100m Plus Dives
Only a few experienced technical divers have ventured this far in Jordan.
The first recreational Trimix dive in Aqaba was conducted by Rod Abbotson and Everette Ingram on 31st May 2007. The dive was made at the Aqaba Blue Hole (Power Station site) to a depth of 102m. Bottom gas used was a heliair trimix of Tmx14/33. Air was used as a travel and decompression mix and EANx60 for the final stages of decompression. The dive was planned with V-planner 3.80 version set on conservative level two giving a runtime of 84 mins with the final stop at 6 metres. There are two deep pinnacles dropping from 70m to 90m with a slope to a deep wall at 100m. This dive was from one pinnacle to the other along the edge of a 100m wall. In the middle area the bottom dropped away to greater depths in a series of ledges. Scroll down to see the deeper diving adventures conducted with Dive Aqaba in the last decade.
Lots of tanks are required to explore these depth for anything more than a quick bounce dive so excellent buoyancy control is a must as well as lots of dives and a full trimix certification. After you gain your Tec Trimix our team can help you build up your experience gradually to prepare you for greater depths! Remember one of the important quality of a technical diver is patience. Pictured right - Rod and Everette decompressing on air at the Power Station wall after being checked by the tec support team. In hindsight is was probably not a good idea to use air as a deco gas on this dive a better option would have been Tmx21/20 if switching at the same depth or to come back shallower to 40m and switch to EANx32. As more is learnt about isobaric counter diffusion.
A second 100m plus exploratory trimix dive was successfully carried out on September 15th by Dorit Yoseph and our team leader Rod. On a previous trimix dive to 75m Dorit, Rod and Everette found a fantastic new deep area to the south of the Power Station dive site. Beyond 75m the wall drops to sand shelf sloping from 85 to 97m. This then drops off into the black abyss. A central rock spur juts out into the black covered in huge fan corals dropping off to 120m plus. This was circumnavigated on this dive. The views where spectacular. After a warm up tec dive on air and EANx50 the previous day at Kiwi Arch to 60m. Rod and Dorit dived to 104m the next day. Bottom gas used was Tmx13/38, giving an END of 58m (hence the 60m air dive to acclimatize) deco gases were EANx32 and EANx75.
Mark Ellyatt, famous for his record breaking 313m dive off Thailand in 2003, recently visited Aqaba on the invitation of tec team member George Ionita who had been completing a deep trimix course in Dahab and then in February 2008 diving the wreck of the Victoria off Lebanon with Mark. On his visit to Aqaba Mark ran a Pelagian Rebreather course for Philip Barawitzka, George Ionita and Rod Abbotson. At the end of the course, Mark's girlfriend, now wife, Iona joined him in Jordan - after doing the tourist bit visiting Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea, Iona, George and Rod conducted a couple of 100m plus dives with Mark at Aqaba Blue Hole and Dorits Deep off the Power Station wall dive site.
Tec team member Richard Rigby (pictured left) joined the elite few divers who have ventured beyond 100m in Jordan. After completing his DSAT Tec Trimix diver course with Rod he underwent a weekend of build up dives culminating in a dive to 105m with Rod at Dorit's Deep off the Power Station wall. Rod went down to 113m to check out the topography for a 120m dive planned the following week. Rod (pictured right) set a new record in Jordan with a 131m dive with Dorit Yoseph at the dive site off the Power Station known as Dorit's Deep. This was the maximum depth allowed under current insurance policies! Dive Aqaba team members Chris and Izz provided invaluable underwater support. Maximum depth was recorded with a Suunto Vytec computer.
Two PADI Course Directors Eyal Sayag and Boaz Samorai, who are also DSAT Instructor trainers joined our tec team leader Rod for a 103m dive at Dorit's Deep. Now they have seen our technical diving facilities and what we have to offer with spectacular underwater scenery at great depths they will bringing more experienced tec divers over to enjoy what Jordan has to offer. Rod also set a new record in Jordan with this dive to 103m using a Pelagian DCCCR with a trimix dilutant. The first CCR dive in Jordan to over 100m. Eyal and Boaz are planning to come over again to make a 120m dive at the same site, the planning is already underway. Special thanks to our boat crew who provided excellent surface support and safety cover for the dive.
After completing his DSAT Tec Trimix diver with Rod tec team member Naka completed a 100m plus dive at Dorits Deep joining the elite few who have ever viewed this place. Earlier in the week Rod also completed another 100m air dive using techniques learnt from Mark Ellyatt this was an excursion at a place between Ashraf's Grotto and Moon Valley to prove that 100m dives are possible here as well as the Power Station sites. Philip Barawitzka also achieved the 100m mark at the Aqaba Blue Hole site with his Pelagian rebreather along with Rod in August 2009. Many deeper areas were explored for potential new tec diving sites through out the summer when Phil spent two months diving with the team.
A new deep diving record for Jordan and Israel was achieved by Dorit Yoseph and Rod Abbotson. The maximum depth reached was 144m of seawater which beat their own record of 131m (June 2008). Dorit is pictured above here with Dive Aqaba owners Enas and Ashraf Sulaibi with all the tanks required to complete the dive safely. On this dive Rod took the Pelagian DCCCR Rebreather to 140m (recorded with Shearwater Pursuit) a new record for rebreather diving in Jordan. Rod would like to thank Mark Ellyatt for his "Inspired training" and invaluable advice. Also special thanks to Andy Fritz for creating the Pelagian DCCCR at Rebreather Lab.
