far as the light. I had never seen such spaces in the mine, and no other mine had made such an impression on me. There are probably many other experiences ahead of me. However, since the very moment of immersion, Miltitz definitely took a very special place among my best dives.
Registration for diving
Udo Krause 0351–2515681 0172–3523664 firstname.lastname@example.org Diving Club Dresden Peter Panitz 0351–3109120 Source: www.kalkbergwerk.de / www.cave-diving.de / www.tauchtreffdd.de
left every 8 meters to support the weight of the mountain. The cham-
a r c h a e o l og y
Sunken cities Text and photos Mateusz Popek
a given place. Sins and incorrect behaviour of the
In the previous issue of Perfect Diver I wrote
inhabitants of coastal cities usually aroused the
about local stories that usually turned out not
anger of gods. However, the gods had a well de-
to be true. They featured sunken churches but also flooded villages and cities forgotten after dams were built on rivers. Perhaps
veloped imagination when it came to mass punishment of sinful people. In the case of coastal cities, it was mostly complete flooding of the inhabited area. There were, however, other cases. One Mal-
the most legendary of such cities or islands
tese legend tells of an unworthy city, kidnapped in
is the mysterious Atlantis. These stories
the clutches of a great eagle and thrown into the
however do not come from nowhere.
sea. The huge round holes in the island are the
traces of such cities.
here is a grain of truth in every legend. Henryk
Fortunately, science can now explain this anger of
Schilmann, among others, proved this when he
the gods and the reasons for which cities ended up
discovered Troy. Sunken cities exist! In this issue
underwater. The simplest reason is changing, i.e.
I will present to you the story of several of them,
rising water level. The second most common cause
because nothing else stimulates the imagination
are tectonic movements and earthquakes causing
like diving in a sunken city.
flooding and tsunamis. As it turned out, even the large Maltese holes in the island, that supposedly
But how could such a city find itself underwater?
were voids after lost cities, resulted from the col-
Many legends give similar reasons for flooding of
lapse of caves.
I will start the story of flooded cities with the least known of them. The ancient Olbia is a Greek colony founded at the mouth of Bohu in the mid-sixth century BC. The city was founded to broker the trade with the Scythian nomadic tribe. When the Black Sea was within the Roman Empire, this settlement changed its nationality. The Roman population left it in the 3rd century AD when the threat from the Goths became too great. Olbia was built on three river terraces. The lowest terrace was occupied by the port district. Because of the rising water level, the entire lower town and Olbia
port are currently covered by dark waters of Bohu. Archaeologists have attempted to explore the area several times, but adverse conditions make it a dif-
Unfortunately, Alexandria is not available for div-
ficult and ungrateful task.
ing, while the results of underwater archaeologists' work can be seen at the Alexandria National Mu-
You cannot dive in Olbia but the land part of the
seum in Egypt.
city is open to the public. In contrast, underwater treasures still have to wait for their researchers.
The Greeks also have their own ”sunken city”. The history of Pavlopetri in southern Greece dates back
We are moving from Ukrainian steppes to hot
to the Neolithic era, when humanity learned how
Egypt. Here on the Mediterranean coast are the
to farm and create ceramic vessels. Not only the
most famous underwater ruins... Alexandria. Alex-
outlines of roads and houses, but also traces of
ander the Great founded this city during his con-
Neolithic weaving have been preserved underwa-
quests. After his death, this place became a centre
ter. The ruins can cover up to 10 hectares, while
of culture and science with the famous largest li-
archaeologists have so far examined only a few
brary in ancient times. It was also here that one of
hundred square meters.
the seven wonders of the ancient world, the ”Faros Lighthouse” was located. It was to illuminate the
The reasons for the absorption of Pavlopetri by the
sailors' way to the port. However, thanks to Cleo-
sea are not entirely known. This probably followed
patra and her affair with the Roman commander
gradually after successive earthquakes, piece by
Mark Antony, who met a tragic end in the battle of
piece the estate was flooded, until the sea took it
Actium, Alexandria had a great impact on history
completely. The ruins were discovered in 1968 and
but also on popular culture.
were first studied by Nicholas Flemming of Cambridge University and now by John Henderson of
Once again, a series of earthquakes combined with
the University of Nothingham. The archaeological
rising water levels caused flooding the port and
site is located at a depth of 3–4 meters and you can
parts of the city. In 1992, the ruins of Alexandria
do recreational diving there.
were found by the team of Frank Godio, a marine archaeologist and prospector. The huge flooded
Continuing along the Mediterranean coast you can
area of the city is still explored today and brings
reach the area of Naples. There, in the bay, lies an-
amazing discoveries such as wrecks, sculptures and
other sunken city of Baiae. It was a Roman resort,
even Cleopatra's palace.
which served as a place of rest for many emperors.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
One dive costs about 40 euros. An interesting fact is that you can also do snorkelling there. However, not only the ancient cities were absorbed by the sea. Port Royal is a place shrouded in legend because of pirates, prostitution and hectolitres of rum poured into the throats of the inhabitants. This fortress was located on the east coast of Jamaica. Among others, the famous buccaneer Henry Morgan was stationed there. At the beginning, he lootSource Port Royal Wikimedia
ed mainly in the waters around Cuba while at the height of his career he owned a fleet of 28 ships and captured Panama. However, he got along with the English king, was knighted, and settled in Port Royal where he fought piracy until his death. He died in 1688 just before a great tragedy. As I mentioned at the beginning, gods do not like sinful cities. This was also the case here. On June 7, 1692, there was a huge earthquake, followed by a tsunami that swallowed a huge part of the city and its unexpecting residents. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 7,000 people could have been killed then. The sea also consumed a cemetery with the remains of famous pirates. The first divers arrived there in 1959, discovering not only ruins,
Source Port Royal Wikimedia
but bottles of wine, rum and a huge amount of everyday items. Archaeological research is carried
”Portus Julius” which was the base for the Roman
out there to this day. Diving tourism is also possi-
navy also operated here. Personalities such as Julius
Caesar, Neron and Hadrian had their villas in the city. Sunken cities are not just legends. There are many Unfortunately, like other cities, this city was taken
such places. Some are known and have become
by the sea. The problem of flooding existed from
part of our culture or even popular culture like
the very beginning. The very slow increase in wa-
Port Royal or Alexandria. Others are a local tourist
ter level meant that one by one streets and then
attraction like Baiae, while others are completely
districts ended up underwater.
unknown like Olbia. Each of these cities carries an extremely interesting history, sealed and protected
It is difficult to determine when the ruins of Baiae
by water. These stories and secrets are accessible
were found. For a long time fishermen have hap-
only to persistent seekers who are ready for sacri-
pened to catch pieces of buildings and sculptures
fices. But it is worth it!
in their nets. Regular research on these ruins began in 1941 and continues to this day. https://www.franckgoddio.org/en/projects/sunken-civilizations/
Baiae is one of the few places where regular diving
tourism is conducted and it has a diving centre.
s p o n s o r e d a r t i cl e
Ratio is an Italian brand of computers with a wide range of different models intended for use by both REC and TEC divers. In total, there are as many as 11 different computer models. Did you know that? What's more, the range includes watches!
hat do they offer? Ratio brand
trips. Such sharing of computers can
computers can calculate div-
comprise the safety of their users.
