What is Deep Diving?

What-Is-Deep-DivingWhat does it mean to be a diver: explorer, lover of the outdoors, adventure seeker? Perhaps it is all of these combined and summed up by saying, someone who is passionate about diving and sharing that passion with anyone that will listen. Just like any other passion, it needs to be fed and once a diver becomes comfortable at a certain level, they need a new challenge. For divers, that challenge normally means diving deeper.

For the SDI Openwater Scuba Diver, the maximum depth is 20 metres / 60 feet, so anything beyond that requires additional training. This is true for most other agency’s certifications as well. For a lot of divers, this first certification is all they will ever need or want. In this depth of water you get the maximum amount of sunlight, more marine life than a lifetime would allow you to see and, in some locations, you will be able to stay above the thermocline. But for those divers who wish to see a wreck, to go a little deeper on a wall, or to photograph that fish that will not come into shallower water there is the SDI Deep Diver course.

It is often asked ‘why do I need additional training?’ – and it is easy to see why people would ask that question; after all, it is the same water, same equipment, even the same dive site in some cases. But as we go deeper there is a lot more to consider. Let’s take a step back and review some of the things learned in the SDI Openwater Scuba Diver course: safety procedures, dive planning, air management, buoyancy skills and a long list of in water skills. What was covered in the open water diver course is the foundation that all future courses build on. Also, there is so much knowledge and so many skills built into the open water course that rarely is there enough time to cover the additional information and skills need to conduct dives below 20 metres / 60 feet, not to mention the additional task load that would be placed on the diver.

The SDI Deep course goes further into the subjects of: Nitrogen Narcosis, air management, safe buddy practices for deep diving and staying within the no decompression limits. All of these are key to enjoyable deep dive because, after all, getting to the depth is not the challenge, it’s getting back to the surface safely. Your SDI Instructor will cover the knowledge needed and take you on dives that guide you through safe procedures for carrying out deep, no decompression dives.

So what are you waiting on? Want to see that wreck, illusive fish or enjoy the deep vertical wall? Contact your local SDI Dive Center or sign up for online for our SDI DEEP DIVER COURSE.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
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The Benefits of Deep Diving

Deep-DivingSometimes, the best things to see underwater are at deeper depths. For example, the coral “walls” of the Caribbean are a riot of color. The coral walls that ring many of the islands rise vertically from the bottom out of thousands of feet of water. As you drift over the edge of the wall, the water turns a darker, deeper mysterious blue. Sometimes it looks almost purple. Open ocean fish, known as “pelagics,” swim along the face of the wall, giving you a glimpse of sharks, eagle rays, and other seldom seen creatures. Swimming along a vertical coral wall, with no bottom in sight, is a sensation very much like flying.

In the far Pacific, there is an island called “Chuuk” (formerly known as Truk), that was the site of a major battle during World War II. In 1944, American planes ambushed 50 Japanese ships that have remained on the bottom there since that time. Now, covered with soft corals, the slowly deteriorating remains of these wrecks lie at depths ranging from a few feet below the surface to over 200 feet down. Scattered along the decks and passages of these ships are dishes and cookware, lamps, navigation instruments, and even the skeletons of crew members. Many divers consider Chuuk to be one of the true “pinnacles” of the diving world.

There is something about deep diving that is irresistible to many people. There is an intensity to this type of diving that isn’t found on shallower dives, where the light rays flicker over white sandy bottoms. As you look up at the hull of the boat, more than 100 feet above you, you get a perspective on your depth that can’t be achieved in shallower water. Your regulator sounds different and the exhaust bubbles chime in tones that only a deep diver hears.

Why do people engage in deep diving?

As we can imagine, there are many reasons to dive deep. You may want to see a particular reef or to photograph a special wreck. A marine biologist may want to dive deep to observe a particularly rare species of fish, while a cave diver may want to explore a previously unknown cave.

Deep diving by itself has no purpose. Divers use deep diving skills to take them to unique and unusual dive sites, and to have experiences that they cannot accomplish in shallower waters.

Some divers are under the mistaken impression that by participating in deep diving they will “prove” themselves and their capabilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are considering participating in deep diving to feed your ego, you should look for another activity. Reckless deep diving endangers yourself, your dive partner, and other divers who may need to come to your rescue in the event that something goes wrong during your dive. You must have the proper “mind-set” to participate in deep diving.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
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Planning a Deep Dive

Planning-Deep-DiveIn diving, as in your personal life, planning for future events always takes place in different stages. Some portions of the plan are quite long range, while others are more immediate and take place just prior to the dive itself. For example, if you are planning a dive trip on a local boat, you probably already have a good idea about local conditions and gear requirements. However, if you are planning a diving vacation outside of the country, you will probably need to spend more time researching what gear you will need to take with you.

