Light failure, total silt-out, disorientation — these are the challenges a technical wreck diver could face.
IANTDs Technical Wreck Diver course in Subic Bay Philippines covers the skills that help eliminate these deterrents, granting divers rare access to little-seen innards of even a well-dived recreational wreck.
Dave Ross, an IANTD instructor/trainer for Tech Asia Divers Institute, prefers Luzon Island s Subic Bay as a classroom for this four-day course. There, American and Japanese troops fought to control the protected harbor in World War II, resulting in the sinking of countless vessels from both sides.
Most training exercises in technical wreck diving course are conducted in and around El Capitan, a 98-foot-long freighter. Its beginner-friendly, wide entry point leads to bunks and the rear cargo hold (special diving courses) Later dives take place on the USS New York, a 384-foot-long armored cruiser that offers divers the chance to explore a warren of passageways.
When diving off the clock, Ross targets the crew quarters to study the remaining personal effects. These offer a glimpse of what life was like aboard, before and during the sinking — a story few will ever know.
What You Need
Divers will need an entry-level tec certification, such as Tec 40 or Intro to Tech, as well as experience wearing doubles. All gear can be provided.
When to Go
April and May bring the calmest conditions.
Water temperatures year-round average 80 to 84 degrees F.
Dive with Tech Asia Divers Institute (asiadivers.com/techasia), and stay at El Galleon Dive Resort, which offers six categories of rooms and apartments.
The course is $750, plus approximately $200 required for boat fees and gas fills.