Freedive / CCR / CCR + Sensor Board
ing parameters in Air / Nitrox Gauge / modes, and supports 3 to 10 different gas mixtures (they can be changed during the dive).
dvanced software and pressure sensors in Ratio comput-
ers measure altitude by themselves. Thanks to this, when diving in Alpine mountain lakes, for example, the
hat is important are the al-
user does not have to remember to
gorithms. Depending on the
change the settings, and this provides
advancement of a given Ratio com-
an additional level of safety. The more
puter model, we have two algorithms
things to remember, the greater the
to calculate parameters during the
risk of making a mistake.
dive. These are Buhlmann ZHL-16 B and VPM-B. Conservatism levels of diving parameters can be set using 6 programmed levels in lower REC mod-
n all computer models we have the option of setting Deep Stop and
Safety Stop and the users' memory
els, and in TEC dive models we can set
is monitored by vibration and sound
Gradient Factors H/L.
alerts when attempting to break the
hat's important, and what we forget about borrowing or
lending a dive computer to someone, Ratio counts repetition dives, thus ensuring a high level of safety by count-
set values, whether it is depth, dive time, ascent speed or MOD.
he manufacturer of Ratio computers also thought about the
convenience of users and introduced
ing saturation during multi-day diving
to the market transmitters showing
trips. The dive computer is a very per-
the level of pressure of the breathing
sonal device that should not be treat-
medium in the cylinder. Depending
ed as a ‘challenge cup’ during diving
on the model, we can support from
Ratio iX3M Deep
iDive Ratio Computer
3 to 10 transmitters, which also have Ratio iX3M Reb
a built-in system informing about the level of pressure in the cylinder us-
Ratio iX3M compass (no dive)
50 hours of diving between charging, which also distinguishes these
see at any moment how much ‘air’ our
computers from other such devices
partner has without bothering them
on the market.
he real innovation that gives the company leadership in the dive
n additional advantage for divers is the possibility to directly
connect to a computer a dedicated
computer market is the largest screen
oxygen analyzer, which allows you to
used in this type of devices (in IX3M
measure the level of oxygen in the
models): with an IPS matrix, 2.8-inch,
mixture, e.g. nitrox before diving. It
320x240 pixels, 144 dpi, 100% matrix,
is very useful, because thanks to the
thanks to which even in the worst
ability to control the mix with your
conditions underwater (transparency,
own analyzer, you are always sure
darkness) we are able to read diving
which mix you dive with.
parameters even at an angle of over
n addition to typical dive computer
Ratio iX3M deco stop table
(depending on the conditions)
allow you to perform approximately
while diving with a partner we can
150° (thanks to the IPS technology).
Ratio iX3M moon
uilt-in high capacity batteries
ing coloured diodes, thanks to which
while admiring the underwater world.
Ratio iX3M gnss-gps
o sum up, Ratio products are well designed and constant-
ly enriched with the best solutions
functions such as a planner, a log
available in the diving industry. They
book (~ 160 hr of diving, recording
are intended for users with different
every 10 sec), the manufacturer has
levels of training and needs. They
provided many additional functions
provide a high level of safety during
(depending on the model) to the de-
various types of dives in all condi-
vices, form 3D compass and scale with
tions. It is also worth noting that the
graduation of 1°, through outdoor
wide range of colours (applicable to
functions such like Altimeter, Barom-
watches) gives you the opportunity
eter, Thermometer, Weather Forecast,
to express yourself and adjust your
GPS positioning, Gas Blender, Luxme-
computer to your preferences, not the
ter, Magnetometer, Stopwatch and
other way around.
Pitch & Roll, to Moon Phases.
s p o n s o r e d a r t i cl e
paralenz dive camera
Paralenz is a company manufacturing diving equipment of the highest quality.
Using it is child's play, because it has a knob with
Everything that comes out of the production line is
tons or touch-screen elements. This is a great sim-
always tested by divers from all over the world, who
plification and a reliable technology (lack of buttons
share comments on a regular basis, making each
means they can't get blocked or sink in and we are
product almost perfect. Their main motto is ”Made
always sure that the camera will work). The use of div-
by divers for divers”. The team became so well-
ing gloves poses no difficulty.
icons of the given function. There are no but-
known due to very quick response to all comments of the equipment users and testers.
At the back we have a tiny screen that shows us the battery level, recording time, the resolution of the recorded
Creating a prototype camera took a year of very hard
material and the number of frames per second (in 4K
and exhaustive work, and this resulted in obtaining an
resolution it is 30 fps, for 1080p – 100 fps, 720p – 200 fps).
Constant software updates and changes in design have made it one of
The camera is also characterized by incredible
exceptionally good product.
a kind and the best on the market.
resistance to water – up to 200m / 650ft and to any shock. The battery life depends on the resolution
What impresses first, of course, is the size of this ‘little
of the movie. In the highest quality (4K) it works for 2
hours, and in the 1080p resolution – the battery lasts
for up to 3 hours (lithium-polymer battery with a ca-
cm long and 4 cm wide. It weighs 155 grams, which is the weight an average
smartphone. It looks like a small flashlight.
pacity of 1600mAh).
The internal memory is
64 GB or 128 GB.
a built-in internal microphone as well as pressure and
course, it is possible to insert a micro SD card.
At the front there is an 8 MP lens with an RGB sen-
Thanks to the app designed specifically for this cam-
sor. The format of recorded material is MOV. Anoth-
era, we can easily choose the best shots and frames
er advantage is also the automatic correction of lost
or check the water temperature in a given place and
colours. Without filters, extra lightning or processing in
at a particular depth as well as share our materials on
photo editing programs, the camera will perfectly ad-
just the image to the environment so that everything looks better. The entire camera is made of
with titanium screws.
The camera might be attached to the mask or used with a special 3rd person viewer kit. Without unnecessary unscrewing, it can be pulled out and reinstalled at any time. Also all GoPro camera mounts are compatible, which gives us the
It features a USB
2.0 port with the possibility of
quick charging and the ability to connect to WiFi,
ability to use either system.
from a freediver ' s perspective
Discovering Tenerife in one breath Text and photos Agnieszka kalska
Despite the distance from the continent and being
I remember when in my childhood the Canary Islands sounded very exotic and even exclusive to me. At the time, it seemed to me that I would probably never be able to go there. And finally
at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean, the air temperature during the day does not fall below 20°C for 12 months, and at night it stays above 15°C even in winter. In contrast, the water temperature remains above 19°C in the months December-April,
I managed to visit one of them for the first
reaching the highest level of 23°C in the period
time, and then again and again a few times.
