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AOW and deep dives

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by LowDrag, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. LowDrag

    LowDrag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Earlier I posted a thread asking about AOW and deep diving but it seems to have disappeared. Aquaregia responded and I responded to him but now the thread is MIA.

    My question was about deep diving after AOW and are divers really prepared to dive deep or does AOW just get your feet wet and you need more training to be able to handle diving deep. Aquaregisa's question to me was something along the lines of how deep do I want to dive. My response was that I want to be able to dive on wrecks that hit the 100' mark. A lot of wrecks I have read about seem to be at 80 - 100' or more and I would like to be qualified to dive to that depth if needed. So, what I am looking for is some basic info or thoughts on how qualified you are after AOW. I am currently OW certified thru SSI.

  2. Damselfish

    Damselfish ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    Probably related to this.

    (Maybe you could change the title of this thread to whatever you used the first time, or could get a mod to do it, since "Lets try this again" gives no idea what the thread is about...
  3. FiremanIRFD

    FiremanIRFD Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Iron Ridge, Wisconsin, United States
    The deep dive section on the PADI AOW gives a decent understanding of deep diving planning, and safety concerns. In my Class we did a dive to 80' and examined the color loss and limited effects of narcosis during a timed event.

    I feel it is important after the class to build yourself up to going deeper and at first try and dive with buddies you know and that have the experience at deeper depths. @ weeks after my AOW I was out with my dive club doing a wreck at 130', but supervised by some very experienced divers that have been there numerous times in the past.

    There are a lot of great wreck sites down there, unfortunately I am on Lake Michigan and there are even more awesome sites in the 200+ range too that I always hear about.

    My advice is take the class and really study the material, afterwards if you want to get more in-'depth' check out a deep specialty course or even just do some extra reading on your own, I found Diving Beyond 130 to be a good read just for more technical info.

    My all time biggest piece of advice for SCUBA Diving; make friends with someone who has a boat!
    Bigd2722 likes this.
  4. LowDrag

    LowDrag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, Oregon

    Probably not...I just posted my thread earlier this evening. That is unless they rolled it back about two hours ago.

    Not sure if I can change the thread title or not but if the mods want to change to...A question about AOW...they can, it won't bother me if one of them does.
  5. aquaregia

    aquaregia NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Cruz, CA
    A proper AOW class should give you the material you need to hit 100'. Some practice with shallower depths, working your way up, should do the rest. I don't instabuddy 100' dives; a few dives with your buddies making sure you're all in sync will also be valuable.
  6. ScubaDocER

    ScubaDocER Course Director

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Winston, Georgia, United States
    I think the answer to your question involves 2 concepts. One is how deep do you want to go. The other is how long do you wish to stay there. Getting to 100' is not nearly as challenging as getting back. If your goal is to explore wrecks at that depth, then you should decide how long you wish to stay there. If that time exceeds your NDL, then you might consider a Nitrox course (if you are not certified already) or taking extra gas (more tanks or larger tanks) or both. These kinds of dives at that depth requires careful planning with contingency plans and methodical preparation. If you feel that the training that you have received to this point has prepared you for such a dive then the choice is yours. If not, then I would suggest some practice dives at the depth you are seeking to get ready for the wreck dive. The typical AOW course (IMHO) does not usually prepare divers for such an endeavor. You are often given an introduction to the concept of "deep diving". I usually tell students that they have been given a learners permit to dive deep after an AOW course. The real test is in understanding the risks of such a dive and being able to plan accordingly. I cant say that you MUST have more training to dive deep, just more practice under more controlled conditions might be helpful.
    Jim Lapenta likes this.
  7. Bonairetrip

    Bonairetrip Solo Diver

    I think, in most instances, AOW simply gets your feet wet.

    Four observations:
    a) Dives vary and how we should prepare also varies. A bounce to 100 FSW in no-current 82 degree water with 200 Ft viz is very different from a similar dive made locally (reduced viz, cold water, high current).
    b) Divers can start the AOW class with very different skill sets. Some divers are fresh from OW need lots of skill development. Others start the class already fulfilling the class objectives.
    c) Not every class is equally rigorous.
    d) Not all learning takes place inside a class.

    I think Anthony makes some important points above that I would reiterate. I would add to that the concept of task loading -- the idea that by stacking multiple new elements you create a much more challenging dive.

    One way to combat that is to practice with shallow "deep dives". Pretend you are at 100 FSW even though you are at, say, 60 FSW. Get used to the gear, the procedures, and the local dive conditions. Add new elements one at a time. Then gradually work deeper. Seek out a dive mentor -- someone who is the diver you aspire to become.
  8. Jerry_

    Jerry_ Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Europe
    The AOW should have given you a good understanding of the basics for diving and shall prepare you for going further, while training for the challenges that you want to take progessively.

    In your post you refer to wrecks at 100' and some at 200' deep. From your (OP) profile I found that you are having a short diving experience (6 months and less than 25 dives).

    While not being a 100% familiar with the regulations of PADI/SSI which might impose you some training or restrictions which you should respect, my experience is that starting 60' you might want to take extra depth 'steps' of about 30' each for ten dives before diving an extra 30' deeper. This will allow you to learn for proper dive planning, while also checking the impact of higher pressure on your body (and eventually identify for a sensibility for narcosis issues) and finding out about what type of equipment you need. This should allow you to reach the 120' - 150' mark. Starting that moment - and if you wish to go on diving deeper - you might want to check with extra gas mixes and related equipment.

    In any case proper training delivered by SSI and a proper supervision of your progress by the DM are essential.

    Also, the above only concerns diving deep and is not about inside wreck diving.
  9. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    Yep, and that's why it's lost. Everything posted after Dec 21st is lost. The database was rolled back to its state on the 21st:

  10. Dive the World

    Dive the World Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    AOW is more like experience the dive with the instructor as a safety net - mostly an experience dive and for your depth of 100 ft would be sufficient.

    Worry about picking a good instructor - that is what makes the difference.

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