causes of hyperoxia in Diving - causas de hiperoxia en el buceo (7)
Causes Of Hyperoxia in Scuba Diving and How Divers Avoid It
03/07/2024
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Iceberg Diving in the Arctic

Iceberg diving involves exploring gigantic masses of ice that float in the polar ocean. The waters are often milky due to glacier melt and are always, always, always cold. But not just any cold—this is the kind of cold liquids have when they are about to turn into solids.

Yes, we know, diving an iceberg is not for everyone. Ice diving itself is a challenging activity that requires special skills and knowledge. You must be prepared for the low water temperatures, follow strict safety measures, and above all, have absolute respect for the polar environment.

So, tell me, why are you interested in iceberg diving? Are you an experienced diver looking for new challenges? Do you feel like you’ve already seen everything the ocean has to offer? Are you fascinated by marine life, polar ecosystems, and curious about what diving there is like? Or are you an adventurous traveler seeking the “most difficult yet” to get an adrenaline rush? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, get ready. Today we’re trying iceberg diving!

This is not about selling you an adventure but telling you about a unique experience that only a few can live.

ICEBERG DIVING (1) Buceo en iceberg

1. What is Iceberg Diving?

Iceberg diving is a variant of cold water and polar diving. After all, you’ll only find icebergs at the poles. As we know from school, icebergs are enormous blocks of ice that break off from glaciers and travel through ocean currents. These masses of ice can have different shapes and sizes.

And it’s in the word “break off” where the key lies. Let’s go again—they break off from glaciers and are carried by the current! Can you imagine how dangerous this is? The danger is that icebergs can collapse. But for those who practice iceberg diving, this constant breaking and changing make them even more beautiful. We could even say it’s diving with a soundtrack. Here a “crack,” there a “splash,” a piece of ice rises, another collapses.

 

2. Where to Dive Icebergs?

Newfoundland, Canada: In the Great Northern Peninsula, where picturesque little towns are clustered like confetti, the icebergs put on a show. In St. Anthony, the Iceberg Festival is celebrated in June, where you can see these ice masses up close and, with a good operator, face to face… below the water.

Ilulissat, Greenland: Ilulissat is known as the “iceberg capital of the world” and is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, the fastest in the world. Here, thousands of icebergs await you all year round, so you can dive among them in the summer, which is the season for it.

ICEBERG DIVING (4) Buceo en iceberg

3. Why Dive an Iceberg?

These are the reasons

  1. To reach them, the boat advances surrounded by giants of ice, as tall as buildings rising majestically from the depths. And you rub your hands thinking that below there are three times more.
  2. Because icebergs are frozen masses of fresh water but float in salt water. So, when you approach one, you suddenly notice that the water has changed from salty to fresh, and that only happens when diving an iceberg.
  3. The sun’s rays filter through the water and reflect on the ice formations, creating an incredible light and color show. And you, almost open-mouthed in amazement (if you did, you’d drop the regulator), explore where no one has dived before. Tomorrow, that iceberg will be different.
  4. Because you’re at the feet of a giant ice age, sculpted by nature over thousands of years. It’s like traveling through time to an era when the Earth was a completely different place. The threat is there. It’s likely we won’t have icebergs in the Arctic for much longer.
  5. Because the ice of the iceberg is beautiful, like in an art gallery where the main masterpiece is the wall. Some icebergs are bluish-white with dimples (like a ping pong ball); others are completely transparent, and you can see your diving buddies through them.
  6. Because beneath the surface of the icebergs hides a great variety of marine life: fish that have adapted their physiology to the cold polar waters, incredibly colorful crustaceans (a macro paradise), and with a bit of luck, even seals or whales that come close out of curiosity. But beware, you might get startled if you encounter a bear.
ICEBERG DIVING (3) Buceo en iceberg

4. What Problems Can Arise When Diving an Iceberg?

 

Don’t be fooled by the excitement of Arctic adventure. Diving around these gigantic frozen masses has its own challenges.

Capsizing and Tsunamis: Being next to an iceberg the size of an apartment block is thrilling until you remember it could capsize at any moment. A collapsing iceberg can create a giant wave that would send you to Mexico to sunbathe!

Treacherous Tunnels: The melting of icebergs forms tunnels in the ice that look like something out of a movie. You’re there, and they call you as if there were a treasure inside, but don’t go in. These tunnels break, and the risk increases with the exhalations of the divers. It’s like being in a trap!

Vertical Currents and Unusual Waves: Iceberg diving is unlike anything you’ve done before. Here, vertical currents and waves are a constant reality. The mixing of fresh and salt water creates a dance of ice masses that rise and fall, bouncing on the waves. Most of the time, you’ll dive along an ice face or wall, struggling to maintain orientation and balance.

Extreme Temperatures: Do you like the cold? You better, because iceberg diving means plunging into icy waters with all the problems that entails. Regulators going into free flow or failing due to freezing or you freezing.

During iceberg diving, mistakes can be more severe, but the important thing is to plan with a cool head (literally and figuratively). A mistake here can be costly, so plan conservatively and prepare for the unexpected to ensure you come back safe and sound.

So, there you have it: iceberg diving. It’s exciting, challenging, and completely different from any other dive. Just remember that it entails dangers, so prepare well, keep a cool head, and enjoy the icy adventure of your life.

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