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Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40725
06/12/01 09:03 AM
06/12/01 09:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 31
dedl Offline OP
dedl  Offline OP
Do you have to have an advanced diver certification to dive the blue hole. I know it is 20 feet below the open water certification, but I have also heard horror stories of people just being certified and diving it.
Husband is a good diver and wanted to take the advanced class, but we have not found one open before we leave and he is worried.

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40726
06/12/01 09:49 AM
06/12/01 09:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 33
Balto, MD, USA
JohnF Offline
JohnF  Offline
No-I dove the Blue Hole with Amigos del Mar and it was probably my 6th or 7th open water dive. They plan and brief the dive well, use two divemasters and placed extra tanks at 30 feet or so for the extra long safety stop. This was helpful for me as I needed the extra air given the air consumption associated with my inexperience. I felt very comfortable with them and thoroughly enjoyed the dive--saw lots of Blue and Black Tipped Sharks at about 120 feet or so and the wall dives that follow the Blue Hole on that trip are superb.

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40727
06/12/01 10:17 AM
06/12/01 10:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 146
Philly, PA
aqtpie2 Offline
aqtpie2  Offline

GAZ Wonderful Post and 110% correct!!!!!

Horrible typo on my part and I logged off before re-reading....
I should have put 120 (used key pad on keyboard and got the 2 and 8 mixed up.) I did indeed dive that far (120 ft.)but failed to mention that I was in the process of obtaining my OW advanced for the 2 prior months. I was training all summer with my local dive masters from home and just did not complete 1 part of my Advanced certification. I have been diving for years and apologize for the mix up, but it's a lesson well learned over and over again.

Therefore: My post should read as follows

Did the blue hole with just our regular OW certification. (Though we were just about clearing our Advanced OW training) went as far as 120 feet and loved every second of it. I was so against going, thought it wasn't worth the trip, but I am glad my diver buddies changed my mind and made me go.

(I do not reccommend diving too deep with out training - see GAZ'S response) Even for me, the max limit is 130. You can enjoy the blue hole at low depths and always be careful!

[This message has been edited by aqtpie2 (edited 06-12-2001).]

[This message has been edited by aqtpie2 (edited 06-12-2001).]

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40728
06/12/01 11:14 AM
06/12/01 11:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 953
Gaz Cooper Offline
Gaz Cooper  Offline
When you get an Open Water certification you are certified to dive to a depth of 60ft with someone of the same experience level.

It does not mean you cannot dive deeper it just means that if you want to dive deeper than 60ft you will need to dive with a more experienced diver who is experienced to diving deeper than that.

When diving with an Instructor or Divemaster you can dive to the maximum limit of 130ft under there supervision.
Once you have experince diving deeper than 60ft you can then dive with your Open Water certification to the max depth for recreational diving which is 130ft MAX.

It is always better to get proper training via an advanced course in order to gain the best information and experince.

Diving below 130ft without Advanced Specialized training and on Air is extremely DANGEROUS for several reasons

1.) Any diving/liability insurance is VOID as the limit for recreational diving is 130ft ONLY any dive below that is NOT CONSIDERED RECREATIONAL DIVING.

2.)Diving below 130ft with Air can cause several dangerous diving related problems

a) oxygen Toxicity
This is because the partial pressure of oygen increases the deeper you dive and the deepr you dive beyond the recreational limit exposes you to Oxygen toxicity which can cause several problems including blurred vision and possible blackout.

Oxygen alone as a gas is toxic at depth and that is why it is not used for recreational diving, we use Air which has a partial pressure of only 21% oxygen but the deeper you go this pressure increases until eventually you reach 100% the closer you get to 100% the more you are at risk of Oxygen toxicity.

the maximum depth for recreational diving is 130ft for a reason DO NOT DIVE to depths beyond that without SPECIALIZED TRAINING or you may find yourself spending the rest of your vacation in the Chamber OR WORSE.

