By Mary-Ann Marthinussen, TecRec Deep Instructor
I remember my very first wreck dive, the dive that truly got me interested in wrecks. It was my third dive after I completed my PADI Open Water course during the summer in 2009, me and my buddy from the course had heard about this wreck that started at about 8 meters and continued down to 40 meters. We thought it would be fun to check out the shallow part of it, so we geared up and walked towards the dive site with butterflies in our tummies. We decided to descend on the shallow sandy bank and swim towards the wreck, the viz was quite good, but as we got deeper we had this fog in front of us, we couldn’t see much ahead. We continued deeper, past 5 meters, past 8 meters, past 10 meters, where was the wreck? Then all of the sudden out of nowhere the whole side of the wreck lit up, we could see the whole thing from where we were. The wreckside was covered with ascidians, everything was almost glowing, and I was hooked. We swam around the tip of the wreck, with big smiles on our face. After the dive, I knew I had to continue diving on wrecks. I did my advanced course in Malta, perfect for a new wreck enthusiast, I did my deep and wreck specialty and moved back to Norway. Here I continued my courses and ended up as an instructor in November 2010. I found buddies that shared my interest for wrecks but we never got see the whole wreck. Most of them started at 20 meters and continued down to 70-80 meters. Especially one wreck, called Oldenburg. This one started at 25 meters and ended at 70 meters. It is tilted sideways and is an advanced wreck to dive on, the times I’ve been there on air diving to 40 meters I always ended up with narcosis, so I am very familiar with the sandy bottom next to the wreck as my eyes focused on that instead.
When Tec diving got established at Nemo Classic Diving in Norway I had to start, I wanted to see the whole wreck. So I began my tec diving career with the PADI TecRec program. For each course I took I became more and more confident on my diving, my dream towards seeing the whole wreck become closer and closer. After finishing my full Trimix course, I was ready to go. We planned the dive; made sure we had everything and set off. I was thrilled. This had been a dream for so long. On the dive site, we made sure to check everything; we had brought scooters to bring us faster down to the deep dark. We started our descent, went backwards on top of the wreck side toward the propeller at 65, the viz wasn’t all that good, but we decided to continue. We reached the propeller, it looked amazing, I had a big smile on my face, then finally it was time, we moved backwards to the end of the wreck, swam past it and turned around, there it was. All of it in its majestic glory. I made it. I was ecstatic, so happy. We began swimming up the wreck, following our plan, but we couldn’t see a thing, the viz was 1 meter at most, we left the wreck earlier then planned, but still super happy. This was not our last visit. This was my very beginning. My list of wrecks that I have visited and that I want to visit continue to grow.