August-October. When I first watched the island through the window
of the plane, it seemed terribly strange to me that
fter five visits to Tenerife, I still feel like going
the entire coast was black and golden sand was
there again. Why? Because in my opinion it is
nowhere to be seen. I was wondering for the next
few days what captivated people about the black beaches and I could not understand – it was just the
The obvious advantage of Tenerife is its location
opposite to all these photos of paradise beaches.
and positive climate characteristics. Its location on
A week was enough to realise that I did not want to
the 28th parallel north of the equator means fa-
leave it. Travelling from the west to the east on the
vourable weather conditions throughout the year.
southern and northern routes, I felt how Tenerife
reveals its beauty to me. The island's shape, with the centrally located Teide volcanic massif, 3718 m above sea level, creates conditions for a varied climate within the island, whose area is just over 2,000 km². I recommend the south-west coast to people who are not discouraged by large numbers of people and like being in comfortable conditions with everything available at their fingertips. There, the number of hotels and attractions is very large. From organized trips to the cliffs of Los Gigantes and the mountain village of Masca, cruises on tourist ships, to shopping centres, golf courses, restaurants and amusement parks. Those who prefer trips in the middle of nature will like more the nature park around Mount Teide and the northern part of the island. Views from the densely overgrown hills and routes leading above the clouds are in my opinion the most beautiful part of the island, because this area still remains intact. Similarly, the northern beaches, where high waves give joy to surfers and to anyone
dolphins, which found there ideal living conditions
who has tried bodyboarding, are less frequented
for themselves throughout the year. I was lucky to
areas, where it is easier to be close to nature.
meet them there many times and admire carefree games of common, bottlenose and spotted dol-
It is still nothing, because the real magic begins un-
phins, as well as short and long-fin pilot dolphins.
derwater. When I first dived in the Atlantic Ocean off
In this area, it is forbidden to organize trips for swim-
the coast of Tenerife, I experienced the feeling that
ming and diving with local species of dolphins and
the water in which I dived was absolutely endless.
whales, not to disturb their peace and affect their
All oceans are connected with each other, and this
natural behaviour. A code of conduct was also de-
means that at any time, I can meet any species of
veloped during voyages to know how to admire dol-
fish, shark or whale, whose route leads just through
phins above the surface, and a fleet that respects its
this area. In the coastal waters live about 400 species
regulations is marked with a special flag. During one
of fish and several species of sea turtles, whales and
of those trips, we observed Bridy's whale – mother
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
most favourable conditions for freediving are on the
The most favourable conditions for freediving are on the east coast, where the bay protects us from waves, and the wind is definitely weaker than the one in the south or north.
east coast, where the bay protects us from waves, and the wind is definitely weaker than the one in the south or north. Visibility sometimes exceeds even 30 m, and a rapid increase in depth allows you to dive at a depth of 50 m already at a distance of less than 100 m from the shore. In addition to learning and training dives with a dive line, we also visited recreational locations. One of the fixed points is diving on the wreck in the Tabaiba area, which is
and calf, and we could hear their underwater con-
located at a depth of several meters and in close
versations – it was an unusual experience.
proximity to the shore. In the south of the east coast there are many rocky beaches, near which
The variety of attractions in Tenerife will give every-
in the water we encountered rays, turtles and we
one a chance to find something to their liking, but
could freely experience the beautiful underwater
their multitude makes it impossible to experience
landscapes. In the intervals between dives, we most
them all in one week. Before going to Tenerife, it
often charged energy, discovering the mysterious
is advisable to make a plan of your visit and find
corners of the island, and the only limit was always
accommodation accordingly. The main purpose of
the time. I have a feeling that there are an infinite
my trips is mainly diving in one breath, and it was
number of secret and magical places in Tenerife, so
the same in the case of my last trip to Tenerife. The
in March we will go there again to discover more.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
t r av e l s
Text and photos wojciech zgoĹ‚a
I like being an explorer. Probably everyone does. Although it is often associated with difficulty and toil, it still gives you satisfaction, enchants and broadens your horizons. Although, I must admit, it sometimes may scare.
asco da Gama, a Portuguese traveller who
guest house – Casa da Praca, the own-
discovered the sea route from Europe to Asia
ers of the venue greeted us. After quick
(specifically to India) has recently become an icon
checking in we asked them to recom-
for me. I switched places with him and decided to
mend us a place with good food. It is
discover his homeland. It so happened that I flew
well known that for a stomach to feel
to Portugal from distant Asia, staying only for one
good sometimes a piece of cloth on the
night in Poland.
table and a good cook are enough. That
was what happened that evening... Together with Waldek, laden with luggage, we entered the arrivals hall in Lisbon. Then, we were sup-
Before us three diving days in the Atlantic
posed to track Claudia, whom we had never seen
Ocean. It was still October and I had already
before. But because internet works wonders, we
completed the dives in the Pacific and Indian
were warmly welcomed within a minute.
Ocean. It was time for the colder Atlantic, which has a lot to offer.
While being on the plane, we speculated what our 5-day stay might look like, considering that Vaco da
Sesimbra was once a fishing town. To this day, you
Gama's journey took 8 years.
may eat here a well-prepared fish, you may walk on its narrow streets and admire the views. We were
Straight from the airport we went to the pictur-
going to the port, where several diving centers
esque town of Sesimbra. We arrived at night. We
operate. Arlindo from Portugal Dive planned our
arrived at the square from which the view of the
entire Perfect Diver escapade. We took advantage
Atlantic stretched, yet at that time of day the visibil-
of his invitation.
ity was a bit limited. A salty wind was blowing and it was quite warm. Many bars attracted attention
We spent many hours talking about diving spots.
and we had not eaten dinner. At the door of our
It turned out that Portugal has a lot to offer. Dives
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
in the ocean, in caves, lakes and in flooded excavations. In the following articles we will try to show you various types of possibilities. Meanwhile, using one of the large diving centers we prepared equipment that was taken to the boat.
operation using a helicopter was broadcast by tel-
12 people were diving. We were swimming to the
evision. The ship sailed from Nigeria and carried
wreck of ”River Gurara MV”. We barely passed the har-
wood. That day it was impossible to save everyone,
bour and the skipper accelerated, and after a while
seven crew members died.
we watched bottlenose dolphins hunting. It turns out that the whole dolphin family has been living nearby
The wreck has become a home for many sea crea-
for years – which you can read about in the article by
tures. You can admire large congers, morays, oc-
Jakub Banasiak in this issue of the magazine.
topuses, seabreams, squid, seabreams and many more. Sometimes you get the impression that you
The River Gurara ship sank several dozen years
are diving in an aquarium. The wreck spreads over
ago in February 1989 during a heavy storm. First
a fairly large area. The propeller is intact. Hull and
the engine broke down. When they tried to fix it,
crane parts can be seen. The wreck's fragments are
the wind changed and the ship was pushed onto
lying everywhere. We immersed and went out with
the rocks. She broke in half and sank. The rescue
a dive line.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
the last dive day, it turned out that we were going
There are many divers in Poland who like the Baltic Sea and cold waters. Here we have something like the Baltic Sea heated to 16–17°C (in October), visibility at a depth of 35–40 m and the big blue full of life.
to discover Peniche. It is the westernmost piece of Europe. On the other side are the United States. Peniche is perhaps more known to surfers because it is one of the best places to practice this sport in Europe. For us, Peniche is a place from which we set out on a fast dive boat to the Berlengas archipelago. Until then, I had no idea about the existence of these islands. They turned out to be interesting and worth the effort. People with seasickness problems
There are many different destinations available
should take with them appropriate medications.
from Sesimbra. We watched one of them from
We sailed 45 minutes on the Atlantic waves to meet
a depth of 10 m. We were looking for octopuses,
lobsters, flounders, shannies and weevers. We dived around large boulders and met small rock-
There are many divers in Poland who like the Baltic
fish, crabs and starfish.
