While many divers are satisfied within the limits of recreational scuba diving, some may feel the call to explore deeper into the underwater world. Technical diving allows scuba divers to do just that. While the definition of tec diving is constantly shifting due to the overlap of commercial and military diving with recreational diving, we offer the following definition for this article. We will define tec diving as any dive where a direct and safe ascent is not possible. This includes dives below 130 feet (40 meters), multiple mix gas diving, ice or cave diving where an overhead environment exists beyond 130 linear feet (40 meters) of the surface, and wreck diving with penetration.
If you’re a no-holds-barred tec diver, consider these ten dive sites for your next scuba diving adventure.
1. SMS Markgraf – Scapa Flow, Scotland
At the conclusion of World War I, 74 German vessels were scuttled off the Orkney Islands in Scotland to prevent the ships from falling into the hands of the British. After significant salvaging efforts between 1920 and 1945, only 7 ships remain. These massive battleships join British naval vessels and block ships to create a tec diving wonderland. The SMS Markgraf, in particular, is in pristine condition, demonstrating the impressive size of the German battleships. In 150 feet (45 meters) of water, the Markgraf requires a degree of technical diving to reach its iconic features.
Dive Type: Wreck
When to Go: April to October
2. The Gunilda – Rossport, Canada
The Great Lakes are home to untold numbers of shipwrecks. The depth of the lakes mean that many will never be discovered. However, those that are remain in perfect condition due to the cold, freshwater conditions. The Gunilda was reputed to be one of the most beautiful private ships of her day. Built in 1897, Lake Superior claimed the ship in 1911 while she was under ownership of affluent New Yorker William L. Harkness. The luxurious boat ran aground against a shoal. All of the passengers made it to safety, but left their possessions behind as they were sure the boat wasn’t really going to sink. But during attempts to save her, she fell off the shoal to a depth of 262 feet (80 meters). Few divers have ever been brave enough to dive the Gunilda, but those that do are astounded by the pristine ship that remains on the lake floor.
Dive Type: Wreck
When to Go: June to September
3. Andrea Doria
Often called the “Everest of Wreck Diving,” the Andrea Doria is known for its challenging conditions. An overly ornate, Italian luxury liner of the post World War II era, the Andrea Doria met her demise after colliding with another passenger liner. 1,660 of her passengers and crew were rescued, but the ship came to her rest in 1956 on her starboard side in 250 feet (72 meters) of water. The problem with diving the Doria is that conditions are highly variable. At times, the visibility can reach 100 feet (30 meters), but more than often, it sticks at 10 feet (3 meters). Currents can change at the blink of an eye, and while penetration is possible, the ship’s rapid deterioration makes this a risk. However, the willingness of divers to explore this wreck since the 1950s has pushed technological advances in tec diving equipment and furthered the sport without measure.
Dive Type: Wreck
When to Go: June to September
4. Biofilter Bay – White Sea, Russia
Ice diving attracts a certain type of diver – one who is ready for adventure, cold and ever-changing conditions. As the only sea in Europe that completely freezes, the White Sea regularly attracts these types of divers. One site in particular, Biofilter Bay, is known for its dramatic ice formations caused by the huge change between high and low water levels as well as the area’s currents. Do note that ice diving is only considered tec diving further than 130 linear feet (40 meters) from the opening in the ice.
Dive Type: Ice Dive
When to Go: January to April
5. The Pit – Tulum, Mexico
The deepest cenote in Quintana Roo, The Pit is ideal for tec divers who like the challenge of deep diving in a confined environment. Light penetrates the cenote down to 100 feet (30 meters) where a layer of hydrogen sulfate awaits. Below this cloud, an ancient yet unintended burial ground can be explored by divers with proper training. Animal and human remains were once found here.