Mark Ellyatt visited Jordan again in December 2009, during the visit a dive was made to 115m to test various trimix computers. This dive was supported by our tec team and was over three hours duration after decompression had been completed. Mark was supported by Alaa Farrah on the final stages of decompression and supplied with food and drinks. On this dive Rod accompanied Mark who was on open circuit trimix with Pelagian DCCCR Rebreather. We would like to thank the crew of Sea Breeze for their support and all the recreational divers for their patience and willingness to compromise their schedule as they had to wait three hours for us to surface before traveling to their second dive site.
Steve Grace and George Evans from the Royal yachts both made several dives over 100m during April 2011 along with Rod Abbotson as deep support team for the Deep Flight Super Falcon submersible. Steve was trained by Rod on the Pelagian rebreather and the maximum depth dived on the project was 135m. George has now started his training on a Pelagian rebreather with Rod. The Super Falcon team will be returning to Aqaba in the future and may make a permanent base here for manufacturing, testing the Deep Flight submersibles. This will bring work for many people in Aqaba and also put Aqaba on the map! We will continue to provide deep safety support.
Ahmad Mulla completed his full trimix course with Rod in May 2011, after which he planned and made a successful dive to 101m. He returned to Jordan to gain extra deep diving experience in September 2011 with our tec instructor Huw Lovell when they dived to 125m at Ashrafs Grotto. Eric Navet(not pictured here) also completed a dive to 111m after completing technical instructor training with Rod. Nick finally made it to 100m after 4 years of training with Dive Aqaba on both open circuit and rebreathers. On this visit Nick also helped with the deep cleaning project in conjunction with Aqaba Marine Park helping us to clean lines out that were discovered on the Super Falcon project above.
Mark Ellyatt and Rod Abbotson made a local record breaking dive to 167m, George Ionita provided deep support at 112m, all using Pelagian rebreathers. This was to complete the project started by Seastar Diving with the 166point6 team. The media and sponsors they had gained during the spring needed the dive to happen on the 29th July 2011. The original team wasn't ready so the Dive Aqaba Tec team stepped in to complete the dive. Support for the dive was also provided by Seastar Diving and the 166point6 team. Money was raised for charity and a large clean up event took place after the dive. The idea was to promote Aqaba and Jordan as a tec diving destination.
Warren van der Bosch visited us in August 2011 for a week of warm water deep trimix rebreather diving, during the week he visited the deep wrecks of Aqaba the Taiyong and the Shorouk and at the Power Station completed a dive with Rod to 115m with his Camelion rebreather. Warren also a friend of Marc Sluszny an honorary member of the Dive Aqaba tec team. His movie "Sharkwise" is a must see for all divers. Valery Skyrz on his second visit to Jordan, stayed for three weeks of tec diving having realised that there is a lot of exploring still to be completed here in Aqaba at deeper depths. This time he brought his rEVO3 rebreather and teamed up with Rod and later Warren and Rod on many deep exporation dives. At the Power Station he achieved a depth of 106m on his rEVO.
Left - In January 2013 Mark Ellyatt visited Aqaba once again and conducted PSA (Professional Scuba Association) courses for 100m on the Pelagian DCCCR with George Ionita and Advanced Trimix with Matt Eker. Both were successful and will be safe deep explorers thanks to Mark's excellent instruction. Right - After all completing full trimix training a four diver team was put together to complete a 100m plus dive in July 2013. The team, pictured above. from left to right was Roel Schulting, Alan Avetoom, Thaer Juqman and Valerie Scotto. The dive was made at the Power Station dive site where depths in excess of 100m can easily be found. This time the maximum depth was 111m and all had a great dive..seeing parts of the Red Sea that only a few divers have ever seen.
In October 2013 Daniel Nicklasson completed an Explorer Trimix course on the Pelagian rebreather with us followed by a dive to a maximum depth of 110m here in Aqaba. He is pictured left with Christian Heylen from PURE Dive in Sharm who completed a crossover course to use the Pelagian Rebreather. Deep Siam TDI Dive centre in Eilat visited Dive Aqaba in October 2013 to complete a 100m plus dive in Jordan. The dive was a success with team on Laila One supporting the group. It was made at the Power Station dive site where depths in excess of 100m can easily be found. This time the maximum depth was 105m and all had a great dive...we now can run Pelagian rebreather courses with Deep Siam in Eilat after all rebreathers were banned in Jordan in September 2014.
In August 2014 a new dive site was explored by Rod Abbotson and George Ionita. We have named the place Neptune's wall, this is a great site for experienced recreational divers and tec divers alike. We dived to 102m here and there is lots to explore there, with interesting topography. Below 100m we observed a pinnacle at 120m and it is also dropping of from there. This is another place we can guarantee 100m depth dives for trimix divers. They also completed a 120m dive at the Power Station south mooring to determine the depth at the top off a large crevasse (first spotted in 2011 on the 167m Jordan Record dive of which George was a support diver at 112m). The dive was conducted using Pelagian rebreathers and revealed a really deep spot for future dives beyond normal tec diving limits. For now, on open circuit.
In May 2016 Amjad suceeded in becoming the deepest Jordanian diver with a dive to 122m. After a series of 4 days of preparation dives building up the depth. He was accompanied by Rod Abbotson and Elliot Oppenheim. The photo on the right here is taken at 120m with a go pro camera. As you can see the light penetration at depth here in Aqaba is incredible! Come and learn how to join our deep exploration team.