Sea and cold waters. Here we have something like the Baltic Sea heated to 16–17°C (in October), visibil-
Arlindo from Portugal Dive wanted to show us the
ity at a depth of 35–40 m and the big blue full of life.
best diving spots in the Portuguese part of the At-
lantic. Unfortunately, not all of them were available
First, we dived at the wall of the island to reach
due to the weather. However, on the morning of
a wide tunnel at a depth of 31 m. We crossed the
island and reached the other side. Along the way,
the look of disbelief on his face made us turn in the
we saw a lot of shrimps, flounders and crabs. After
direction shown. In the distance, at the border of
returning, we emerged gradually at a very colorful
visibility, there were 2 Mola molas. After leaving the
wall, admiring snails, mulletas, two-banded sea-
water, he could not believe it. Anything can happen
breams, scorpionfish and gilt-head breams.
The second diving site surprised even the natives.
We spent the last day of our stay in the sunshine
During the break, when we were on the largest is-
and breeze from the Atlantic. We probably have
land to eat a bit, we were asked what we would like
walked down all the streets, and the friendly own-
to see. Earlier I had heard that there were Peter's
ers of Casa da Praca took us to the sanctuary Nossa
fish there (Zeus faber, John Dory) and Mola mola,
Senhora do Cabo Espichel, from where amazing
so I joked that maybe there was a spot to see these
views spread. This is a must. It also turned out that
two fish. They smiled and said that it was impossi-
there are over 200 km of bicycle routes on gravel
ble during one dive.
roads, and in the nearby towns (also in Sesimbra) you can easily rent a bike.
We jumped into the water. Nothing interesting at first. However, after 5 minutes of diving and reach-
Pastries are delicious here and it is difficult to re-
ing a dozen or so meters deep, we met the first
sist the flavours of croissants, cookies and home
Peter's fish, to count about 20 of them by the end
desserts, which go great with coffee and a view of
of the dive. And finally, the guide's index finger and
sandy beaches and the wavy ocean.
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
Finally, I would like to add that the Portuguese are very cheerful and open people. Unlike the southern European nations, they are not loud. I am glad that I figured out a bit of the secret of Vasco da Gama's country. I want to go back there. Particularly as I read Jakub's text about dolphins from Portugal. All at your fingertips. There are flights from Poland or Berlin, 4 hours and you are in Lisbon. However, you do not have to limit exploring Portugal only to the capital. It is more divine inside the country. The best contact person is Arlindo from Portugaldive.com – you can arrange everything with him, whales and manta rays. Remember that the Azores belong to Portugal, warm and colourful. Madeira is also Portugal. Discover the undiscovered. Be like Vasco da Gama:)
Setubal the city of dolphins Text and photos jakub banasiak
special attraction, especially for nature lovers,
Less than an hour's drive south of Lisbon, on the edge of the The Nature Park of Arrabida, there is a city famous
is the estuary of the Sado River, which flows
into the Atlantic here. The surroundings of the estuary are a nature reserve. For generations, this place has been inhabited by a special community
for the best fish restaurants in entire
– a herd of bottlenose dolphins. They can be found
Portugal and the excellent surrounding
on the shores of Setubal every day, and in the city
vineyards. Once the most important centre of the fishing industry, today a port city which has a lot to offer to tourists.
itself we find many signs of how important ‘citizens’ the dolphins are here. It is a relatively small group of bottlenose dolphins (approx. 30 individuals), whose members have re-
Institute for Nature Conservation and Forest (ICNF), the media informs about the birth of a young dolphin with sufficient delay to protect the newborn and guarantee the peace necessary
in the first months of its life. The image of the bottlenose dolphin has inscribed very strongly in the landscape of Setubal. Dolphin sculptures decorate parks, roundabouts, and top modern fountains. A dozen or so fabulously colourful lifesize bottlenose dolphins decorate the promenade adjusting the fishing port just next to the most popular restaurants. This is the exhibition ’Parade Golfinho’ consisting of replicas of dolphins with various decorative paintings designed by Portuguese students, teachers, artists and lovers of visual arts and painting. Dolphins appear on the famous decorative ceramic tiles produced in the area as well as on city murals. Even manholes of the municipal water supply are decorated with the image of these cute marine mammals. To find out the details about the dolphins living in the Estadoium you need to visit Casa da Baía. In 2011, this beautiful 18th-century mansion at Avenida Luís Todi was transformed into the Setúbal tourist office, combined with a centre for the promotion of regional dishes, wine, sweets and cheese. But the mained here for decades. Just in two other places in
most important place at Casa da Baía is the dolphin
Europe these dolphins live in estuaries of rivers – in
exhibition. In fact, it is a well-equipped educational
Scotland and Ireland. These here have been stud-
centre where you can learn about bottlenose and
ied in detail and live under people's observation.
other dolphin species living in this part of Portugal.
They even have their own names and also their
Perfectly prepared information boards show the
age is known. The oldest individual was registered
moment of birth of the calf, hunting strategies, spe-
cies of fish and cephalopods that constitute food for bottlenose dolphins. Here you can listen to the
Each new birth or documented death of an individ-
sounds of different species of dolphins, look at the
ual becomes press news. The name of the newborn
anatomical structure of a dolphin, see its skeleton.
calf is often chosen by pupils from local schools.
There is also an exhibition showing all bottlenose
In accordance with the recommendation of the
individuals living in the Sado estuary, their family
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
tree and the exact locations of their most frequent occurrence. The model of the whole basin helps to find direction in the area and multimedia elements make the whole exhibition more attractive. Bottlenose dolphins from Setubal are not a completely closed community, which means that individual animals can leave it for some time, and the group can accept an outsider. The community adapted its hunting techniques to the con-
In 2002, scientists from the New University of Lisbon
ditions prevailing here. The dolphins hunt near
published research results on the impact of dolphin
the surface, because there are many shallows: the
watching boats on the behaviour and welfare of bot-
depth of the reservoir does not exceed 15 m in the
tlenose dolphins from the Sado estuary. To study
northern channel and 25 m in the southern part.
the response of these dolphins to tourist boats, the
Many individuals appear between Setubal and the
breathing patterns and behaviour of dolphins in
the presence and absence of boats were monitored – from August to September 2000 and during the
The dolphins residing here are a very important
high season in summer of 2002. Focusing primarily
tourist attraction. A dolphin watching cruise here
on breathing parameters (which are an indicator of
is a must during almost every 1-day trip to this this
the level of stress), it was found that in the pres-
area from Lisbon. In the high season, hundreds
ence of a boat dolphins spent much less time on the
of tourists sail out daily with local companies to
surface, had shorter intervals between breaths and
search for bottlenose dolphins. And, as this is
dived longer. Using behavioural parameters, it was
a sedentary population, almost 100% of the cruis-
observed that when the boats appeared in their im-
es are successful.
mediate vicinity, they intensified tail beating against the water, which was a sign of frustration. The animals also changed the type of activity, the direction of swimming or separated into smaller groups. The results of these studies, which fully coincide with the results of similar scientific projects carried out elsewhere in the world, e.g. in New Zealand, have clearly shown that it is necessary to introduce regulations regarding cruises at the mouth of the Sado River.
In recent years, the Portuguese Institute of Nature Conservation and Forest (ICNF) has expressed concerns about compliance with the rules governing dolphin observation at the mouth of the river, in particular the minimum distances that
Not all operators follow the rule that a maximum of 3 boats may stay near a given group of dolphins
boats must observe when watching bottlenose
at the same time and not longer
and the number of boats approaching animals at
than 30 minutes (of course, when
any given time.
all additional conditions are met).
