Deep diving specialty – Pushing back the boundaries
The deep diving specialty is one of the most popular specialties offered by PADI. It is a perfect choice for divers who want to push their limits and explore new areas and deepen their knowledge, both in theory and in practice. You will be able, at the end of this training, to descend to 40m while remaining within the no-decompression limit.
Who can take this specialty ?
There are a few prerequisites before you can start this training:
– You must be at least 15 years old.
– Have a minimum PADI Adventure Diver level (or equivalent level from another agency).
It is not mandatory, but we strongly recommend having a Nitrox certification to make the most of your time underwater without being limited by the no-decompression limit.
Being comfortable underwater is also a necessity to manage the new challenges that we face with complete peace of mind.
What are you going to do in this class ?
The deep-diving specialty usually takes 2 days to complete and comprises the practical part of 4 dives and a theoretical part.
The practical part can be done in 3 dives if you have already done the Deep Adventure dive during your PADI Adventure diver course or if you are already an Advanced Open Water Diver as this dive is mandatory during this course.
Like any diving course, there is a theoretical segment for this course. This part can now be done on a digital device from anywhere before you even start the practical part. It allows you to make the most out of your vacation.
The theory of this course focuses on 3 particular points: specific deep diving equipment, planning and depth management.
A deeper dive results in greater air consumption, you will need to know how to plan your dives and manage your gas reserve to expect any problems that may arise. While you will stay in the no-decompression curve, you will learn more about the decompression process and how to deal with errors that can cause it to be exceeded.
Of course, there are still manuals available if you don’t have internet access if you are in a remote location.
Once the theory has been validated, it’s time to take the plunge. You will plan your dive with your buddy according to the gas available but also to stay within the limits of the non-decompression curve according to your depth. You will use the tables or the planning function of your dive computer to do so.
During the 1st dive of this training, you will see the effects of the pressure on the air volumes underwater and you will realize the risks that it can cause. The second dive will add round trip navigation using a submersible compass. The third dive will be punctuated by timed tasks and you can compare the results with the same timed task but done at the surface. You will also simulate an 8min decompression stop. The last dive is a recreational dive.
To simulate your deco stop, you will use a hang tank attached to a rope or that you take with you(called a pony) to have a bigger gas reserve in the event of a problem.
These activities are the minimum standards required to succeed in your specialty but your instructor may include additional skills such as more precise gas management, a more advanced theory of decompression, to work on your buoyancy, which must be perfect for the dives. Practice using a DSMB from different depths or explain narcosis management in more detail.
Narcosis is a phenomenon that gives a feeling of being lightheaded. This is mainly for the nitrogen present in the gas mixture that we breathe from our tank. Each person has a different sensitivity and will be affected at a different depth.
What causes narcosis?
There are several factors that come into play during narcosis. The main one being the depth but also the lack of sleep, the stress, the psychological and physical state of the person, the cold, or the visibility. A rapid descent or head down can also amplify this effect.
So there are many causes, and the same person can experience narcosis differently overnight.
Is it dangerous?
Narcosis is not dangerous, but its effects on our body can be.
This can lead to euphoria and a slower thinking process and therefore impair your judgment if problems should arise. Therefore, it is important to be well informed and trained to anticipate these effects and know how to manage them as best as possible.
Despite these efforts, if you feel unwell, alert your partner and go up a few meters immediately. The trick with narcosis is that you don’t realize its effects, and that is why it is important to dive with a buddy so they can notice it for you.
How to avoid Nitrogen Narcosis
In the diving industry, it’s often called a “drunken symptom” or a “martini effect ” . You probably hear stories of divers who got ‘narked’ while exploring a wreck, or adventuring deeply into the abyss, though these symptoms can happen to any diver at a variety of depths.
The precautions to avoiding the “Nitrogen Narcosis” would include:
1. Being rested before any deep dive
2. Planning out your dive(s) with max depths
3. Being sober
4. Watch yourself: be responsible for your air-tank and time
5. Watch your buddy: be familiar with his/her underwater behavior
6. Pay attention to your equipment: have your gauges and dive computer accessible, and check them more than normal recreational dive
7. Take a PADI deep diving course to enhance your understanding of diving at depth
8. Know your limits!
– impairment: divers might not be performing safely
– mild euphoria
– impaired critical thinking skills and/or reasoning
30- 50 m
– Delayed responses
– Impaired motor functions
– Poor choices
– Overly confident, to a point of recklessness
We won’t continue the listing … stay within your limits and the standards of your Training! DEEP DIVE SPECIALTY IS 40 m MAXIMUM NON DECO !
Equipment for deep diving
It is recommended to have more specific equipment during deep dives such as
-A computer that you master perfectly, especially to monitor your no-decompression limit. If it has a planner mode, that’s a bonus.
-A appropriate wetsuit. As the temperature is cooler at depth because of the thermocline, a thicker wetsuit is recommended.
-A torch. Visibility can be very limited or nonexistent depending on your surroundings, and a torch will help you navigate and observe the marine life around you.
Are you ready for PADI Deep Diving certification?
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So, are you ready to go deeper? Get Certified Today!