What’s Your Objective?

To properly plan for a deep dive you need to give some thought to what you want to accomplish during the dive. Are you going to take photographs, or explore or map a wreck? Do you want to look for shells or are you planning to observe fish behavior? Whatever it is that you plan to do will dictate many aspects of your plan.

Deciding your objective can be a part of long-range planning or can be more immediate. For example, if you’ve planned a vacation to shoot underwater photos of the wrecks off Bermuda, you may realize that you need to have your underwater camera serviced prior to the trip. You also know that you’ll probably want to take a spare o-ring kit for your camera, and that you’ll want to buy batteries and film before you depart the U.S. You might also decide that you want a wide-angle lens to get the best photos of the wrecks. These actions are all part of your long-range dive plan.

Changing environmental conditions can frequently make you change your dive objectives. Even though you planned to shoot photos of the deep wrecks, what would you do if you got out to the dive site and discovered there were dolphins cruising on the surface over the wreck? If you’re like most photographers, you would probably change your dive plan to take the opportunity to shoot photos of these fascinating creatures.

It’s okay to change your objective as long as you and your partner both agree upon the change before the dive and revise your plan accordingly.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
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Preparing Your Equipment for a Deep Dive

Preparing-EquipmentEvery 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.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
Web: https://www.tdisdi.com
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ITW (Instructor Trainer Workshop) in Grand Junction, CO

Bo Tibbetts from Public Safety Dive Supply in Grand Junction, Colorado and Konstantine Kovelinko from Underwater Dynamics in Orem, UT completed their Instructor trainer program in Grand Junction, Colorado on May 19, 2012.

ITW
From Left to Right: Dennis Pulley, Konstantine Kovelinko, Bo Tibbetts

The Instructor Trainer Rating is International Training’s highest teaching level for diving instructors. The program focuses on development of evaluation techniques in the classroom, confined water, and open water. Presentation ability and skill demonstrations of instructor trainer quality are also assessed throughout the program.

The program was conducted on the Colorado Mesa University campus, with the help of Bo Tibbetts, who teaches a public safety program at the university. The state of the art facilities were a pleasure to use.

Anyone wishing to receive further information about the future ITW programs should contact the HQ Training Department via training@tdisdi.com or call 207.729.4201 for more details.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
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Nitrox Diving Equipment for Scuba

If you already own dive equipment — an exposure suit, BCD, regulators and so on — you can dive with Nitrox mixtures containing 40 percent oxygen or less, without purchasing any additional equipment. There are a couple of things you may contemplate purchasing (a simple Nitrox analyzer for example) but you can take full advantage of diving Nitrox without any further financial outlay.

That said, we will take a look at some minor modifications that you’ll need to make to your gear. We will also take note of a couple of things that you should know in case you decide to purchase dedicated Nitrox diving equipment in the future.

TankTank Preparation, Marking and Identification
If you own tanks and intend to use them for Nitrox diving (and you should!) there are a couple of things you need to do before filling them with your personal mix. Click here >


RegulatorRegulators Designed for Nitrox Service
It is not essential to buy a special regulator if you only plan to dive with mixtures containing 40 percent oxygen or less. Almost any regulator you already own can be used for this type of service, with no special modifications or cleaning. Click here >


Dive-ComputersNitrox Dive Computers
Most dedicated Nitrox computers simultaneously track and display your nitrogen absorption for decompression calculations and your oxygen exposure. If you are making multiple deep dives in a single day, this type of information is extremely important. Click here >


ThermalThermal Protection is needed for longer dives
To get the full benefit of diving with Nitrox, you’ll need to be sure that you are wearing adequate thermal protection for the waters where you dive. Whether you dive in the tropics or in colder waters, the extended bottom times provided by Nitrox will usually necessitate more thermal protection/insulation than you might ordinarily wear. Click here >


O2-AnalyzerOxygen Analyzer
Oxygen analyzers are electronic devices that are used to measure the percentage of oxygen in a gas mixture. They run on batteries and most are equipped with a sensor that measures the percentage of oxygen in a gas mixture. Click here >


Equipment-RisksEquipment Risks
A final word about Nitrox safety. In your research into Nitrox, you may have heard that there are fire and explosion risks when you use gas mixtures that have oxygen levels greater than present in air (higher than 21 percent). Click here >


Get Certified for Nitrox Diving.

Learn Advanced Nitrox Diving.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
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TDI and Poseidon MKVI Instructor Course at Haigh Quarry Illinois

After another successful TDI and Poseidon event (first one was in 2009), TDI is ready to pair up with Poseidon and do it again, and this time we are headed to the Midwest. If you are a current CCR instructor and have not yet qualified with the new Poseidon MKVI (the world’s first recreational rebreather), here is another opportunity for you to do so.

