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Simon...whatever. Either you take courses for the sake of taking courses or you do it so you can accomplish certain things. If his intent is to eventually dive to that depth to look at stuff then there are courses that would seem to me to be more appropriate to make it worthwhile.
The question was, again, about a purely recreational course. There was no mention of him looking to go on to Tec. I don't know his reasons for doing the course, and neither do you.
Incidently, one of the pre-requisite for TecRec courses (presuming the OP would stay within the PADI system, his choice), is Deep Specialty and x number of dives.
The thing I don't like about the Deep Speciality is that PADI recommend none of the 4 training dives should be conducted below thirty meters. .....
Not actually correct. Dive 3 is recommended 30-40m. I agree in spirit though...
PADI catagorize anything below 18m as 'deep'... but the AOW course can take students to 30m (and increases the recommended maximum depth to 30m). The Deep Spec course increases that recommended max depth to 40m, but only actually allows a solitary dive to below 30m.
If the course were very knowledge and skill heavy, that would be understandable (like the way the initial stages of a tech course are completed in confined and shallow open water training)... followed by deeper check-out dives. But there are no shallow skills on the Deep Spec course... so the main benefit should be repeated exposure to deep diving...
Open Water Training Dive 1
(Recommended depth: 24 metres/80 feet - 30 metres/100 feet. Maximum depth: 30 metres/100 feet)
Open Water Training Dive 2
(Recommended depth: 18 metres/60 feet to 24 metres/80 feet
Open Water Training Dive 3
(Recommended depth: 30 metres/100 feet - 40 metres/130 feet
Open Water Training Dive 4
(Recommended depth: 18 metres/60 feet to 30 metres/100 feet)
Yeah, I know that "is such-and-such a worthwhile course" is a tired old question here, but I couldn't find one specifically for PADI's Deep specialty.
First, I am not a PADI instructor. I teach SDI/TDI or NASE. I haven't even taken the PADI deep course, though I did my DM through PADI and have taken other deep courses from other agencies. Regardless of which agency you use, the Deep course can be worthwhile for several reasons...
Extra dives with an instructor (usually one on one or two on one) can always help.
Fill out the gaps in your knowledge for diving deep.
The cert is always good for those ops that require it.
You're in the water! Yay!
As for that uneasy feeling... that's just narcosis playing with your head. Narcosis is good at amplifying feelings like inadequacy. It can also amplify complacency, fear and so on. It's the boogeyman in that regard. You can choose to ignore it or deal with why you are feeling inadequate. Taking the class with ANY instructor will probably take care of those gaps in your knowledge. No, you can't get rid of narcosis, but you can ameliorate it's effect on you. That comes with knowledge and skill and any good deep diving course will clue you in on how to cope with it.
BTW, if you are still looking for a great place for you wife to take rescue while you take deep, look no further than Key Largo. After all, we pride ourselves at being the Dive Capital of the world and it shows!!! We actually have more dive shops than gas stations or grocery stores! There are lots of ops available as well as many independent instructors like myself. You might even consider redoing rescue with your wife and both of you doing Deep together. That way, you're both on the same page with your training. Let me know if I can help!
I am going to disagree with those who recommend a tech course, and be a voice crying in the wilderness that the PADI Deep Diver class "can't hurt" and in your circumstance is worth taking. I also think you are wise to do it in the salt water, as that is where you do your diving, or are likeley to on deep dives. Given your experience, it seems that you need to spend time focusing in this one area, on issues related to deep dives, and I think the class will do that. You will also get in a couple of dives with an instructor, breifing and debriefing and in part, "sharing" as in a therapy session. In addition, I think your should consider doing some of your own deep practice dives weith friends who are dm's or instructors, or experienced and comfortable at depth. I refer here to a planned dive to 100 to 125 feet, where the descent is slow and measured, a few minutes are spent at depth, and then a slow and measured ascent without a lot of other task loading. In those dives you can self monitor what you experience at what depth, note changes in air consumption, and the like, and I think it will help you through the "anxiety barrier" you are experiencing. Good for you for focusing on an area of dving in which you can improve. I wish a lot more divers would do the same.
