By Andrea Agarwal
Thresher Shark Divers on Malapascua Island in the Philippines was very proud to recently receive the PADI Tec Rec Center Award and become the only Tec Rec facility in the area. Since then, they have been busy, busy, busy with technical divers. Nathan Coldham, a very experienced PADI Tec Rec Instructor, has recently moved to Malapascua to head up TSD Tec and has been loving every minute.
In amongst teaching plenty of PADI Tec Rec courses, Nathan has found time to get in a few tec fun dives as well, and recently, Nathan and TSD diving guest Fred Headley successfully hit the 100 meter mark on Monad Shoal, home of Malapascua’s famous thresher sharks!
Fred, an avid technical diver back in Australia, came to the Philippines with a determined intent of reaching the depth of 100m. So without further ado, Thresher Shark Divers was pleased to help make this happen.
Fred and Nathan started with several run-in dives and the date for the 100m dive on open-circuit trimix was set for July 10th, 2012. During the preparation dives, plenty of additional training and drills took place in the form of skills circuits, bail-out drills, logistical requirements and of course absolute perfection in the blending of the gases and dive planning.
On the big day, the conditions could not have been better: the sun was out, the ocean was flat and the currents were non-existent.
After a thorough briefing with all the support divers, Nathan and Fred entered the water. It took a 4-minute decent over the ledges of Monad Shoal passing gigantic seas fans and spectacular coral formations that could still be admired even with the lack of natural light.
Nathan and Fred spent their 11-minute bottom time diving alongside schooling snappers and groupers and following the wall and ledges along Monad Shoal before having to make a start on their 110 minutes of decompression stops.
At 40 meters they were met by their first support diver Chris Fanning to ensure everything was going as planned. As they ascended to the top of the ledge at 24 meters, Fred’s wife Jane and support diver Richard were there to meet them.
With everything going well, they then made their way to the mooring line where support diver Melissa Moss met them and they completed the rest of their decompression obligations.
Upon breaking the surface, with a perfectly executed 121-minute of dive and decompression time, everyone in nearby could hear the cheers and screams from both Nathan & Fred whom has just completed TSD’s first open-circuit trimix dive on Malapascua! Once everyone was back on board the atmosphere and energy was both incredible and inspiring.
What made this all the more special – This 100m dive was Fred’s 2000th dive!!!… What a great way to kick-start Thresher Shark Divers newly formed PADI Tec Rec Division.
If you want to learn about technical diving drop Nathan a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://www.malapascua-diving.com/Tec/padi-tec-rec-dsat-courses.html