I start backwards with what we did in Poland. Since I have already posted the dive film, it is probably just as good that I blog about it as well. I can say that I took a much-needed break from photographing in the water, but I still made a couple of pictures and film clips. All photos in this blog are taken by myself with an iPhone 11 which felt at a good level for me right now.
The dive site
We arrive at the dive site after driving around outside a real coal and steel industry city with all that entails. But once inside the area for diving, it is a nice park with small walking paths and art (?) Of rubbish.
We drive through the barrier and two food trucks with perfect dive food. And we go to some of the changing booths where we meet Marcin and his team from Dive24. The changing booths here are built as large bus shelters with benches along the walls and a large sturdy table in the middle. Everything built to withstand wet and heavy diving things. Right at the barrier, there is another variant of a changing booth that is slightly smaller but still completely sufficient for a diver to have his things and be able to change if the rain falls.
Food trucks, exchange booths - yes, what more could be needed at a dive site if a diver could wish freely? Yes, toilets of course and a shower for those who dive in a wetsuit. Beer you might say? Oh yes, it was of course in the food trucks. Then a nice dive site in itself of course. There were 3-4 arranged boarding places with lots of room in between so it doesn’t get crowded when you are getting into or off the water. In the water there are different platforms for courses at different depths. They were used well during the weekend. There is a nice plateau at 6m to hang on to during any decoration (if you now manage to pull on that at a depth of max 18 meters). There are two large excavators, a pumping station and an airplane. The water maintained a comfortable temperature of 18-19 degrees. Feels like a diver's wet dream, doesn’t it?
Accommodation? Yes, a hotel just a few hundred meters away with the apt name Aqua Hotel.
Our plan was, of course, diving on the excavators. That was what I had looking forward to since the day we started talking about this trip, about six months ago. I have photographed and climbed on an almost similar ling excavator at home, in Sweden. I was just so exited before the first dive. The plan was to both film and photograph to show you how it looks like. To maximize time on the excavators, we swam on the surface to them, both dives. The water is warm and quite clear, not west coast clear but really good visibility. Around us, curious fishes swims around us while swim towards the little excavator. Once there, we descend next to the giant excavator's arm - did they say this was the little excavator?
I film a bit and take some photos, then I just feel that I have no desire for it at all, so I hang the camera in the strap, and there it hangs the rest of the dive. Instead, I just enjoyed the experience myself. Instead, I got to be in front of Marcin’s camera.
A couple of days later we dove on the big excavator and even then, we swam on the surface first to get to the excavator. This excavator is even larger and starts a few meters below the surface. It's a nice feeling this time too to dive around on the excavator, a bit like a mix between wreckdiving and minediving. We dive around in the engine room this time too and uses Marcin's iPhone for both film and photos. I have moved some weight on my sidemount rig so I will not be as heavy at the back and it makes a difference. Now I'll just practice getting my knees up a little more. It was this with both practicing photography and getting back to diving and practicing new kinds of equipment. Why make it easy for yourself? Marcin is responsible for most of the filming this dive, but I borrow the mobile phone and takes a few photos at least.
The demo day
The demo day (Saturday) was very nice. One thing I noticed was that it's hard to be on a demo day in a country not speaking the native language. Not many people wanted to talk to me when they realized that I did not know Polish and had to speak English. But I really liked the idea of a demo day at a dive site where visitors can try what they are interested in and take the opportunity to try different brands and talk to different manufacturers, distributors and retailers. In addition, an interesting place for all those to be networking and start new collaborations. Despite that most of the people didn’t want to talk to me, at least I got some faces on several names I only had heard of before.
We agreed to return to this place. And why not put together a bunch of divers and maybe those interested in old mines for a trip with a couple of dives here and visit some mines in the area.