Deep Dive Specialty

Getting “narced”… every diver has heard of it, but how many have actually felt the effects? For those not in the know, its a strange phenomena, where you feel a little drunk and light headed under the water, usually bought on by diving below 30m.
The deep dive specialty is one of the 4 specialties that I completed as part of my Divemaster Internship. To complete the specialty, you must do 4 dives, during which you will learn about the differences in dive computers, how color changes at depth, and how your no decompression time will change, among other things.
For our last dive, our captain dropped the anchor and announced it was 40m to the sand below. Our instructor Elly explained to me and fellow intern Mike that we were going to descend head first down the line as fast as we could. I couldn’t help feel a little apprehensive, I’d only ever gone to 32m, and that was a slow descent years earlier. Whilst still on the boat, we took a compass heading for the buoy at the nearest dive site, Sorpresa, which was at least 100m away. Elly explained we would need to navigate to the buoy as part of the dive.
Hanging onto the anchor line we deflated our BCDs, one final signal to check we were good, and Elly bolted ahead down the line. I was behind her, using my hands as well as my fins to pull myself head first into the deep. All I could see ahead was Elly’s fins, and they were getting further and further away, so I kicked my legs harder! We reached the anchor and I remember thinking “Ok, what am I here for?” I glanced at my computer, 39.8m, and my first thought was how accurate the captain was! Elly held a slate up to me, with a game we had done on the surface. A grid with numbers and letter, I had to point to A, touch my nose, point to 1, touch my nose, B, nose, 2, nose, and so on. I was definitely slow to start, and there was certainly a few moments of confusion and a bit of giggling into my reg. I managed the game, but it took me a lot longer than when at the surface.
Checking our compasses, we started swimming. At that depth, visibility is low, and its pretty dark. It’s a strange feeling, as you can see your buddies, and that’s all, everything else is a dark blue nothing in every direction. We watched our No Stop time (the time you have left on your dive at your current depth before you must make a decompression stop) and tried to follow our compasses, but the current was strong and threw us off course. Finally, some dark shapes moving on the sand below. Huge rays. Checking our remaining air, we decided it was time to ascend. We never made it to the buoy, maybe our not so hot navigation, maybe the strong current, probably a combination of both.

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One thought on “Deep Dive Specialty

  • July 4, 2017 at 8:50 pm
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    Reminds me of my deep dive speciality when doing my divemaster internship. Thanks for sharing!

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