Dive Type: Deep and Cave Dive
When to Go: May to September
6. Devil’s Den – Williston, Florida
Sometimes called Devil’s Den Cave or Devil’s Den Springs, this dive site has long attracted cave divers to its depths. The cave itself sits on private property, but divers are welcome during business hours. Inside, you’ll find a spring with an “inverted mushroom” shape which reaches 200 feet (61 meters) across. From the larger room of the cave, four underwater passages extend between 5 and 90 feet (1.5 and 27 meters) below the surface. Tec divers can explore these passages with proper training.
Dive Type: Cave Dive
When to Go: Year-round
7. Blue Hole – Dahab, Egypt
A beacon for tec divers around the world, the Blue Hole in the Red Sea drops to over 400 feet (100 meters). Inside you’ll find excellent visibility, plenty of marine life and coral-lined walls. The Arch, which connects the blue hole with the open water at 170 feet (52 meters) is often a goal of tec divers. But, remember that this can be a risky endeavor and only fully trained divers should try to dive so deep.
Dive Type: Blue Hole
When to Go: March to November
8. San Francisco Maru – Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon in Micronesia is known as the home of the “Ghost Fleet.” At the end of WWII, a concentration of Japanese ships made the natural harbor a target for Allied forces who bombed the area in 1944. 12 warships, 32 merchant ships and 275 aircraft were ultimately sunk. Today, the San Francisco Maru is one of the remaining wrecks. Sitting in 210 feet (64 meters) of water, the 385-foot (117-meter) passenger ship has holds that are filled with mines, torpedoes and even three tanks. The deck is located at 160 feet (49 meters), so tec diving is a requirement to explore this amazing wreck.
Dive Type: Wreck Dive
When to Go: December to April
9. HMS Hermes – Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
One of the very few aircraft carriers that can be dived, the HMS Hermes is found off the east coast of Sri Lanka. She was sunk in early 1942 by the Japanese, and despite obvious deterioration, several key areas of the wreck are still clearly visible including the control tower. Sitting on her port side between 137 and 173 feet (42 and 53 meters), this massive ship has only been explored since 2009 due to recent political instability in Sri Lanka.
Dive Type: Wreck Dive
When to Go: May to October
10. The Drop Off of Verde Island – Puerto Galera, Philippines
Puerto Galera is a scuba diving heaven for recreational and tec divers alike. Here the reefs and drop offs extend from shallow depths all the way down to around 250 feet (75 meters). In particular, the walls of Verde Island are worth exploring. At the Drop Off, you can expect to dive straight down a wall to the sloping sea floor. Looking up, you’ll see an underwater mountain towering above you. Current can be strong, but the site’s proximity to deep water means you’ll never be bored for big fish life.
Dive Type: Wall Dive
When to Go: November to June
Gear Up! Technical Diving Equipment
Diving beyond recreational limits certainly requires a different set of scuba gear. Tec divers typically use twin cylinders or rebreathers (CCRs). They may also carry additional tanks with a variety of gas blends. Plus, it’s vital to backup scuba equipment at such depths. These divers usually include two dive computers and independent regulators in their kit. Finally, an adequate exposure suit is absolutely necessary. Tec divers may own a dry suit as well as wetsuits in a variety of thicknesses.
After enjoying our trip to the Philippines September 2018 we have been asked to do another trip back in 2021.
10th November- 21st November 2021.
Atlantis Dumaguete is located in Dauin on Negros Island, the third largest island in the Philippines. Dauin has established several sanctuaries, and just one reason for the stunning marine biodiversity exhibited here within which fishing and boating is absolutely prohibited. This includes sites such as Mainit, Luca, Dauin and Masaplod. These sites are well preserved and offer a huge variety and quantity of life forms; Blue ringed octopus, Wonderpus, Mimic octopus, Poison ocellate octopus, Ambon scorpionfish, Flamboyant cuttlefish, Bobbit worms and a wide variety of Nudibranchs are frequent sights. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the Atlantis Dive Resort Dumaguete is situated on a long stretch of beach and caters specifically for divers looking to access some of the best diving in the Philippines.
