Before I left Hong Kong a number of us from South China Diving Club toyed with the idea of going up to Beijing and diving the Great Wall with Steven Schwankert of SinoScuba. Unfortunately it didn’t happen and it’s a bit further for me to travel now, although at least it gives me time to work out how to use a drysuit before we do it.
So, diving the Great Wall? Well, yes. After the devastating Tangshan earthquake in 1976, which Rita remembers since she was a child in Beijing at the time, plans were made to rebuild the city. These plans included providing a water source, so they dammed a river and flooded a valley to create the Panjakou reservoir. About 300km north-east of Beijing the Great Wall drops down from the hills into that flooded valley where it continues underwater for several hundred metres before heading back above the surface. Over the last few years, Steven has been organising occasional expeditions to dive parts of this Underwater Wall. Recently a friend of Steven’s was up there where he took a video of his diving. You can see it on You Tube. And for all you wildlife enthusiasts, there’s even a fish to look at, at around 2:45 minutes in.