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2012 Koh Tao Underwater Festival - 28/9 April

This weekend sees the staging of the annual Koh Tao Festival Event. The Underwater festival celebrates the life and people of the Island and brings the community together to raise awareness of environmental issues which effect us as an island and have further reaching implications. It could be said that it's a microcosm of the actions that communities are taking across the world.

Opening with a Buddhist Ceremony and Speeches for local dignitaries including the Mayor of Koh Tao, there will be events to promote cycling and the use of sustainable  transportation methods to reduce carbon emissions and energy usage. Parades involving local school children, Department of Marine and Costal Resources and the Regional Environment Office will take place to help deliver key environmental awareness messages. Also this year there will workshops held on the festival site on producing soaps, candles and shampoos from recyclable materials, and demonstrations on making products from the readily available local natural resources.

As with previous years there will also be releases of rescued  Turtles and Giant Clams in to the waters surrounding Koh Tao to buoy and boost the local eco-systems.

A huge part of the festivities is the opportunity for locals and visitors  to become involved with the Local Environmental Projects you can easily sign up to participate with local Land, Beach  and Underwater Clean Up projects happening all over the weekend, at local dive schools.

But what would a celebration be without a party? At the festival site there will bars and food stalls available to keep you sustained throughout the evening as you enjoy entertainments put on by local Dive Schools and businesses, the winning entry from the Koh Tao Film Festival and finally you can dance the night away with live music and DJ's

Its a great day out for all the family and certainly not one to be missed if your on Koh Tao.

visit the Save Koh Tao website for more details of the great work the organisation does

2012 Koh Tao Film Festival - 26th April

The 24th is the Final day for entering into the 2012 Koh Tao Film Festival. Your opportunity to share your work with the local community. The third Annual event promises to be bigger and better once again so make sure you get your entry in on time! To do so please ensure you hand in two copies on disk to the Save Koh Tao Offices - opposite the Animal Clinic.

This is always a great social event and an opportunity for the videography community to come together and share their world views.

With great prizes on offer and the winner will also have their film screened at the Koh Tao Festival on Saturday 28th April

James Cameron - Deep Sea Challange - Explained by Nacho El Garasha

The miracle of the #deepseachallenge

We like many others have been following closely the progress of the James Cameron, National Geographic Expedition to the worlds deepest Marine Trench. We are particularly keen to see all that is going on as a former member of the team, and underwater videographer  Nick Corkhill is part of the crew assisting him to make this historic journey.

If  you, like many, are unsure quite why this is such a momentous feat, Nacho El Garasha has gone someway to try and explain the task.

The miracle of the #deepseachallenge

James Cameron’s plunge to the bottom of the Marinara’s Trench is a vast leap forward, or down, in so many ways.  It is remarkable in many ways that the math’s behind it will lose people easily and they will not appreciate how difficult this must of been.  What we are going to do is break it down to the simplest way to see how remarkable this #deepseachallenge is.

Let’s look at the numbers behind this expedition.  The Marinara’s Trench is 11,033 meters deep so the pressure there would be 1,104 atmospheres, ata, 1,103 plus the 1 on the surface.   The average adult male’s lung capacity is 6 liters; imagine four 1.5 liter water bottles.  Take those 4 bottles line them up and look at how much air is in your lungs.  Now take off one of the caps, that cap would be your lung size if you were to experience the pressures without SCUBA equipment, say free diving to that depth.  6 liters /1,103 the atmospheric pressure = 0.0054 liters

So the average male has a surface breathing rate of 17 liters per minute.  In order to dive to 11,033 meters, 1,104 atmospheres, that diver to compensate for the increased pressure, remember with every breath your lungs fill up to the same volume, you would be effectively breathing 18,751 liters per minute…  17 liters per minute x 1,104 the pressure at depth = 18,768 Surface Air Consumption Rate.

Now on to the tanks worldwide the most popular tanks are those 11 liter volume aluminum tanks that everyone has seen and hopefully used.  Lets assume that you are going to fill those to 200 bar as we do daily.  So an 11 liter tank volume x 200 bars of air = 2,200 liters of air in each of those tanks.  If you were to breathe for one minute at the depth of 11,033 meters how many tanks would you need, you ask???  Well lets take your SAC Rate of 18,768 liter per minute and divide that by your tank capacity 2,200 which gives you 8.53 tanks needed to complete one minute of breathing at 11,033 meters assuming that you were to exhaust everyone of those tanks without any redundancy, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.  Essentially you would be finishing a tank every 7 seconds.

Please note this does not involve travel times to get to the bottom which took James Cameron over an hour plummeting at nearly 150 meters per minute.  Also not included is the accent times which Cameron’s sub did at the break neck speed of 150 meters per minute which would turn a diver into a can of soda, think of shaking up a can of soda and throwing it against a wall, splat, or your volunteer “Joe” diver.  Sure it would be an interesting experiment but terribly lethal to “Joe”.  Even thinking of attempting this goes against all recreational safe diving accent limits of 9-18 meters per minute and technical diving limits of 3-9 meters accent time per minute.

Also excluded from these numbers are the facts that you would not be able to breathe off of that SCUBA cylinder at 11,033 meters because the ambient pressure surrounding you would be greater than the pressure in the tank.  You would need a tank pressure greater than the atmospheric pressure.  I have endeavored to keep it simple thus far.  Generally in recreationally diving we say that 1 bar = 1 ata, this is not exactly true it is actually 1 bar = 1.01325 ata.  So now take our dive to 1,104 ata and times that by 1.01325 to get the bar’s that we would need in the tank to allow us to take a breath, actually for our lungs to be able to expand to the ambient pressure.  We would require a tank with a pressure rating of at least 1118.628 bar’s which is slightly more than our 200 bar pressure tank is from earlier.  For this reason alone you would need a submarine such as Cameron.

All of that plus without the thermal protection of James Cameron’s little tube, the 110cm tube he was in, he would of came back to the surface as more of a “Cameron Sickle” from the extreme cold temperatures at the bottom of the ocean he would of experienced.

Just think about the numbers and you will see how unbelievable this was…  I have worked this out for 1 minute of breathing at depth, on the bottom, which of course is not possible without more minutes.  James Cameron spent two hours at that depth.  Absolutely unbelievable again!!!  This one is really easy, to figure out how many tanks, IF THIS WERE POSSIBLE AGAIN: take 8.53 tanks times 120 minutes and you would need 1023.6 tanks, once again remember changing them every 7 seconds!!!

So is it a miracle, great engineering or a bunch cowboy paving the way to the lost abyss???  It is a historic day for science.  I for one cannot wait for the next James Cameron movie…


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