Age, Health, Certification and Trim

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grf88

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Many people starting out do not equalize early enough but wait until they feel pressure in their ears. That is too late, start at the surface and continue through the entire descent. Probably the best time to start equalizing is the night before the dive.
 

Mr. Ed

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I don't know if it is permanent. I was asked how deep will I dive and I said 30 feet. It is worthwhile to get a second opinion.
 

Hoyden

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If you have to permanently stay less than 30', you will be severely limited. If that is forever, I am not sure I would even bother with certification, but others may disagree. I would probably just do a few discover dives.
I could not disagree with this more. You can have a long and wonderful dive experience in 30' or less. I just got home from a trip to CoCo View resort and could have easily spent the week diving shallow and had a wonderful time. While I hope that as you (OP) get through your certification and gain some experience your depth related issues go away, I think that with some minimal planning you could easily plan your dives/trips to accommodate shallow diving.

Hang in there!

Jackie
 

boulderjohn

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I don't know if it is permanent. I was asked how deep will I dive and I said 30 feet. It is worthwhile to get a second opinion.
What was the reasoning for the 30 foot limit?

Once you have successfully equalized, there should be no limit. It is the first 15-20 feet where you have equalization problems. After that, you should be just fine.

If your doctor does not know much about diving, that limit might make sense to him or her. Contact DAN and see if there is a doctor with diving knowledge near you.
 
OP
edhjr

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If you have to permanently stay less than 30', you will be severely limited. If that is forever, I am not sure I would even bother with certification, but others may disagree. I would probably just do a few discover dives.
I asked for more details and consequences for diving beyond 30 ft and was told I might experience disorientation, key word might. At any rate I will definitely test the possibility.
 

Subcooled

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I asked for more details and consequences for diving beyond 30 ft and was told I might experience disorientation, key word might. At any rate I will definitely test the possibility.
If your ears equalize at different times, then your sense of orientation / balance could be temporarily disturbed. It has to do with the balance organs that exist one in each inner ear.

Something like that happened to me once. My eyes saw two different pictures, and it felt wild to wait for the Two Different Horizons to stabilize and merge into one picture :D Depending on your level of experience you might feel safer at shallow depth if something similar would happen to you. It is just disorientation, it does not affect breathing, but it can be scary.

The depth between 0 and 30 feet is also the best possible depth to practice equalizing. You have to do it a lot and you will gain experience.

Diving at shallow depth can be enjoyable. You are weightless of course. There might be fish among the reeds or algae swaying with the swell. Tree roots casting shadows. Many lakes and rivers are shallow. If you want to do something productive instead of relaxing then recovery diving is possible and common in shallow water. People tend to drop things from boats at the pier... Even some very advanced types of dives can be done in the shallows, such as ice diving or even cave diving! And then we have underwater photography, underwater modeling, historical diving, shallow wrecks... countless choices for shallow water.

It is true though that many open water dive trips are done to 60 feet (advanced dives even deepr), but options do exist. You just have to find them!

Just to give you an idea:
  • Shallow diving between the continents (Iceland):
  • Ice diving, not deep but advanced:
 

Mr. Ed

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I'm also in training for Nitrox computer reading and Dry Suit certification. I've experienced temporary disorientation in shallow water and although I felt loopy it only lasted a short time. I tried to replicate the feeling but I couldn't. I'm not afraid of it happening again just need to be cautious.

I've had three weeks off from training because of ear problems. I learned how to equalize my ears since last pool session. I hope I'm doing it right as I find out Sunday when I resume training.

The other obstacle I had was weight distribution and trim. I have a Hollis HD 200 BC and unlike my former BC (Aqualung Axion) the Hollis has a horseshoe shaped air bladder rather than a wraparound jacket style.

There are two weight pockets that hold up to 3 pounds each located behind the air bladder. Two integrated quick-release weight pockets on both sides and two utility pockets above the integrated weight pockets.

For pool sessions my ideal weight is 24 pounds and so far I haven't dived with the correct configuration but I think I have right now and I'm looking forward to testing my theory Sunday.

Outside of mastering these two major skill sets I will be ok.
 

Subcooled

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The other obstacle I had was weight distribution and trim.
Believe me, many of us have had that problem :D
It is an obstacle indeed, but it can be overcome.
It takes its time.
For pool sessions my ideal weight is 24 pounds
It is great that you have found out your ideal weight in the pool.
In the ocean you will need more weights as the water is salty.
I do not know how much - I am not an ocean diver.
 

elan

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The equalization issue is not rare even for experienced divers so do not get discouraged. One of my best buddies has issues equalizing one of his ears since day one. We take time descending to 30ft - 5-7 minutes then the tubes open an he can do whatever. I just know about it and we do not rush.
 

Mr. Ed

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Last week was a near perfect training experience. I had the correct trim and no equalization problems! I said near perfect, even after removing 14 pounds of weights, I could not stand up when I exited the pool. My legs are too weak to come to a stand in near complete scuba gear.

I asked the Dive Master instructor if this would eliminate me from certification and I was told no. Is anyone familiar with leg impaired or handicapped exiting techniques from water to boat or poolside using a ladder?
 
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