Deep Dive with Confidence
At some point after learning to dive, most divers have an urge to dive deep. As adventurers, scuba divers may want to go deeper than they’ve ever gone to explore a wreck, take photos or simply to see what’s there. There are greater potential hazards that come with diving deeper and learning to recognize and deal with these risks is part of what you learn in the PADI Deep Diver Speciality course.
Deep diving also means different things to different scuba divers. For some it is any scuba dive deeper than 18 metres/60 feet and for others it is any scuba dive deeper than what they’ve done in the past. Whatever the definition, deep dives require planning and discipline in order to safely enjoy all the fantastic things that can be found. Here are some general tips and suggestions:
- Check your air and depth gauges more often than on shallower dives. You use your air from your scuba tank much faster at depth and you want to make sure that you don’t exceed your planned depth limit.
- Watch yourself and your buddy for any signs of nitrogen narcosis.
- Consider buying or renting a dive computer to help you stay within the dive’s limits. Owning a PADI ERDP-ML is also helpful.
- You may want to complete the PADI Multilevel Diver Speciality course.
- Be aware of your limits. Build your experience gradually and consider these five points before a deep dive: how you feel, your buddy, the environment, proximity of help and any previous dives. A 27 metre/90 foot dive in warm, clear water is not the same as a 27 metre/90 foot dive in cold, murky waters with a current.
- Use a dive light to add light and to bring out the true colors absorbed by water at depth.
- Consider hanging a spare scuba tank at 5 metres/15 feet to provide extra air during a safety stop or emergency decompression.
- If you enjoy deep diving and want to extend your limits even further, perhaps tec diving is for you?