Lake Baikal Record, New Year’s Celebration and Lake Teletskoye Record
We completed yet another ТЕК-120 course in the end of November! Advanced Trimix Diver and Technical Divemaster Yevgeniy Masternak finished this course under the guidance of BaikalTek instructor Tatiana Oparina. It should be noted, that Yevgeniy took all technical courses from BaikalTek in Lake Baikal and these two facts make it evident that he gained quality education. 120 meters in the Baikal imply special approach and, thus, additional training. In December last year Yevgeniy finished the season with a dive to 110 metres. TEK 120 goal - 125 meters deep dive - was met by Yevnegiy. We congratulate him on this! Yevgeniy plans to make several more deep dives to confirm the level reached and move on to deeper dives. ТЕК150, why not?
Gennady Misan and Tatiana Oparina - BaikalTek instructors - like to dive deep in November-December. There is more free time in the end of the year, so getting ready for the gives can be conducted better in the calm atmosphere. The visibility is better - it is guaranteed in this season, as the water temperature is low - 5-2 degrees Celsius. In the framework of personal training Gennady and Tatiana made a dive together to the depth of 150 metres. Next stage is diving deeper, of course. Gennady Misan set a personal record having reached the depth of 160 metres (his previous record depth was 155 metres). Tatiana Oparina also beat her previous record of 156 metres, which was, moreover, Lake Baikal record deep dive and, possibly, world record of diving deep in very cold water. Thus, her new dive to 170 metres, which Tatiana made, is a new Lake Baikal record and, possibly, a new world record of diving deep in very cold water.
The dive was made in Varnachka dive site (Bolshiye Koty dive area) from a safari boat Valeriya.
Lake Baikal. 170 metres. Comment from Tatiana:
Many people ask me questions about the dive, the gases I used and other details.
I do not make it secret, so I am ready to share these details. However, keep it in mind, I am publishing all the information as a fact: no discussions, no explanations, no “why so and not the other way?”, no “wouldn’t it have been better to ….”. This is MY dive, MY gases, MY plan.
Just a little note to say: I have been making tech dives in lake Baikal since 2003. Several hundreds of tech dives. Several tenths of dives to the depths over 120 metres. I have been getting ready for the 170 metres dive within the past 6 months.
All this works for me - taking into account MY physiology, MY training, MY experience. Even Gennady Misan, who has almost similar to mine approach to diving, would have used a different plan and different gases.
Those interested and willing to dive in Lake Baikal extra deep are welcome - come, let’s start our communication, work out YOUR way to diving deep.
General recommendations and schemes to diving so deep under such conditions (cold water) - DO NOT EXIST. Very many aspects, depending on the diver individual characteristics, have to be taken into account.
Our Lake Baikal School for Technical Diving is a result of many years of experience, based on thousands of dives made by hundreds of tech divers. Analysis, detailed debriefing, correction of mistakes, and to crown it all - a profound knowledge and skills base, which enables us to teach divers how to dive deep not only in lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is a cold and difficult dive area. Having studied here, you will definitely be able to dive under easier conditions.
Twin tank 12*2 - 7/66 - 200 bar
15/52 (12 L) + 22/35 (12 L) + EAN 50 (12 L) +О2 (12 L)
Suit inflation - air, 3 L (200 bar)
Under suit - 3 layers: thermal underwear+Waterproof Body 2+ camel wool undergarment. No heating.
Depth - 169 m (Galileo), 163 m (VR3)
Total dive time - 145 minutes. Water temperature +3 Celsius (surface), +4 Celsius (below 60 m). Visibility ~ 30-35 m. Complete darkness - from 110-120 m.
Plan base - V-planner (VPM-B), conservatism - 0. + plan modification in accord with BaikalTek private methodology.
SOLO dive. Descending along a wall. All gases taken with me.
Analysis (made by me and for me):
1. This depth and this time, when it is +3 Celsius - is a maximum I can do.
2. I can go deeper, but under different conditions. My personal feeling cold (which I DID NOT feel) has nothing to do with the decision.
3. Something has to be done with the weight. I had too much weight on me even though I had no weights on the twin tank. I was too heavy!
4. We will continue in June. New deco-models, new configuration, new training system.
Extra deep dives are over. Deep diving is being continued.
In December we went on our traditional Lake Baikal Polar Diving Safari. It was mixed - tech and recreational - diving. Visibility - typical of November-December-January - was fantastic, but one of the dives is remembered as a fairy-tale: 100 (!) meters visibility! Those diving in the Baikal a lot are lucky to have had such visibility. Once every 2-3 years such unreal experience is possible. In 2015 we witnessed such visibility in June. This year we were lucky to have had it in December. Under these conditions we enjoyed the diving, including Trimix dives, having made a long dive with long bottom time at the depth of 80 metres. One day we even made 3 dives including a night dive. Polar safari participants know, that three dives in December is a hard nut to crack. Taking into account that some of the dives were very deep, our nut was even harder.
We have been dreaming of celebrating the New Year’s Eve in a safari boat in the Baikal for a long time. Dreams do come true. Everything was extra-festive: diving, Russian sauna, New Year’s tree on the shore and underwater, a bonfire, barbecue, traditional Russian New Year’s selection of salads, cakes, a romantic walk to see Circum-Baikal Railway tunnels by night. A traditional underwater dance around the New Year’s tree with champagne and tangerines. A great celebration of the arrival of the New Year in taiga, in the snow, on the shore of the beautiful Lake Baikal, travelling by a nice safari boat Valeriya. You are welcome to join us the following year. Doing the same, but longer, deeper and more! Baikal Liveaboard, New Year’s Diving Safari!
On January 19, 2018 in the proximity of Yaylyu settlement - central area of the Altai Biosphere Reserve (the Altai region) - there was made the deepest dive to lake Teletskoye (depth - 100 metres) in extremely cold water (+1°С). The dive was made by BaikalTek instructor Gennady Misan. To sum it up, dive centre BaikalTek instructors hold records for the deepest dives in two deepest lakes of Russia.
Lake Teletskoye is one of the deepest lakes in Russia. Its depth is 325 metres. It is in the List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO as a constituent part of Golden Mountains of Altai area. Thomas Witlam Atkinson, an English traveller, artist and architect, having visited the lake in 1844, wrote, that nothing of the kind can be found in Europe.
Week 1 - It must have been the coldest safari in our history. We started safari season in the beginning of February for the first time. We used to make them in the beginning of March, then shifted to the middle of February and now we are starting in the beginning of February. During this safari we experienced as low temperatures as -35 Celsius at night and -23-30 Celsius in the day. This made us recollect our previous trips (when it was -22 Celsuis, wind and no sun) with a feeling that those seemingly harsh weather conditions were a laughable absurdity if compared to what we faced this year. However, despite the objectively reasonably lower temperatures we subjectively did not feel really cold.More...
November 1. A frosty morning. Out of the cafe window I can see the Baikal slowly chilling down with a gentle fog over its waters. Listvyanka shores are deserted, a few cars parked on the road along the shore, almost no people to be seen. Just a few leaves on the trees and bushes, very few needles on the larch trees, almost no needles, in fact - one can see spots of snow between the trees in the distance
An unusual divesite - Methane Volcano - was explored. 4 km away from the mouth of the Selenga River, at the depth of 40 metres in the dull clay bottom (what else can be expected from a place next to the mouth of a big muddy river?) there is a huge methane volcano and a small volcanic crater.