Rivalling some of the best muck diving spots on earth and being home to all manner of weird and wonderful critters, for macro lovers, Dauin and Dumaguete are truly excellent. If you are a photographer, or even if not, the diving here is heaven.
One of the most spacious camera facilities you will find in any dive resort worldwide. There are 21 cubby holes to store equipment.
Local Dives at 8:30am, 10:30am, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm (night dives available every day). Most dive spots within ten minutes of the resort.
For the non divers:
Dumaguete has a wealth of places to explore; spend the morning shopping at a local market and experiencing the the local culture. Try a city tour, or enjoy a day in the mountains and take in the lush tropical countryside, natural pools and waterfalls. Dumaguete also has golf courses, a modern mall or local shops to buy souvenirs from. For those wishing to just take it easy take a look at our Spa pages and indulge yourself.
Daytrip to Apo Island
Dumaguete City Tours
Daytrip to Oslob Whalesharks
Quad Bike Tours
B&B (2 dives a day)-£2,020
Half Board (3 dives a day)-£2,405
Full Board (3 dives a day)-£2,570
Deposits & payments:
£350 deposit at the time of booking
£850 payment 11 months prior to departure
Balance due 11 weeks before travel
9 nights’ accommodation.
Board basis as per chosen price option.
Daily diving based on chosen price option.
Airport departure tax – PHP850 (approx. £13)
Marine Park Fees – The current fee per day dive is PHP 210 (Approx. £3) and PHP 315 (Approx. £4.80) for a night dive.
Food outside the board basis selected.
For more infomation please give Becky or Gary a call on 01952 257 590.
To book please give MJ from Ultimate Diving a call on 0208 655 6458.
ScubaTeks on Tour takes us north….
Orkney has a unique underwater environment, from vast battleships resting in the heart of Scapa Flow, to smaller blockships dotted along the rugged coastline. There is a real poignancy to seeing the wrecks on the seafloor of the Flow, an area that is teeming with a history that spans the centuries and encompasses both grievous losses and magnificent victories.
Dates to be confirmed-September 2020.
The Scapa Flow Package includes:
7 nights’ accommodation – Saturday to Friday.
6 days diving (2 dives per day) – Sunday – Friday
Use of lead weights (please bring your own belts)
Air fills (nitrox available charged extra, trimix by prior arrangement)
Complimentary tea, coffee & biscuits. After dive pints of tea served as standard!!!!
Accurate, in depth, multi-media dive briefings and history talks. Over 30 years combined experience diving the German Fleet. The only boat offering this level of briefing in Scapa.
There are only 12 spaces available on the vessel.
You must be Advanced Open Water with Deep spec or equivalent to sign up to this trip. Tec divers welcome.
Cost is £775.
£350 deposit-Required upon booking to confirm your space!
In late November 1918 the German High Seas Fleet arrived in Scapa Flow for internment. On 21 June 1919, believing the British intended to seize the fleet, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the order to scuttle every ship. Today the wrecks of three battleships, three light cruisers and a fast mine-layer – ships that all escaped complete removal during salvage operations – remain on the seabed of Scapa Flow. Lying between 45 and 12 metres under the surface, these wrecks have become imposing and insightful pieces of history. They offer distinct and rare diving experiences.
Luxury Self Catering Accommodation in the Heart of Stromness
• 6 bedrooms including “snorers” room – just in case! • 5 bathrooms• Large open plan living space & kitchen diner, leather sofas, 42” Smart
• Fully equipped kitchen diner for 12 with an extra-large oven, dishwasher,
microwave, larder fridge and freezer. We include cleaning products,
kitchen roll and tea towels• Washing machine & tumble dryer – we provide washing powder
• Free wireless internet access – please bring your own laptops/devices
• Designated diver equipment charging station
• Egyptian cotton bed linen and towels – 2 x large bath towels per person
Our first Red Sea Liveabord trip being looked after by our friends at Ultimate Diving!
20th-27th October 2020
Aboard the MV Legends…The only Red Sea liveaboard with Diver Lift!