Thanks to all--I have read every reply to date. Here are some of my thoughts on the comments.
I couldn't care less about racking up certification cards or getting into "tech." My goal is simply to be the most competent and confident diver I can be at depths up to what is generally considered "recreational." I don't feel a need to learn to dive significantly deeper or longer because my longtime dive buddies and I are all about coral reefs and occasional wrecks, and there's little point in taking my training beyond what my dive buddies want to dive with me. None of us wants to get into Trimix due to the expense, etc. We dive tropical/sub-tropical resorts/liveaboards and that's it But some of our dives can certainly reach 100 feet or more, and that's where I need help. All that said, I'm sure a course that teaches information useful to any diver but that happens to be labeled a "tech" course would do no harm. But no Recreational Trimix for me, thanks.
I have no intention of becoming a GUE devotee, but I would like to take the Fundies course someday because I am certain that SOME of what is taught will be useful to any diver, even those who decide they want to stick with traditional rigs and procedures. My wife (my No. 1 dive buddy) and I looked into doing Fundies at Ginnie Springs last year but were deterred by the cost as well as her concern about "weird" diving practices--that is, things that seem at odds with what PADI taught her. (The course was also canceled.) I think she'll be more receptive to Fundies in the future, especially if she first gets some more training that builds directly on what she's already comfortable with. She still doesn't really grasp that there are various schools of thought as to how things should be done, and that the PADI Way is just one of them. In time, we might explore some other agencies' offerings. But for now, we'll stick with the agency we've had experience with--PADI. Clearly, some of PADI's courses fall short, but Rescue was one course that I and everyone I've ever asked who has taken it thought was their most valuable course. So the present continuing-education goal is a Rescue course for my wife and something for me. Someone suggested that I take Rescue with her--as a refresher, and maybe INSTEAD of the Deep course. This is an excellent idea, and I'm going to look into it. Of course, that won't directly address my concerns about deep dives. But the opportunity for two lifelong dive buddies to take the course together is tempting.
NetDoc, we LOVE Key Largo and dive there at least once a year, which is exactly why I was thinking that maybe putting ourselves in a less familiar environment for this additional training might enhance the experience for us. We've never dived in the Atlantic, so maybe North Carolina. But I'm open to suggestions. By the way, the one time I dived the Spiegel Grove I nearly had a panic attack. I clearly need deep dive help.
Sounds like the concensus is that PADI Deep Diver is not worthless, but like many other PADI courses, leaves out much that could be useful. An instructor who goes the extra mile would be great, but I suspect I will have a difficult enough time finding a class that fits our schedule without limiting it to a specific instructor.
I found it very worthwhile. We got to 130 feet-used Nitrox 28. Not really different than 100 feet, except using gas up faster, of course. But I didn't even reach the NDL or gas limit as making the dive as short as possible was the agreed objective seeing that I was the only one diving wet in 35F water. That was one interesting safety stop. It was on a May 27th.
Incidently, one of the pre-requisite for TecRec courses (presuming the OP would stay within the PADI system, his choice), is Deep Specialty.
Or, alternatively, 20 dives deeper than 100 fsw. The story from my LDS is that it was instrumental in getting this changed. It was thought to be absurd to require people who do 100+ fsw regularly off the coast of North Carolina to have to go back and take the Deep Diver specialty class before moving on to Tec classes. PADI relented and dropped the deep diver specialty requirement.
Well, my first deep dive was to 120' in lake Erie on the Boland. It was a great dive. I realized at about 5 minutes that I was not thinking as clearly and decided that it was time to head up a bit. I did the dive with EAN 28. I now have done 10 or so dives to that depth since and have been comfortable. I do however consider a pony mandatory for my deep dives. With a 19 I know I can get up if I have a free-flow. With a 40 I know I can get myself and my buddy up and (possible, not planned) deco in.
Just my experience.