Deep divers

ScubaFinder

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Jul 11, 2006
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Nice link Scotty, and thanks for all the weight belt and help at Jupiter this weekend. We had a blast.

Jason
 

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Darren in NC

Darren in NC

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Apr 1, 2004
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Thanks ScottyLee. I hadn't come across that one yet.

Any deep divers on this forum?
 

stevemc

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Feb 12, 2005
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Sarasota, FL
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I sometimes spearfish 140+' but usually 120' or less. There are some wrecks that lay in 175' but I havent hit bottom there, just above the deck. I have dove the Middle Grounds a few times about 90 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico -130-150' and a few other deep areas Rileys ridge, and a few others and use 120 LP steel tanks that I put HP pop out discs in and regularly pump them to 3500= to about 160 cu ft. And DIN 1st stage hook up. That allows you to stay down longer and still have plenty of deco time for your extra penalty time, and sometimes still have enough for another dive, but I usually reserve the last half for shallow water. I usually use nitrox for anything over 100', usually. It allows you to do 4 or 5 dives a day, if you dont get too much of a penalty, and if you do all the deco. Plus I drop real fast, and when done, come up fairly quick to 1/2 depth and start my deco/slow accent there, so I have actually less deep time, than people that go down real slow, and come back up slow. I use dive computers. I have never worked at any real deep depths, if you dont call spearfishing work! Steve.
 

NC_Bob

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Mar 9, 2007
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Darren in NC,

Not sure what you're looking for, but I was surprised there wasn't a roaring response so I'll toss in my 2c and maybe it will stimulate some more discussion. I've seen a couple of posts here from folks who've done some deep commercial stuff, so maybe they'll chip in.

Read some stuff on DIR; seems to be more of a philosophy than a method. The physical side of it (stay fit, don't binge or smoke) is something I try to do anyway, so that wasn't an issue. The mental/preparation stuff seemed unnecessary for the "I'm going to swim around and look at the pretty fishes" dives but I think it would play more of a role if I was routinely pushing any comfort levels. And the equipment side of it seemed to be something that would have far more value if dive partners were also into it, and as I haven't had a regular dive partner I didn't pursue it. (Plus, as I often dive with a camera and a group rather than defined buddy I often end up effectively solo anyway.) I did adopt one thing that I didn't pick up elsewhere, and that was that an out of air diver should take the regulator from the buddy's mouth rather than take the octo. Anyone who dives airII does that ayway, but having switched to my own octo once to check on a reg problem and gotten a mouthful of grit, giving the out of air diver a clear and working air supply is a good idea. Longer hoses probably make sense if you're doing penetrations or crawling under rocks and debris, but again, probably don't make much difference for sightseeing dives.

I'm not a "deep diver" in any real sense, but I have logged one dive to 142fsw: the Blue Hole in Belize. The wall has an undercut at about 130ft and the interest--old stalagtites--are below that undercut so swimming through them requires more depth. The tour operators get around calling it a deco dive by enforcing a long--20 minute--safety stop at 15ft.

They told us on the boat we'd gather on the lip at about 40ft. Anyone who wasn't equalized in 2 minutes would be told to abort. I'd been in the water about 4 minutes when we dropped off the edge, and the rest of the profile was about 10 minutes on a diagonal descent, 10 mins wandering along the notch at 140ft, and 10 minutes back to 15 ft. Then 20 mintes there.

That dive was done with an Al-80 and no overpressure. I'd be comfortable doing that again, and I think a few problem-free 140s would probably leave me feeling that 150 or maybe 160 would be OK. I don't think I'd be comfortable pushing any further than that without some more classes and training though, and I definitely believe that if I got the bug to go deeper I'd have to train in trimix.

Stevemc's fast descent certainly helps. It's something I tend to do on deeper dives if I'm with people who are comfortable with it. I think that's something that should be progressively explored rather than saying "OK, 140 feet like a rock, here we go!." Likewise, coming up to 70 or 80 ft reasonably promptly eases the final burden but again shouldn't be done without some progressive testing. I'd guess that if someone played with the numbers or progressively challenged a computer you could get at least a 15 minute bottom time on a single 80 (and probably longer with a 20 or 30l bailout bottle to give an air cushion for that extended safety stop).

