『 Ice Diving Festival in Korea 』
Festival, it is truly a great festival!
Every year, over hundreds of our SDITDIERDI members from all over the world, getting together just to dive in the freezing cold water, where the water temperature is only 1° C.. Everybody wearing thick undergarments, drysuit; and using different kinds of the scuba gears to join the Festival. You could see the single backmount configuration, sidemount configuration, and even CCR (Closed Circuit Rebreather) unit; and I dive with the CCR this time. If you are not a CCR diver, you may be missing out on the great experience as I was having.
My name is Chris Chan, an instructor trainer evaluator (#14201) from Hong Kong, China. This is my third time joining the Ice Diving Festival in Korea. Every year we are invited by Mr. Travis Euiook Jung, the soul leader of the SDITDIERDI family of Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and China region. Every year, you will see all the hard work of the Korea office. From the reservation of the hotels, local transportations & meals arrangement for the overseas members, dive site setup, all logistics arrangements of the Festival, a souvenir for members, and even snacks on site, all of these things are supported by them. No complaints, no dispute but just pure supports, 100% supports, and selfless contribution. SDITDIERDI is truly a family, and we love our family. That’s why I join every year to see my old friends, and of course, to make new ones.
When Travis asked me to join the Festival, I said to him I would like to use a CCR for my ice diving this year and he simply replied: “OK! I will ready that for you.” Having a great mentor is always a benefit in your diving life.
Using CCR for the ice diving are truly different compared to using OC(Open-Circuit) scuba gears. The air I breathe is much warmer, gas consumption is not really a concern anymore; and the most important thing is: it is so silent that I can even hear the cracking of the ice.
The ice cracks? Yes! It did crack! Sounds horrible, is it? But trust me and do not worry, it is safe and it is just a natural phenomenon. The thickness of the ice in the dive site is more than 45cm. However, when the people walked on the surface, the pressure increased, and the ice would crack internally but would not collapse. So it was safe for both divers underwater and on the surface. Actually, the first time I heard the cracking sound, I thought someone on the surface was digging another new hole. But I kept hearing that during my 3 dives throughout that day, and I could even see it cracking when I looked up. I saw a diver walking on the surface of the ice and the ice actually starts cracking, just like a Hollywood disaster movie, the grounds are breaking up! And I could see the development of the cracks clearly. It was truly a new experience for me, it was interesting and it was fabulous.
I asked my buddy to see whether they heard the sounds of cracking? But they all answered: No! They could not hear anything else except for the sound of their bubbles. Then I realized, because of the silence of the CCR, I was able to hear the cracking sounds. That's why my buddies cannot hear anything, just as I was for the last two years. What a great experience!!
Except for the cracking phenomenon and sounds, what you could see down there? Well, you won't see any of the big fish, sharks or turtle down there; and yes, it is freshwater diving! You may see some small fish, not many, but their behaviors are just strange and weird. Maybe to preserve energy, their movements are just abnormal; they seem very lazy and reluctant to move. Unless you getting very close to them, otherwise they don't move at all.
Ice diving is awesome! I will definitely join again and of course, diving with CCR is my first choice!
Instructor Trainer Evaluator of SDITDIERDI