Fortunately, the vast majority of dolphin watching operators are trying to comply with the proposed code of conduct, i.e. the principles recommend-
And dolphin activity in the boat operating area is very
ed by WAOH Route (Wildsea Atlantic Ocean Her-
high. It is the wounds from the contact of dolphins
itage Route) and WCA (World Cetacean Alliance).
with the boat propellers that are one of the biggest
Unfortunately, not on all boats basic information
threats to these animals in such places. An additional
about dolphins is provided. Tourists are not al-
threat and stressor is the underwater noise gener-
ways told what to do to protect or at least not
ated by boat engines, but also by ferries operating
harm dolphins. Not all operators follow the rule
between Setubal and Troy and ships using the port
that a maximum of 3 boats may stay near a given
of Setubal. The noise disrupts communication and
group of dolphins at the same time and not longer
affects the safety of calves. Calf mortality in such
than 30 minutes (of course, when all additional
places is relatively high. And it's worth knowing that
conditions are met).
females give birth every 3–4 years. And it takes place
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
were studied. The results indicate that the group of animals from the mouth of the Sado River is characterized by low genetic diversity and a very high affinity, and that they live in one of the most polluted estuaries in Portugal. It is worth knowing that the entire population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been decreasing in European waters in recent decades and is therefore a subject of interest to the European Community in accordance with the EU Habitats Directive requiring the designation of special protection areas. The deteriorating condition of this species usually at the peak of the tourist season, when the
is a consequence of various human activities, among
boat traffic is the highest. That is why monitoring the
which pollution with toxic chemicals (mainly mer-
compliance of dolphin watching business with the
cury) seems to be particularly significant. Despite
regulations is one of the most important tasks here.
this European directive, human activity continues to increase in the Setubal region. Potential threats
The bottlenose dolphins from the mouth of the
include chemical pollution, noise, especially from
Sado River are one of the few populations living
construction sites, and of course increased tourist
in Europe and the only species in Portugal. Recog-
activity. A man can be an extremely troublesome
nizing the critical situation of the Sado herd, the
neighbour for other residents of a given area. Time
local action plan was adopted and launched, which
will show if dolphins endure such neighbourhood...
included the collection of genetic and ecotoxicological data. The genetic diversity and structure of the Sado dolphin population and their relationship with other populations in neighbouring areas (Iberian Peninsula, Azores and Madeira archipelago)
Enjoy diving with peace of mind, worldwide, all year round
DIVING SAFETY SINCE1983 PHOTO BY MARCELLO DI FRANCESCO
Worldwide 24/7 Emergency Assistance
Exclusive access to Diving Insurance Plans
Medical Advice & Specialist Referrals
Participation in Diving Medical Research Programs
First Aid Courses
Geese noisy travellers
Text and photos wojciech jarosz
hat's more, you do not even have to leave
I guess every nature lover sees wild geese quite frequently. And not only a nature lover. Virtually everyone has seen geese in the sky at some point. After all, when they travel, they travel in large flocks, and sometimes even en masse. So you
the city, because their honking can be heard
even over the centres of the metropolis. Goose migrations are treated as an omen of changing seasons. And indeed they are an omen. But what to think of the wedges of geese observed in the sky heading, let’s say, east or west?
don't have to be an experienced bird-watcher (still less, an ornithologist) to observe these birds.
To answer such a question, it is good to know at least a bit of biology, and especially the habits, of
by the sounds they make. This can be useful when in the late, autumn evening we go out, for example, to throw out the garbage, and from the dark emptiness above our heads we can hear honking. When it comes to the goose language, one must immediately remember the sentence from the 16th century: ‘Let the nations know that Poles are not geese and they do have their own language.’ What exactly Mikołaj Rej meant is not quite known today – apart from the most obvious associations some linguists make that the term 'geese' refers to our southern neighbours – the Czech Republic. In their language, goose is ‘hus’ and Jan Hus needs no introduction to the lovers of European history. Returning to the birds, the honking familiar to most of us belongs to... a greylag goose (Anser anser). It is the ancestor of the domestic goose, which retained the language of its great-grandfathers after being domesticated a long time ago. The Polish name of the species in this context is not surprising. Capable of producing unusual sounds is the greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), whose vocal performances are compared to a dog's howl. For those who want to get to know the goose dialects better, I recommend recordings (also available on the Internet) or a marvelous article by Paweł Śliwa also available online, and published in the journal of the Polish Society for Nature Conservation 'Salamandra'. The geese belong to the order of Anseriformes, the Anatidae family and together with e.g. swans, they are part of the Anserinae subfamily otherwise called geese. The geese tribe is divided into two types, i.e. Branta, (6 species in the world, plus several subGreylag goose
species) and Anser (10 species and also several subspecies). In Central Europe we are lucky: as the
this group of birds. And 'a group' it is, as geese is by
migration routes of various species intersect here,
no means one species. Even the observation of birds
we have every chance of observing at least a few of
flying high in the sky makes it possible to determine
them. The most common, of course, is the greylag
their species identity. Of course, it is a bit easier with
goose, because it is the only species breeding on
binoculars, since not all the characteristic traits of
the territory of Poland. It should be added 'breeding
the species are clearly noticeable, especially in case
naturally', since for several years there has been
of less skilled observers. The other side of the coin is
a newcomer from overseas. A Canada goose (Branta
that you can try to recognize geese even when you
canadensis), which was brought to Europe, mainly to
can't see them! It turns out that these birds have
the British Isles, has already started breeding over
their own dialects and can often be distinguished
the Polish coast. As for now, these are rather inci-
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
but there is no doubt that it would be far better if
However, one has to admit that the geese are extremely vigilant. Some experts on animal behaviour even say that a goose
they were bred on their respective side of the Atlantic Ocean. Returning to the greylag geese, these are large and strong birds that just a few decades ago did not do very well in Central Europe. In principle,
will do better than a dog to warn
geese had been hunted since always and therefore
property owners about the danger (do we
at the end of the 19th century there were already
remember that geese saved Rome?).
few greylags left. At present, meeting greylags is not a problem – they breed mainly in the Barycz Valley, Warta river-mouth and in the area of Lake Gopło, but they can also be found on small water reser-
dental cases, but considering the fact that at least
voirs. Every year, about 2,000 pairs of geese try to
several hundred of these birds spend winter in the
prolong the existence of their species in Poland. For
Vistula Lagoon regularly, their breeding in Poland
winter greylags from our region migrate to warmer
can soon become the rule. Is it wrong? It seems that
places, mainly to the Netherlands, Great Britain and
there can be just one answer – any manipulation
the Mediterranean. They usually come back in Feb-
with the living components of ecosystems leads not
ruary or March. When 'grey geese', as sometimes
to their stabilization, but rather to a serious distur-
greylags are referred to, gather to depart before
bance of the delicate biological balance; it is so in
winter, there are seemingly more of them in the
those places where the so-called ‘invasive species’
centre of the continent. It is due to the so-called
have appeared. Canadian geese are, of course,
Arctic geese, among which two species dominate,
beautiful birds (aesthetics was, by the way, one of
i.e. the bean goose (A. fabalis) and the already
the reasons they were brought here for breeding),
mentioned greater white-fronted goose. These are
Greater white-fronted geese
called 'Arctic' as their breeding grounds are located
these geese migrating in one direction of the world
in the far north. In Poland and in countries locat-
just to follow the opposite direction a moment later
ed to the west they look for feeding grounds. And
are usually birds travelling between their 'bedroom'
they do it more and more eagerly and more often
and 'canteen' rather than hesitating whether winter
than ever. On the one hand, researchers indicate as
has already come or is still about to come. Anyway,
a reason global warming and no need to continue
when it arrives, in a short time they can fly a few
migration to further and warmer places. On the oth-
hundred kilometers to the west, where the effect of
er hand, they think geese are attracted by the fields
continental cold is usually much less severe.