Northern Red Sea (Wrecks)
Prices: Deposits & Balances
£1365 per person + £23 for the visa.
£300 per person and balance due 11 weeks prior to departure. Flexible payments scheme available.
Inclusions: Flights from Manchester, 7 nights on-board, full board basis, transfers and daily diving. Marine Park Fees and Nitrox also included. Included within your charter is full board and selected soft drinks.
British owned and operated Legends is the perfect safari boat for a dive group who want to explore the Red Sea.
From your initial enquiry until you return home after your trip, the Ultimate Diving and Legends team will take care of all the
organisation and logistics for you, so you can concentrate on having a fantastic dive trip.
Legends has 10 cabins in total, 4 double suites, and 3 twin cabins and 2 single cabins. Space is important to us, so
we offer Legends as a 16 divers full charter.
Legends is not just a tech boat for deeper dives… Your safari on Legends will give you the chance to have a relaxed week, diving some of the most famous locations in the world as well as some lesser dived hidden gems. By planning to do 3 dives per day with a few selected night dive locations (not just where you happen to have parked every night) you can extend your dives to be more relaxed and take the time to really explore.
If you need anymore information please give Becky a call on 01952 257 590.
To book please call MJ at Ultimate Diving on 0208 655 6458.
Our friends at Porthkerris have us booked in for a cram packed weekend diving in the salty stuff.
Porthkerris Divers are a family run, family friendly, beach front dive centre. Onsite facilities include a dive shop, compressor room, kit store, camping, electric hookups, self catering accommodation, toilets, showers,lecture room etc. They also offer hardboat diving, basking shark boat trips and have a beautiful shore dive on site. Most of the wonderful dive sites are only a 10 minute boat ride away. An absolute gem of the south coast.
We will arrive Friday afternoon and have unlimited shore diving as part of our package so as soon as the tents are up we will be straight in the water! That will be Friday and Sunday diving sorted along with as many night dives as you like. If we have enough people we may also charter a boat on the Friday afternoon. This will be £40 per dive, per person. Please let us know if you’d like to do a dive from the boat on the Friday.
Saturday diving we will be on the Kitten. The Celtic Kitten is an 8.5 metre power cat with a lift. They run the Kitten as a shuttle, so you will come back to the beach between dives for a minimum of an hour and a half surface interval. We will be doing 2 wreck dives. To dive from the boat you are required to be minimum Advanced Open Water diver with experience of SMB deployment. Those that just want to shore dive can spend as much time as they like under the water throughout the day.
We will be camping right on the beach less than 20 meters away from the shore. Shower and toilet facilities are available on the beach in a block and there are also washing up sinks and a kit wash area. There is also self catering accommodation available, if you would prefer!
Very weather depending we are hoping to take a shot at making our way out to sea to track down some blue sharks to snorkel with. The trip takes around 5-6 hours and will cost £120 per person. This will be confirmed much closer to the time but please let me know if you would like to go and I will do my best to make it happen.
Come along and join us for one of our fabulous weekends away.
A new part of the UK for us, St Abbs.
Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd August 2020
Includes 2 nights accommodation in the bunkhouse and 2 days diving, 2 dives a day.
Mostly all of the diving is done within the Voluntary Marine Reserve which boasts some of the best diving in the UK and is minutes from St Abbs harbour. The visibility is usually a good 8 to 10M year round. On dives like Black Carr/Skelly/Anemone Gullies/ the elusive Wolf fish can be spotted as well as an abundance of other life. Lobster/Crab/Anemones/Soft Coral/Various Fishes the list goes on!
Boat Only-£135 pp
Diver Inc 2 nights accommodation-£225 pp
Non Diver-£125 pp
Extra nights accommodation (Sunday-Monday)-£55 pp
£100 pp deposit to secure your place.
Accommodation will be in the Dive Lodge, Shared accommodation. Otherwise, there are plenty of camping sites around.
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