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In the last two weeks of this years summer holidays Technical Diving Center- Go Deep has organized a recreational/course trip to one of Croatia’s islands- Vis. Vis – is the tenth in size of Croatia islands located on the Adriatic Sea, located on the south west of Hvar island and to the west of Korčuli. From all the habited Dalmatian islands it is the furthest away, around 45km, from the Croatia coast. It is located around 50km in a straight line from Split and around 150km from the Italian coast. On the island there are few towns in which live around 3700 people from which 80% of the population is in the two biggest towns: Vis and Komiza. The whole island is surrounded by a beautiful mountain region very rich in various Mediterranean flora, hundred of years old chapels, small churches and vineyards. The landscape of Vis that you can see driving through from one end of the island to the other is certainly memorable by anyone who sees it. The smell of growing fruit trees combined with the flower of jasmine makes this place very unique.
The main argument that why we were going to Vis was the desire to visit Croatia and a place that is not very popular by tourists, and a place that is wonderful for diving for technical divers as well as for recreational divers that rather see the beautiful flora and fauna that is characteristic for the Adriatic Sea. On top of that, around the island there are a few very attractive wrecks that are mostly from the II world war period, that are an extra especially for technical divers because of the depth on which they are on.
The whole two week trip was divided into two tours, from which the first one was organized mainly as a trip of recreation and diving from the members of our club, however the second tour of the trip was mainly to conduct instructor courses of the Hungarian group of technical divers that decided to join our organization- PSAI and become it’s country licensee for four countries: Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovakia.
The first group: Sunday the 16th of August, we began our trip from two Polish cities Czestochowa and Lublin. We traveled 13 hours to meet up in the city of Split from which we begun our travel together by a ferry. It was a three hour cruise on the Adriatic sea to the Vis Island on which we were going to stay. After we arrived to Komiza and checked in into our apartments we had to go to the docks, where there was a boat waiting for us on which we had to unpack all of the equipment because the next morning we were about to begin our first divings. The first day was mostly discussing each dive, day by day. The next day at 9 a.m. everyone meat in the Manta Diving Center to go for our first dive on one of the biggest wrecks on Vis- a Croatian troopship- Vassilious- length 104m that is placed on 25 to 55m under the surface. For the first dive everyone went underwater as a whole group dividing into groups of two just in case. The second dive of that day was planed for a smaller wreck- Teti that is on the depth 10 to 33m, as an extra attraction of this wreck there were three big Congers that habited the deeper part of the ship and even though they were very frightening they let a few divers eat out of their hands. The next diving days were a trip to another island that was very close- Bishevo and diving on the local walls and underwater hills in which you could find small and very beautiful caves and caverns. After about an hour of diving, some part of the group decided to see the island and to take rent some boats to a famous cave placed on this island- Blue Cave, thanks to the sunlight going straight into the cave it gives an impression that the bottom is under lighted from the bottom. As the second dive of this day, we decided to go to Vassiliousa, however this time after dark to look at it only using our diving lights. The strong current didn’t let us do the dive as we planed and made us shorten the whole dive to around 30 minutes. The third day was the first dive to a not very big wreck- Fortunal that is located on the depth of 40 to 55m, and thanks to it’s small size it is easy to enjoy on the depth of around 28m, which is also an additional attraction for less experienced divers. For the afternoon dive Andy who was the captain of our boat made a proposition to go to an underwater hill that is rich in colorful and very beautiful corals as well as other living creatures living in this area. The day before the last diving day was planned to dive to the most famous wrecks in Croatia the B-17 bomber that was shut down in 1944 by the Austrian army. However because of the big depth on which the wreck is on, just one part of technical divers with trimix certifications could go down. The whole dive was planned to a maximum depth of 72m with the bottom time of 13 minutes, so that after adding the decompression time gave a total of 75 minutes of diving. The second group of divers, that decided to dive that day, was taken to a spectacular place that is called Green Cave. The rest of the group decided to go for a trip around the island and take as many photos of this magical place as possible. Because after trimix divings a 24 hour break is needed between dives, that is why this was the only dive of that day. The day before the last day ended with a delicious dinner in one of the local restaurants where we had to order the famous Octopus Salad that became sort of like a tradition in our club. On the last day of the trip we made two light dives, the first dive, was again on the wreck Fortunal that brought back a lot of good memories from the first dive, however the last dive was planned to dive on a very beautiful underwater hill that from it’s look, looked just like coral reef from the coasts of Australia. After getting back to the docks, some part of the group that unfortunately was leaving the next day started drying and packing their equipment. The next day, first thing in the morning, the first tour left for Poland.
