This article was written by Mary-Ann Marthinussen, PADI Tec Deep Instructor, and originally published on the TecRec blog on July 19, 2015.

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 Diver course during the summer of 2009. My buddy from the course and I had heard about this wreck that started at about 8 meters (26 feet) and continued down to 40 meters (130 feet). 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 (15 feet), past 8 meters (26 feet), past 10 meters (33 feet), 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 side of the ship 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 PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course in Malta, perfect for a new wreck enthusiast. I did my Deep Diver and Wreck Diver Specialty courses and moved back to Norway. There, I continued my courses and ended up as a PADI 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 (66 feet) and continued down to 70-80 meters (230-262 feet).

That was especially true of one wreck, called the Oldenburg. This one started at 25 meters (82 feet) and ended at 70 meters (230 feet). It is tilted sideways and is an advanced wreck to dive on. The times I’ve been there on air diving to 40 meters (130 feet), 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 was 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 in my diving, and my dream of seeing the whole wreck became 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. At the dive site, we made sure to check everything; we had brought scooters to bring us faster down to the wreck. We started our descent and went backwards on top of the wreck toward the propeller at 65m (213 feet). The viz wasn’t all that good, but we decided to continue. We reached the propeller, it looked amazing, and I had a big smile on my face. Then, finally it was time, we moved to the end of the wreck, swam past it and turned around. There it was! All of the wreck, 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 (3 feet) at most, so we left the wreck earlier then planned. But I was 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 continues to grow.

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