where maize is grown. Significant amount of seeds left in the fields after harvesting encourages geese
When geese migrate, in most species they form
to take the advantage of energetic meals. Some
characteristic wedges. As physicists calculated,
of the geese arriving from the tundra, forest-tun-
each subsequent bird in the wedge faces signifi-
dra or taiga stay in Central and Western Europe, moving daily to feeding grounds from their roost sites – and these are usually open water reservoirs where geese can feel safe away from the banks. Birds are sometimes seen feeding at night – greed, it seems, wins sometimes with a sense of security. However, one has to admit that the geese are extremely vigilant. Some experts on animal behaviour even say that a goose will do better than a dog to warn property owners about the danger (do we remember that geese saved Rome?). In any case,
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
cantly lower air resistance than the leading bird.
of thousands (and such are found every year dur-
That is why the birds take the lead in turns and go
ing migration, even in the Warta river-mouth), it can
to further positions in the wedge to regenerate. The
be seen that the birds form certain groups. They in-
direction of migration is indicated by experienced
clude grandmothers and grandparents, aunts and
birds, which have already arrived all the way to the
uncles, the closest and even a bit further cousins.
wintering habitats and back. Young geese, includ-
And all these birds recognize each other perfectly!
ing less than one-year-olds, gain experience. They
learn how and where to migrate, where there are
They form large flocks of geese not only during mi-
good feeding grounds and where they can sleep
gration, but earlier, when they begin to prepare for
sound and safe. Relationships both in the wedge
the journey. This preparation involves, among oth-
and in the flock have been intensively studied in
ers, moulting which deprives the birds of the abil-
recent years as still not everything is known about
ity to fly. When they lose their remiges, they must
them. Therefore, the geese are ringed using not
patiently wait for new ones to grow. The so-called
really flattering rings, worn on the neck. They do
moulting places i.e. places where birds stay during
not cause any discomfort to birds, and thanks to
the moulting process, are chosen with great care.
their excellent visibility allow the collection of data
What is taken into consideration is the availability of
even from remote locations. The results of the
food on the one hand, but above all, the possibility
study show that geese are very family-oriented.
to ensure security – so they most often choose such
And this does not only apply to the partner they
reservoirs as fish ponds. In general gees can swim
choose once in a lifetime, after the possible loss of
quite well, although not all of them do it willingly
which it is hard for the bird to pull itself together,
– the swan goose (A. cygnoides) living in Mongolia,
but also to close and distant relatives. Even in flocks
China and Russia is not eager to be on the water. It
the Far East and today it can be found also in Europe on many farms. Other species of geese that visit Central Europe during migration include a lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus), a pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus), a brent goose (Branta bernicla), barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) or the beautifully coloured red-breasted goose (Branta ruficollis). Apart from rare occasions, we are not likely to encounter wild snow geese (but after all, there can always be refugees from a farm) or Ross's geese (A. caerulescens and A. rossii), an emperor geese (A. canagicus) or bar-headed geese (A. indicus). The latter is famous for being able to fly over the Himalayas! Geese of this species were seen at the altitude of 9000 m above sea level – higher than Mount Everest! For most living organisms, including the vast majority of birds, these are insurmountable altitudes. Among interesting locations, geese can be found on some islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago. In the intervals between diving and surfing you can observe nene (B. sandvicensis), whose population close to extinction has been restored to some extent. Some of the mentioned species can be seen in the great shots of French artists in the movie titled Winged migration (also known as The travelling birds – an adventure in flight). If the distinguished readers of this article have not seen it yet, it is time to catch up! Above all, however, look around (and listen!) while being outside – just be careful, as watching wild geese is addictive! And one more thing – geese are certainly quite intelligent – the saying ‘stupid as a goose’ does not have the slightest justification in reality. So I suggest using the version of this saying with the shoe in the lead role.
Greater white-fronted geese
even builds nests on land. This species has also been domesticated in
OTS Spectrum full face mask diving has become simple
Text robert styła
When creating the Spectrum mask, OTS was committed to creating a full-face mask for a wide spectrum of divers. And they have certainly succeeded!
ow is it different from other masks of this
poses no problem for the diver. It is actually simi-
type produced in the past? It is almost to-
lar to replacing the mouthpiece in a second stage
tally different. The product has been created from
regulator. By installing a regulator that meets the
the best quality materials, and the many years of
EN250 standard, we can dive in water with tem-
experience of the American company caused that
perature below 10°C being fully separated from
the mask has been used almost all over the world.
cold water. And here we reach the biggest, in my
But let’s start from the beginning.
opinion, advantage of this mask: for little money,
The Spectrum mask does not have a second
already being equipped with diving regulators, we
stage regulator. With this mask we can use almost
are able to dive in cold waters (less than 10°C) in
any regulator that we already have. What is also
fully comfortable conditions. Usually, during dives
different is the fact that we do not use the
in such conditions, our lips and cheeks freeze. With
mouthpiece, thanks to which we breathe
this mask this problem is, at least, largely reduced.
naturally and the muscles of
Of course, you should also use a hood designed
the face and jaw do not get
for full-face masks. We can easily get one of a very
tired. Thanks to its design
good quality hoods (Kallweit, Santi, Waterproof
(no integrated second
etc.) available on the market. I think that every diver
stage) the price has
who has the opportunity to dive all year round in
been reduced com-
the conditions prevailing in Polish lakes or the Bal-
pared to classic full face
tic Sea will appreciate this feature.
masks (OTS Guardian,
What about equalizing pressure in this mask?
Divator Interspiro, and
Here we touch the next essential difference be-
others). Installation of
tween this full-face mask design and the rigid de-
the second stage regulator
sign of classic full-face masks. Equalizing involves
s e c t i o n p atronage 94
Ocean-Tech Sp. z o.o.
Kaszubska Droga 13, 80-209 Chwaszczyno
exactly the same procedure as the one every diver learns during the basic course. Just like that: simple and effective. Now some data
he mask, similarly to another product of this company, the Guardian full face mask, is made of high quality silicone with
double sealing from the inside. Thanks to this, it is very comfortable and adapts to almost every face. The buckles to tighten the mask strap (five-point strapping) are designed so that they can be easily tightened without the risk of braking the strap. You can buy a number of accessories such as the Ambient Breathing Valve (ABV) or accessory rails for mounting the camera or lights. It will streamline diving – we have free hands. Of course, we can easily mount hard-wired or wireless underwater communication. You probably wonder to what depth you can use such a mask. Unfortunately, the maximum depth given by the manufacturer is 50 m according to EN 250:2000. From one point of view, it is not much but as for recreational diving with the use of air or nitrox it is quite enough. The mask is available in two colours: black and blue, and each colour can be bought with a standard visor or a visor with an iridium coating. This coating increases the contrast under water and has anti-reflective properties. The mask requires no servicing. It should be taken care of in exactly the same way as a regular half-mask, thanks to which the annual service is not necessary. Of course, do not forget to service the diving regulator used with this mask. If you have the opportunity to try this mask, don't hesitate. I am sure that after several minutes you will fully appreciate all the advantages of this design.
mail: email@example.com on-line shop: www.sklep.ocean-tech.pl
& curiosities ACADEMY
part 2 (knowledge for intermediate divers) Text Wojciech A. Filip
Photo Michał Motylewski
Implementing the described decompression methods without sufficient knowledge and practical preparation can be health and life threatening. This article cannot be seen as a form of training of decompression plans execution. Pragmatic decompression is a simple way to imple-
for the gases. The assumptions are the basis for
ment a decompression plan that is easy to remem-
applying the method in the described form.
ber and based on previous calculations. To ascent safely using it we need:
The method does not cover air.