2.) Severe nitrogen narcosis which is caused again by increase partial pressures of nitrogen in your air mixture, while NN is not dangerous in itself and sysmtoms will subside if you go shallower its effects which are like being drunk can cause people to do strange things which can cause accidents.

Sorry to be strong on this point but it is extremely important that you are self reliant and control your own depth profile and be responsible for your own plan.

I hope you take note of this when diving any divesite and stay within your diving limitations.

If you want to dive deeper than 130ft then it is necessary to take Specialized trainign courses outside of recreational diving.

Dive Safe

Gaz Cooper
PADI Instructor #48642
Gaz Cooper's DIVE BELIZE

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40729
06/12/01 11:40 AM
06/12/01 11:40 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Thank you, Gaz, for the very strong reply. It is my sincere hope that the people out there will pay attention and understand that while diving is a relatively safe sport, lack of knowledge can make it very dangerous, very fast. Just to emphasize one of the excellent points that Gaz made, if you have only your OW and have never been below 60' then you do not have any experience with narcosis. You don't know how you will feel or react. You may or may not recognize that you are experiencing it. That can be significant.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40730
06/12/01 12:47 PM
06/12/01 12:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 31
dedl Offline OP
dedl  Offline OP
Thanks for your reply...I am not a diver myself, which explains why I know nothing about the dive depth, however, husband was getting really nervous about going w/o the advanced under his belt. This will give him time to get his advanced once we get back.

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40731
06/12/01 01:33 PM
06/12/01 01:33 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 179
Florian Offline
Florian  Offline
Good post Gaz. I've heard of you but never met you, but the next time I come to Belize I think I will come dive with you.

I'm kinda horrified that anyone is diving 180 feet on air with no specialized training or equipment. Somebody is gonna get hurt doing that. Bad.

On my dive in the Blue Hole, I found myself at 140 feet on the initial decent because I wasn't paying attention. It's real easy to do, go too deep there. I got narced. Not my first time getting narced, know what to do, kinda like it, but am well aware that that is Mother Nature saying, "If you don't respect me I'm gonna have to spank you, and this is your last warning". What I'm trying to say is it's not like it's a "distant possibility", the things Gaz speaks of.

I am a firefighter/paramedic. I routinly use compressed air in Self Contained Breathing Apparatus to enter enviroments even more leathal then deep water. I have been there when men made the ultimate sacrifice and it was from getting lost in the smoke and running out of air. But I"m still here, still kicking, and fixing to start drawing my pension check in 64 days. Because I'm mindfull of my limitations and the limatations of my equipment.

[This message has been edited by Florian (edited 06-12-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Florian (edited 06-12-2001).]

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40732
06/12/01 01:43 PM
06/12/01 01:43 PM

Thanks Gaz for that class room refresher course. Seem many did not listen in class. As I stated in a earlier post weeks ago, I can't believe the dive shops takes newbies to sites like that. It's just amazing what they will do for money.

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40733
06/12/01 03:56 PM
06/12/01 03:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 58
Upland, CA 91784-USA
A GIANT thanks Gaz. Every time I read one of these posts or some "bad experience" article in a dive magazine, I wonder why people who go to a class to learn to dive don't take it serious. On second thought, I've jumped out of planes with people who didn't always take that seriously either!!
Next trip down, we got to do the deep blue together. By the way, the boat is out of Robert's yard and back in the water finally.

Re: Advanced Diver - Blue Hole #40734
06/12/01 05:29 PM
06/12/01 05:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,080
Eugene, OR, USA
KC Offline
KC  Offline
I, a non-diver, want to thank Gaz for his honest and informative post, also. My husband and daughter are doing their dives this weekend for their first certification, and I'm glad I now know that just because a dive shop might take them on a trip does not mean that it is reasonable or safe to do so. My daughter and I will be in SP in July, and she may want to dive. Now I'm afraid to let her go without my husband being there to go with her.


"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
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