I''m very recently nitrox certified, so less experienced there and at the moment. I worry more about oxygen toxicity than narcosis or DCS so for now I feel I want to stay really conservative and keep my pO2 below 1.4. I viewed nitrox as a way to extend shallower dives and hadn't given it much thought for deeper ventures. But looking at the tables there is some utility at 140ft. Staying at my conservative 1.4, 140ft would allow me to use 26% oxygen, which in turn would make the nitrogen loading at 140ft resemble a 130ft dive which is fairly signifcant. Someone comfortable with pO2 closer to the 1.6 limit could dive 140ft on EAN30 which would buy another 10ft worth of nitrogen loading (i.e nitrogen load like the dive was to 120 ft). -- I think that's right anyway - so if you have a site that is at 140ft where you'd be making repetetive dives really looking into that could buy you a lot of minutes over the course of a season.

Not knowing what you're planning I don't know if any of that, or the following, is of any use to you. As I understand it, tech divers insist on carrying all their dive and deco gases with them as when they're swimming around or in something deep the danger of losing the anchor line is too great to chance hanging the deco air and getting separated from it. If you were working a specific recovery area you could probably remain tethered to the anchor line (or some kind of ascent line) which might make staging deco gas or even surface-supplied deco air feasible--so you'd only have one or twin bottles rather than a big cluster, which would probably be key for working. It's also getting kinda techie, but if you're planning on spending a lot of time at those kind of depths rebreathers may be woth investigating.

:D Of course if you have something interesting at 140+ you're gonna need some honking big mailboxes! :D

Bob.
 

ScubaFinder

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I talked with some very experienced deep divers about a site I need to get to at 170 feet (no hole blowing needed). After reviewing my logs and talking with me about how deep I'd been, they said go for it. LOL I did 146 at the Blue Hole and 150 over the ledge at Esmerelda/Tackle Box Canyon (also in Belize right off Ambergris Caye).

They told me to dive it with twins on regular air, and hang stage bottles of 50% O2 at 40 feet and deco for 35 minutes on them, then 100% O2 at 20 feet and do another 10 minutes there. These guys do it all the time, needless to say I never did the dive. I am looking into a rebreather...I have a buddy that dives one, I never knew you could adjust the O2 levels on the fly. He did the Andrea Doria at 220 and had 25 minutes in the ship with just over an hour of Deco by keeping his PP up towards the max during the entire ascent, and almost 100% at the last stop. His computer said he could go up 10 minutes earlier, but they did the extra 10 on 90% just to be safe. (yeah, I just said safe after a 220 ft dive. :) )

It intrigues me, but I'm kinda partial to living, so I'm not going to rush anything. There's plenty of treasure at 40 feet or less.

Jason
 

NC_Bob

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Mar 9, 2007
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ScubaFinder said:
I talked with some very experienced deep divers about a site I need to get to at 170 feet (no hole blowing needed). After reviewing my logs and talking with me about how deep I'd been, they said go for it. LOL I did 146 at the Blue Hole and 150 over the ledge at Esmerelda/Tackle Box Canyon (also in Belize right off Ambergris Caye).

Jason,

I agree with your LOL! "Go for it" from 150 to 170 seems a bit much. The deep folks I've chatted with are all about exposing yourself gradually, and to some degree to do it like you were training for a marathon - i.e do a few 150s, then a few 160s, and then maybe go 170 but over the course of a few weeks or months rather than saying "well, I did 140ft 2 years ago so I can start again from there and do 20 ft more."

ScubaFinder said:
Esmerelda/Tackle Box Canyon (also in Belize right off Ambergris Caye).

I think this was a site the guides at Amigos talked very highly about, but there were no trips for the rest of my stay. Some good all-depth diving if I remember right. Better than the hole (which was kinda drab, although it was a unique and really interetsing dive)?

ScubaFinder said:
It intrigues me, but I'm kinda partial to living, so I'm not going to rush anything. There's plenty of treasure at 40 feet or less.

