Every deep dive should have a purpose, a reason for making the dive other than just to “go deep.” Deep diving requires additional training, equipment, and preparation, so this is an activity that should not be taken lightly. Planning for deep diving is not complex, but it does require a bit of thought.
Preparing Your Equipment
If it’s only been a few days since your last dive, and you know all of your equipment is working properly, then you only need to inspect it briefly before packing it in your gear bag the night before the dive. However, if it has been some time since your last dive, you’ll want to pull your dry suit out of the bag and inspect the zipper and seals, and test the valves, connect your regulator, check your mask and fin straps, and any other equipment that you intend to use. This type of detailed inspection should be done several days before the dive so that you have the time to repair any items that may need work.
If you have special equipment that you are carrying with you on the dive, you need to spend some time thinking about how it will be used, and any special rigging it may require. For example, if you are using a reel, you need to consider how you will fasten it to your buoyancy compensator, how difficult it will be to release it when you are ready to use it, and any special precautions you need to take to prevent it from snagging or unreeling before you are ready to deploy it.
You will probably find that “retractors” will make it easier to handle and rig many pieces of gear. Retractors are small, spring-loaded reels that will connect to your equipment and hold it close to your body when you aren’t using it, unwind when the gear is in use, and wind it back in when released. You can use retractors to hold your gauges in position, as well as to connect larger reels, lift bags, and other accessories.
If you use a wrist mounted dive computer and you will be wearing a wetsuit, keep in mind that your suit will compress tremendously and your computer will slide around on your wrist if it is not sufficiently tight. Computers with rubberized straps will tend to stay on your wrist more securely, provided you tighten the strap enough prior to the dive.
If you are using an alternate second stage (octopus rig) with an extra long hose, you may want to fasten the extra hose and the second stage to your tank with a length of surgical tubing that’s stretched around the tank. You must ensure that the hose is looped in such a manner that it can easily be pulled free with a quick tug. In addition, you should also be able to reach the unit yourself in the event that another diver grabs your primary regulator in a panic situation. Your instructor will advise you on what techniques are used locally.
Any special equipment preparations should be made well in advance of the dive in order to give you you the time to carefully evaluate how it will work. Whenever possible, you should test any new pieces of equipment and practice using them on shallow dives before you attempt to use them on a deep dive. If you wait until the day of the dive to think about your equipment, you’re asking for problems.
Smart divers use a checklist when packing their gear for a dive, especially one that involves extra or unusual equipment. Using a checklist will help ensure you have all the items you need to make the dive.
Are you ready to expand your diving? Go deeper with our DEEP DIVER COURSE.
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