TDI, in conjunction with staff from Poseidon, will conduct an instructor crossover course for current CCR instructors on June 12rd & 13th at Haigh Quarry in Kankakee, IL. This is the perfect opportunity to meet HQ staff, Poseidon staff, and network with Closed Circuit Rebreather instructors, as well as the manufacturer.

PoseidonThe $295 course fee includes:

  • Registration and certification fees
  • Materials
  • Use of CCR during the course, including Sorb and gas
  • Weights

Participants will need to provide their own:

  • Thermal protection for 57° F/14° C water
  • Mask and Fins

Prerequisites:

  • Provide proof of open water instructor certification
  • Provide proof of CCR air diluent instructor rating
  • Provide proof of Discovery CCR diver certification
  • Provide a Certificate of completion of TDI online familiarization course (for non TDI members)
  • Provide proof of a minimum of 10 hours on the Discovery (hours can be logged after course completion)

Dive Instructors will be qualified to train divers on the Poseidon MKVI upon completion of the course, provided they have 10 hours on the MKVI recreational rebreather.

This is an opportunity not to be missed! Space is limited, so we recommend contacting TDI Headquarters today to reserve your space. Call us at 888-778-9073, outside North America call +1 207-729-4201. Or email us at sales@tdisdi.com.

There will be similar events later in the year at Dutch Springs, Mermet Springs and Blue Hole in New Mexico! See you there.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
Web: https://www.tdisdi.com
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Understanding Equipment Risks of Nitrox

Equipment-Risks2In your research into Nitrox, you may have heard that there are fire and explosion risks when you use gas mixtures that have oxygen levels greater than what is present in the air (higher than 21 percent).

Certainly, gas mixtures containing 41 percent or more oxygen are susceptible to fire and explosion if improperly handled. When high-pressure oxygen comes into contact with hydrocarbons, such as oil, the potential for fire and explosion is very real. Oxygen fueled fires are swift to spread, usually difficult to extinguish and often result in tragic loss of property and sometimes lives.

However, the mixtures you will encounter as an SDI Nitrox diver will contain 40 percent or less oxygen and are not considered at risk.

Equipment-Risks3That said, some diving equipment manufacturers insist that your equipment must be specially cleaned for oxygen service and use oxygen compatible seals and components if it is used for anything but air. If you buy this type of equipment you must comply with the manufacturer’s conditions or the warranty on your equipment may be void.

Oxygen cleaning must be performed by a trained technician in a clean environment, using cleaning agents and replacement components that have been deemed “safe” for this application.

If your gear is designed for oxygen service, such as a tank or regulator, and it is used with systems that are not oxygen clean, the gear must be considered contaminated and may not be used with Nitrox mixtures until it has been cleaned again. For this reason, if you loan your Nitrox compatible diving gear to another Nitrox diver, you must be sure that they understand that they can only use it with gases and systems that are oxygen clean.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
Web: https://www.tdisdi.com
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Oxygen Analyzer Device for Nitrox Diving

O2-Analyzer2Oxygen analyzers are electronic devices that are used to measure the percentage of oxygen in a gas mixture. They run on batteries, and most are equipped with a sensor that measures the percentage of oxygen in a gas mixture. Most modern oxygen analyzers have a digital display that shows the reading. All dive centers that fill Nitrox cylinders have oxygen analyzers. They use them to check each cylinder after it has been filled to be sure that it contains the correct mixture of nitrogen and oxygen.

Oxygen analyzers are simple devices to use. In most cases, they require nothing more than to be turned on and allowed to stabilize while reading room air. After the analyzer has been on for a few minutes, it should read very close to 21 percent oxygen. If it does not, one must simply calibrate the analyzer to the correct reading, usually by turning a dial located on the front of the unit.

O2-Analyzer3Once the analyzer has been calibrated, it is connected to your cylinder using some type of device that will restrict the flow of Nitrox to the analyzer so it is not exposed to high pressure. Once the Nitrox is flowing steadily to the analyzer, and the reading has stabilized, the reading is noted.

It isn’t necessary to purchase your own oxygen analyzer, although most serious Nitrox divers end up purchasing their own units for use at home or on dive trips. An analyzer is especially useful for technical divers who own more than one Nitrox cylinder, and have them filled with different mixtures. In the event a tag is lost or falls off, it is a simple matter to reanalyze your own cylinder. You must always know what gas mixture is in your cylinder.

O2-Analyzer4Equipment that doesn’t need to be oxygen clean
Equipment that is exposed to low pressure oxygen, such as buoyancy compensators, their low pressure inflators and dry suit inflation valves, do not need to be cleaned or lubricated for oxygen service. There is very little chance of explosion or fire danger with dive gear that is exposed to low pressure oxygen.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI

If you would like more information, please contact:

SDI
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
Web: https://www.tdisdi.com
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