• a gauge – and it’s going to be easier for us if the gauge allows us to restart the average depth • a timer – the most useful is a simple stopwatch
Nitrox 32 will be considered as the basic gas, in use up to 30 m.
which can be switched on independently from the dive time
For more difficult conditions the alternative will be
• decompression software
trimix 30/30. Deeper we will use trimix 21/35 or
• an instructor who uses pragmatic decompres-
18/45. Nitrox 50 and oxygen will be used as the
sion for his own dives
basic deco gases.
• more about preparation for pragmatic decompression usage can be read in the previous, 5th
So in order to be able to use pragmatic decom-
issue of the Perfect Diver.
pression and maximally simplify logistics and planning of dives , and also to increase the safety
To present pragmatic decompression in a way that
level, we will use these mentioned above ”stand-
is easy to understand let’s make a few assumptions
tips & curiosities
Let’s begin! Recreational diving, up to 30 m
The answer: Because they are likely to have a subclinical form
Can a recreational diver perform a long deep dive?
of decompression sickness. Whaaat? I had DCS be-
cause I slept on a boat?!
If you want to spend safely 30 min at 30 m a single
Yes, although it’s a certain kind of DCS (and not
cylinder is not enough.
triggered by the sleep ), which cannot be seen
We need more gas, i.e. a twinset 2x12 l (in this ar-
but whose symptoms we know well: sleepiness,
ticle we will not cover how to calculate the needed
fatigue, headache. Here is how we can eliminate
amount of gases). If, knowing that the no decom-
pression limit at 30 m is 30 min, we fill the twinset with nitrox 32 then we will be able to use it fully.
Pragmatic decompression for recrea-
A classic plan
The aim is known: 30 min at 30m. To be more ex-
After spending 30 min around an interesting wreck
act we want to spend almost the entire 30 min in
we ascend to 5 m, make a safety stop for 3 min and
the bottom phase – a recreational diver can really
ascend to the surface.
perform long and deep dives.
Along the way we try to keep more less stable
To simplify the matter let’s assume that we start
ascent speed, in practice something between
measuring the time from the moment of descent.
12–25 m per minute, and usually we slow down
(I am writing later how to calculate this time if, for
when our computer beeps or shows too rapid as-
example, I had a problem with equalising for 5 min
cent. We tend to think, that the most important is
and I couldn’t descent ).
the safety stop (after all the name must be derived
We descend and we have at least 25 min of the real
from something). As a matter of fact much more
watching of a nice wreck. We can dive a bit deeper
important for our well-being after the dive is the
and shallower than 30 m, the important thing being
way we reached the safety stop. To help explain
that the average depth of our bottom phase after
why let’s work out the puzzle below.
30 min does not exceed 30 m.
”The proper decompression means everything we
After the 30th minute has passed we begin the as-
have to do to feel well after the dive”
cent (best doing it utilising a descending line).
WAF. A puzzle The Red Sea, Egypt. Warm water, good visibility,
very rich life, sometimes dolphins jump above
Actual dive proﬁle
the surface and divers after the first dive… sleep!? They are on a dream holiday, a lot of things goes on around, and they sleep – even though the first dive took place in perfect conditions and lasted less
than 1 hour. The question is: Why do most of the recreational divers after the dive on diving boats sleep soundly?
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
Aim no. 1 is to reach 15 m in time no longer than
2 min. If we were unable to do it in exactly 2 min
Utilising nitrox 32 for 30 min at 30 m
and we are at 15 m earlier, then let’s stabilize our
• we ascend till the half of the average
buoyancy and wait till our stopwatch shows the
bottom depth with the speed of 9 m per
32nd minute of the dive. From this moment we
have 5 min to reach the surface. The easiest way is to divide it into five 1-minute-stops, performed
• then we change the speed to 3 m per minute till we surface.
every 3 meters. It is important that these 5 minutes also include the time of swimming among stops. In other words, we swim for 5 min to ascend from
What with our subclinical DCS?
15 m to the surface.
There is none (just have a look at the decom-
Decompression is a certain time which we need
pression trivia at the end of the text).
to spend in a certain depth range, while moving
If during the dives on nitrox 30–32 after the bottom
towards the surface. And we don’t have to be ex-
phase we ascend relatively fast till half of the depth
and then we slow down to 3 m per minute, we will
And now it’s t time for the target no. 2.
effectively eliminate micro bubbles. And if we per-
Aim no. 2 is to reach the 12 m depth in 1 min – and
form the ascent in the classic way, which is from
again if we arrive too early then we stop and wait
the bottom directly to the safety stop, the micro
for the 34th minute (in practice we almost always
bubbles will accompany us, growing all the time.
swim for a short while till the next stop and then we wait till the full minute has passed. It often means
OK, but what with the safety stop?
30/30, i.e. 30 seconds swimming and 30 seconds
There is no need of doing it (although of course
it can be done) because it is a ”simplification” of
Aim no. 3 is to reach 9 m in 1 min – we leave this
the way we ascend during a pragmatic decompres-
depth in the 35th minute.
sion: we spend exactly the same amount of time
Aim no. 4 is to reach 6 m in… yes, yes – 1 min, and
between the 9th and the the 3rd metre that we
we leave the depth in the 36th minute.
would spend at the safety stop.
Aim no. 5 is to reach 3 m and stay there till the 37th minute.
To be remembered
Aim no. 6 is to ascend slowly to the surface.
If, for recreational dives up to 30 m, we deploy nitrox 32 instead of air, and variable
In short (decompression in ”no-decompres-
ascent speed 9 and 3 m per minute, then
the dives become much safer and divers…
• Divers can spend 30 min at 30 m utilising
will not sleep between the dives.
nitrox 32. • Then they ascend to the half of the depth with the speed of 9 m per minute (so 15 m
Pragmatic decompression for technical divers
in 2 min – we always round up to the full minute).
In the previous issue of the Perfect Diver I de-
• Now they continue ascending, slowing
scribed a sample decompression plan utilising one
down to 3 m per minute, (so they ascend
decompression gas and trimix in the bottom phase.
5 min from 15 m to 3 m) until they reach surface.
It could seem, that if we mastered a proven method of decompression calculation we can plan deep
tips & curiosities
dives of any length we like. Have a look at statistics
extending our time deeper and deeper we have to
of decompression accidents below. Pay attention
take into account the possibility of DCS as a con-
to the fact that the number of accidents grows with
stant risk factor in this activity.
the depth and time of a dive. ”Safe” or rather the easiest to calculate are the folDecompression accidents
lowing compartments of time and depth:
• In recreational diving in 3/1000 dives serious
• 45 m – 30 min
accidents happen. • In technical diving to 60 m it is 2/1000, of which 50% DCS type II and 50% DCS type I. • In technical diving deeper than 60 m DCS type I happens in 20/1000 dives.
