RATS – Week 8 – Advanced Open Water Deep Dive

RATs week 8 – Advanced Open Water Course Deep Dive 

Last Friday, the RATS team went on a deep dive, a compulsory part of the training for those on the Advanced Open Water Course (a chance for the rest of us to play with eggs underwater!). 

We split into two groups: students older than 12 years old went to 100 feet; students of 11 or 12 years old dove to 70 feet.

Once at the allocated depth, we worked through a few exercises. When at a certain depth underwater, it’s difficult for light waves to reach the bottom, especially red, so colours change from the surface to the bottom. On our slates, which we are able to write on underwater, there are sections for each AOW dive. The deep dive section allows us to describe and record changes of colour at depth. Red, weirdly, appeared as dark green, orange seemed bush green, a darker green became more vibrant, and yellow, blue and navy blue stayed the same. (All this colour change is one reason underwater photographers need big strobe lights to get really great pictures).

Following the colour tasks, we wrote our names both normally and backwards, which took longer than usual thanks to nitrogen narcosis, which affects most people after reaching a certain depth. It’s often described to give you a feeling of being a little bit drunk or tired, and has been known to make people think they should share their regulator with the fish!) We also compared gauges at depth because the depths shown can vary depending on your personal depth gauge.

For our final activity, we cracked an egg underwater, which is a fascinating thing; due to the pressure at depth, the egg yolk maintains it’s shape, so the little sphere bounces around in the water. Playing catch with an egg underwater we found to be quite funny. However, this was quite short-lived as the Yellow Tail Snapper seemed to have taken a liking to eggs and soon scooped in at great speed to swipe it away!

After completing these exercises, we had a fun dive around the Piranha Cove dive site. Another great afternoon for our team – can’t wait for the next one!

By  Ella O’Connell

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