In the first group were: Przemyslaw Wlodarczyk, Robert Lenartowicz, Arkadiusz Krozel, Justyna Tomaszewska, Dariusz Salaga and Krzysiek Michalski, who under the eye of Robert Jablonskiego and with assistance of Wojciech Kijewski (who begun his instructor course for PSAI Advanced Nitrox) have successfully finished their PSAI Advanced Nitrox Diver course – Congratulations!!! Marta Korzec, Adrian Zywiolek, Jaroslaw Rog, Agnieszka Rog, Michal Majchrzak, Pradella Piotr and Krzysztof Gustaw were the second part of the group that was strictly recreational.
The second half of the trip was mainly conductance of instructor courses for a Hungarian Group of technical Divers who as from this became the representative of PSAI for Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovakia, that is why the whole second tour was strictly dedicated to courses beginning from diving levels to technical instructor courses.
Just like during the first week the first diving day’s purpose was to get familiar with the equipment. Our first diving was the dive to Vasilliousa and it’s little inside penetration. The course that we were supposed to start the next day was a dive that needed to descend next to a line to a depth that was earlier determined, so we looked for a place that we could attach the line to, to the depth of 54m, at the same time we wanted the place to be known by us earlier and of course as safe as possible. After analyzing few places the decision was the wreck Fortunal that is located in a place that is the least exposed to currents and waves. So the second afternoon diving we conducted in this place, placing the line on the boat that went down to 54m. After our evening of planning out the whole course and making the presentation in English we begun to plan the dive that was supposed to start the Narcosis Management course level I- 30m, a course characteristic for our federation PSAI. The next day at 9 a.m. we left with a group of 8 divers. After our first dive at a depth of just 30m, for people that just begun the course it turned out that diving next to the line on the given depth and filling out diving table what seems to be simple, was quite something. After analyzing the whole dive- Post Dive Critic of the afternoon dive that was planned to the depth of 40m was supposed to be the exact reflection of the morning dive except the depth that has an impact on the correct filling out of the diving table. The whole dive just like the other was conducted with no problems. The next day was mainly at the same place however this time the candidates for instructors were to conduct the planning of the whole dive, supervise and correct all the mistakes made by the students underwater and in details go through the post dive critic. The first dive we conducted to the depth of 45m and for the part of less experienced divers it started to be more and more of a problem to fill out correctly the diving tables. After going through the first dive the instructor candidates for Narcosis Management decided to conduct the diving again keeping the time data and depth data from the diving before, to eliminate the mistakes made during the morning dive. It turned out that all of the mistakes were corrected.
The day before the end was planned to conduct the last two levels of the course- level IV and V to 54 and 61m. Therefore we had to move the line to a deeper place, thanks to the help of the captain of the boat Andy and his helper Tonci we located with no problem the area of the wreck Vasilliousa. Just like in the days before after making the diving plan we went to the place where the depth was 61m. However the true measurement we got after reaching the bottom that was on the depth of 55m, it was the minimal depth that was a comfortable way to conduct the whole course of level IV. After a slight moving of the line more towards the open sea, Andy told us that there would be our desired depth. In the afternoon we began our last diving of this course that was also supposed to be the ending of the whole training program for diving levels as well as instructor levels. After the final discussion of the whole dive and the last four days that we took to conduct the whole course, we decided that the last day we will spent on seeing two big and difficult to get to wrecks, that were located on the other side of the island. Ursus sunk by a British submarine and the wreck of a troopship Broni, which because of navigation failure hit the cliffs on the coast. Because both of the wrecks are on the depth of 50 to 65m we decided to use Trimix. Our first dive was maximum 65m with the bottom time of 15 minutes, which was supposed to sum up the whole dive to around 70 minutes of diving, and this is how it turned out to be that the whole plan was conducted in 100%. The next dive and unfortunately our last dive was planned out to the depth of 60m with the same bottom time of 15 minutes, it gave a total of one hour of diving. Broni is a wreck that lays on the portside with a lot of big bunkers that made the penetration very exciting for everyone and at the same time it was our goodbye with the Adriatic Sea. After getting to the port and drying everything very quickly we packed everything into the cars and went for a goodbye dinner, where we begun to plan our next Polish/Hungarian diving trips. The next day after packing everything and sailing goodbye the ship crew and our Hungarian friends we left for Poland.
Summarizing the whole two weeks that we spent on the island were very educational, they brought us a lot of experience, let us discovery new places to dive and what is more important was the positive attitude of each diver during the trip.
In the second group were: Robert Jablonski IT Narcosis Management level V, Marcin Stelmach- Narcosis Management Instruktor level III who was assisting during the course, József Krazsik- Country licensee for Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovakia who has finished his instructor course- Narcosis Management level III and the diving course Narcosis Management level V, Robert Lenartowicz and Adrian Zywiolek have succesfully finished their Narcosis Management Diver level V. On top of that during our diving trip also Marcin Kozlik AOWD PSAI from Opole and the rest of the Hungarian group of divers were with us.
Adrian Zywiolek - Technical Divemaster PSAI #715 .