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5 Aspects Of Deep-Water Diving That Will Surprise You

Deep-water diving is a discipline you are curious about from the very first moment you hear about it. It is hard to resist the temptation to imagine yourself as Poseidon being part of the deeper, darker blue and not just a spectator.

If you dive regularly, you have surely heard its call. Maybe what brings you closer to deep-water diving is a striking marine animal descending, a wall inviting you to explore, that wreck you could not visit… Let’s see what deep-water diving is all about, and what you need to keep in mind to practice it!

1. What Is Deep-Water Diving?

Setting a depth to define this type of diving is like choosing an altitude to explain what is “high”. It depends on what you are comparing with.

By recreational diving standards and according to PADI, any dive that exceeds 18 meters/ 60 feet and does not exceed 40 m/ 130 feet is considered a deep-water dive.

However, you need to do the Deep Diver Specialty to get the skills to dive under 30 meters/ 100 feet.

PADI sets the limit at 40 meters/ 130 feet for several reasons.

  1. Diving deeper than 40 meters/ 130 feet, your air consumption is significantly faster, so, dive time is shorter, and sometimes decompression stops are needed.
  2. Below this depth, most divers are susceptible to nitrogen narcosis.
  3. Increased risk of decompression illness, especially during repetitive dives.

Once the limit of 40 meters is exceeded, we will need technical diving skills and specific knowledge to make decompression stops, improve diving, and use different air mixtures such as Trimix.

2.What PADI Courses Do You Need to Practice Deep-Water Diving?

During your Advanced Open Water Diver Certification, you will learn basic skills to practice recreational deep-water diving.

However, if you wish to exceed the limit of 30 meters/ 100 feet, the specialty you are looking for is Deep Diver. With this course, you will learn to dive with confidence to depths of up to 40 meters/130 feet without decompression. You’ll also learn new diving techniques, gain experience, and learn how to stay clear of nitrogen narcosis.

Beyond 40 meters, you will have to raise your dive training to the heights of technical diving. Tec 40 is the transition course, and with it, you will be able to make decompression dives down to 40 meters/130 feet. The courses follow each other according to the depth you want to reach. Tec 45, Tec 50, etc. Consult our specialties by clicking on the link.

3.What Are the Rules of Deep Diving?

In addition to the rules that already apply to dive to 30 meters, you should take into account the following points.

1. Plan your dive. Deep-water diving requires careful planning of the dives. Maximum depth and the bottom time must be calculated and respected.

2. Be generous in your gas volume calculations.

3. Dive according to the 3/3 rule. According to this rule, at the end of the dive, you should still have one-third of the gas left in your tanks for emergencies.

4. Regularly check out the depth on your dive computer.

5. Never exceed the limits of no-decompression diving if you do not have the necessary technical diving certifications.

6. Dives outside the “safety curve” require decompression stops that are calculated using the safety tables or dive computers.

Once the limit of 40 meters is exceeded, we will need technical diving skills and specific knowledge to make decompression stops, improve diving, and use different air mixtures such as Trimix.

4. Deep-Water Diving Gear

The deeper you go, the more equipment you will need. In general, we could say that deep-water diving gear is all about gas redundancy. For that reason, stage tanks, sidemount, and rebreathers are typical of technical deep-water diving. Large volumes help us to compensate for faster air consumption and decompression stop time when they are necessary.

Also, as depth increases, divers use other gases with different mixtures such as Trimix. In this mixture, helium replaces part of the nitrogen to reduce the narcosis risk.

Decompression stop devices. They help the diver control his/her position and depth during stops. Keep in mind, that in the most extreme dives, these can last up to one hour.

The dive light. On the one hand, you will need it to cope with the lack of light, and on the other, you will be able to communicate better with your partner using a dive light.

5. Some Deep-Water Diving Facts.

Our technical diving expert, Victor Cordoba, has extensive experience in technical deep-water diving and gives us some facts.

For example, in the most extreme dives, the ascent may be twice as long as the time dedicated to diving. In these occasions, the decompression stops are very long (from 20 minutes to one hour). The divers try to entertain themselves differently. Some enjoy watching movies on their mobile phones in transparent watertight boxes, others do jan-ken rock, paper, scissors, and the more experienced ones fall asleep. In general, resorting to meditation is a good resource to pass the time during these stops.

The things you can see practicing deep-water diving is another great point. For example, we are talking about spectacular wrecks such as “The Doty” at 91 meters deep, or the Battleship Spain at 70 meters deep. In Mexico you can enjoy diving at the Cantil, the coral wall of the Mesoamerican reef that plunges into the depths. There are also some spectacular cenotes like the Angelita Cenote or El Pit.

Above all, the greatest deep-water diving appeal for the intrepid who dare to practice deep-water diving it is to overcome their limits by improving and expanding their diving skills. The reward is to reach places where no one else has been.

And you, do you dare to try deep-water diving?