A few years ago I'd have said I have no interest in anything "deep," but I must admit I am also strangely intrigued by the thought of going deeper. Maybe just for the experience of doing it. I think if I decided to do some deep stuff I'd want to learn to do it with a rebreather as it gives you so much more control and I think a much bigger safety buffer. But there's a ton to learn and, as you say, there's no rush...

Bob.
 

diverlynn

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Oct 25, 2006
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Darren,
I have done some deep dives, not too many, 150' to 175' and ScubaFinder is right, 3 mixes are necessary which can be programmed into a good computer. We went to depth on air, changed to 28% nitrox at 130' up to 20' (making stops at 1/2 depth and along the way from there) then 100% 02 from a stage bottle to finish our deco.
Not familier with DIR
Diverlynn
 

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Darren in NC

Darren in NC

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NC_Bob said:
Not sure what you're looking for...

I wasn't looking for anything in particular, Bob. Just curious about deep diving. I haven't moved that far yet, but I'm open to it. I've only been 90' myself. Like Jason, I'm partial to living, so I'm trying to learn all I can before the next step. O2 toxicity concerns me as well as detailed planning. I have a "let's just try it" personality and that means a lot of learning through trial and error. That approach won't work for deep diving. One error and it could mean death.

I am surprised there aren't more folks posting about, though. But you can read more on scuba forums. I'll be training with a dive shop that specializes in tech diving here in ENC in a few weeks. It will take a few years to build the skills, but it'll be worth it. Thanks for replying.

Godspeed!
Darren
 

stevemc

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Darren, I would get nitrox, advanced nitrox and then when used to that(figuring dive times and depth to O2 %, move to trimix or helium mixing. I know friends that have mixers and helium is mixed like nitrox, first a certain amount of helium, then either air or nitrox at a higher O2 than air, depending on how much O2 and nitrogen you want. I dive with him sometimes (commercial spearfisher) and that is where the 175' wreck dive is from. I too want to live, and greatly respect my lungs, heart, brain and body, and the last thing I want to do is screw up and get killed by either someone elses stupidity, or something I was not familiar with or overlooked. I have studied it(heli-ox, trimix) many years ago, and understand it, but if something went wrong gear wise or gas wise, you are screwed. Yes you could possibly make it to the top, but you would be bent. Oh yeah and get DAN insurance.
 

diverlynn

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Oct 25, 2006
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If you do sign up for DAN insurance, read up on here they are covered, last year there were some instances where they were not covering any members in Mexico, Belize and even the Bahamas. It was due to some very overly high charges by some of the emergency rooms in the third world countries. I recommend Dive Assure, www.diveassure.comif you plan to be diving much internationally. There are several policies to chose from, weather it is Diver Assure or DAN. Compare and choose.
Diverlynn
 

Salvor6

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Hey Darren,
I made a lot of deep dives to 220' on air at the Blount Ave. Quarry in Knoxville and Norris Lake in TN. David Rhea, one of the instructors at G.U.E. was a good buddy of mine. He is now living in Gainesville. Tri-mix and technical diving has allowed divers to break the depth barriers in a big way. Now, West Coast divers go to 300' on a regular basis. One of them is Michael Barnett. Check out his web site at: http://uwex.us. He has images of the Sea Diamond underwater at 305'. Also, check out the dive watch at $175,000!
If you are interested in going deep, take the Tri-mix deep diving course from a TDI instructor in your area.
 

coin_diver

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Oct 3, 2003
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Hey Darren,
I guess you can count me in. We consider safe bounces to 200FSW. Been maxed at a touch over 800fsw. Only bent once and still kicking. I'm just safe, and trained.
Prefer solo dives as a result, rookie almost killed me. Me, I can count on.
 

Cablava

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May 24, 2005
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Deep is bad , you might check out my posts on the "THE LOST TREASURE OF THE LA MADALENA" thread in the shipwrek forum.
 

Cablava

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May 24, 2005
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800 ft maxed out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are insane!!!!!
 

coin_diver

Full Member
Oct 3, 2003
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Well, I'm getting older so I send my cyborg down instead, a 400m ROV. But hey, the pay was great.
 

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