It is difficult to imagine a place that lends itself better to technical diving than the coastline of Aqaba in Jordan. Aqaba lies at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.
Its textbook topography means that divers can enter the water amongst stunning coral reefs which drop away quickly to shelves of expansive fan coral which, in turn, drop away to fantastic and unexplored depths –including several wrecks at 70m and 100m.
And yet, technical diving is still in its infancy in Aqaba.
That’s something that my friends and I intend to change.
On July 29, we will attempt to break the existing depth record of 144m in the Gulf of Aqaba by diving to 166.6m. I will dive to 166.6m and Duncan Baillie, a PADI Dive Master and my closest support diver, will dive to 145m. In doing so, we want to bring diving, and especially technical diving, to the forefront and highlight Aqaba as a world class diving destination.
We plan to use a Vision Inspiration CCR and OC; our gas selection on CCR will be 6/75 diluent together with deep bail out, travel mixes and deco mixes if required. Bottom mix on OC will be 9/65 which will be used to a target depth of 145m on OC. This means we should achieve the deepest CCR and OC dives ever in Jordan.
Jaime Burns of TV SCUBA will be documenting the event for us, and we’ve had great interest from dive magazines in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand as well as local and regional media. We hope that PADI and TECREC fans will get behind us and wish us luck! We’d love to hear from you and it would be great if any of you could join us in Aqaba that weekend because there’s heaps going on above and below the surface. Royal Jordanian do great deals to and from Jordan, and Sea Star Watersports (a five star IDC PADI center) in Aqaba have some new technical diving equipment which needs to be put through its paces!
To show our commitment to the area’s ecology and to raise awareness of marine conservation, we’re supporting Project AWARE and the Jordanian Royal Ecological Diving Society by holding a reef clean up day; I’m going to be sponsored for every ten meters I dive. All funds raised will be split between the two organizations.
Please keep track of our progress on Facebook: 166point6 Dive Team; Twitter: @166point6; and our website http://www.166point6.com/. And please get in touch if you have good ideas to share!
Rohan Cadzow, PADI IDC Staff Instructor