• 60 m – 20 min • 75 m – 15 min. Taking it into account it’s worth planning one’s diving development in a slow pace, slowly extending both depth and time of the bottom phase, adjusting them to own skills, psychophysical fitness and
In most cases the occurrence of DCS is connected
to long bottom phase followed by various mistakes connected to decompression execution. The risk of
How to do it?
making mistakes which will cause DCS is the part of
If we focus on slow development, then during gain-
diving. Gaining diving experience and consciously
ing experience after finishing a technical course we
Photo Michał Motylewski
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
will plan dives in the range of 45–55 m, with the
25 min, our decompression will stay constant at
amount of gas of a 2x12 l set. Sticking to 2x12 l will
30 minutes (you don’t know what is this calculation
eliminate, with big probability, typical mistakes of in-
based on? Find the explanation in the previous Per-
experienced technical divers, who change cylinders
fect Diver). It’s easy to spot a certain rule: with the
to bigger and add more side cylinders, as they want
described assumptions BT=DT. Deeper 3 m = deco
to extend depth and bottom time as fast as possible,
longer 5 min. Shallower 3 m = deco shorter 5 min.
while they are not ready for this yet. The safety will be ensured by the amount of gas, which will not let
Is it so crucial to stick to decompression of 30 min?
us dive longer than in the safest compartment.
No, the main reason here is the amount of gases we carry – in practice it is enough for about 45 min. In
these depth and time range it is safer to take 1 big
It’s known that with such dives the Set Point (the
cylinder with deco gas than 2 with 2 gases (it’s worth
depth and the time, on which the fast calculations
checking in Deco Planer a dive for 45 m with bottom
are based) is the average bottom depth 45 m and
time of 30 min with nitrox 50 as a deco gas, and sim-
time 30 min. We can safely extend the depth and
ilarly with oxygen extra – the difference in deco time
simultaneously shorten the bottom time. Let’s cal-
is too small to bother with extra cylinder, although
culate the minimum gas for the individual depth
the decision always depends on the diver).
segments starting with 42 m. A segment is 3 m, so we calculate extending the depth every 3 m. The
OK, and what if I’m on a wreck, with superb super-
limit for us will be the chosen ppO2 in the bottom
structures at 42 m but also a super propeller at 51 m?
phase and the real bottom time, which will let us
How to perform such a dive?
real solving of problems without the risk of OOG). Drawing a simple table with MG and BT for individ-
Flexible decompression plans, i.e. we dive
ual segments can be very useful.
the way we want
With extending the depth and simultaneously
A good strategy is to check the deepest point where
shortening the bottom time we can get constant
there is something interesting for us and choose
gases according to this depth. If the wreck, apart
Every 3 m deeper from our set point (45 m) means
from the most interesting part at 42 m, has e.g. pro-
+5 minutes to the decompression time (and re-
pellers, always worth seeing, at 51 m, then instead
spectively 3 m shallower = –5 minutes deco), and
of trimix 21/35 we take trimix 18/45. (such change
while calculating gases you will find out that when
always means +5 minutes deco) Here the standard
extending depth the safest is to shorten bottom
gas saves us time: we know without calculations
time. Meaning that if we extend our depth of 3 m,
that it’s the safest for these depth range.
to 48 m, and shorten the bottom time by 5 min to
Now, here is what gives us diving freedom – the average depth and average partial pressure.
Wrecks are on average 100 m long. Without a scooter, swimming along it will take us about 7 min, coming back will take another 7 min, plus taking a photo and glancing here and there, will take next few minutes. Very seldom we swim at the constant depth, so here is our aim – for calculating decompression we use the average depth of the total bottom time. Knowing that the most interesting part of the wreck is at 42 m and we spend there 90% of our time, having the right gas
tips & curiosities
Photo Marcello Di Francesco
and knowing how to plan the turn pressure, we
requiring from divers increased effort. The rule for
can easily spend 5 min at the bottom near propel-
ascending is the same as in pragmatic decompres-
lers, at 51 m. Our average depth will rise to 45 m,
sion for recreational divers: till 50% of the average
and this is our set point. So if before ascending
depth we ascent with the speed of 9 m per minute
our gauge shows the average depth of 45 m and
and then we slow down to 3 m per minute. The set
the time of 30 min then the decompression will
point is 30m/30min. Every extra 10 min at this depth
take 30 min (+5 min due to rising the amount of
generates extra 10 min deco time at 6 m (or 5 min if
Helium by 10%)
we deploy for deco pure oxygen).
OK, and what with ppO2?
Decompression trivia, connected and not connected to pragmatic decompression
Easy – it’s at a very safe level of 1 ATA, Thanks to utilising the proper gas we have its smaller density and therefore a smaller narcotic potential. While choos-
Apart from the best calculation the key factors for
ing gases it’s worth taking into account the average
safe decompression are: temperature, hydration,
partial pressure and average narcotic potential (sug-
gentle work during deco, diver’s fitness.
gested in such dives: ppO2 1,2 and END 30 m). • No-decompression diving means that we accept And now just shortly about long dives with the aver-
the risk of decompression at the surface.
age depth of 30 m, very popular e.g. in some caves.
• BT is calculated starting at the 10th metre, the
We can use 2 gases: nitrox 32 or trimix 30/30. Plan-
time spent shallower than 10 m is deducted
ning decompression will be the same for both gases, but the second one will be much better in places
from the BT. • If we stay for long in the range of 15–20 m and
perfectdiver No. 4(6)/2019
Photo Marcello Di Francesco
then we descend then every 3 min give us 2 min to the BT. • If the average depth of a dive planned in the range of 45–75 metres is smaller than 25 m then the decompression can be omitted. • If the time of the dive was shorter than 20 min then we ascend to 50% of the depth.
• For the planned nitrox 50 we can use nitrox 46–54% O2. • If the O2 fraction is bigger than 54% we start deco at 18 m. • If the O2 fraction is smaller than 46% then we add extra 5 min deco at 6 m (it works for the 40–45% O2 only).
• Using a pragmatic decompression from 21 m we
• Typical gas consumption needed among oth-
can use a linear variant: 50% of the deco time
ers for the deco gas planning: bottom phase
is divided into 5 stops 21–9 m with equal times,
15–20 l/min deco phase 10–16 l/min dynamic
and the remaining 50% we stay at 6 m (or we can
consumption 25–30 l/min.
divide it into 2/3 at 6 m and 1/3 at 3 m). • We can also utilise decompression with an
”S curve” where he time form 21 m is divided
Choosing deco profiles, deco time, gases, software
for: 1/3 at 21–9 m, 2/3 at 6 m.
and computers depend solely on you: the diver
• Typical ascent speeds: 9–10 m per minute till
who prepares it and plans to deploy it.
75% of the depth and then 6 m per minute.
If you found the described method of decompression interesting and you are willing to extend your knowledge about decompression, then you are invited to seminars at the Tecline Academy.
Nie lekceważ bólu mięśni, stawów i kości.
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A magazine about the broadly understood diving of people and animals. Created with the aim of striving for perfection in what and how we do...
Published on Nov 30, 2019
A magazine about the broadly understood diving of people and animals. Created with the aim of striving for perfection in what and how we do...