Open Water Diving – Day 5

We were woken up at 10 to 6 while it was still dark outside. 20 minutes later we got our dive site briefing. When the first sun beams crossed the horizon we were in the water and began our deep dive. Went down to 29 meters! I felt finde and nobody got “narced”. gives a good explanation of being “narced”:

What does “Narced” mean?  “Narced” is diver slang for having “Nitrogen Narcosis.”  Nitrogen Narcosis is a rare condition that occurs in divers who are at depth (underwater) because the compressed air they breathe has a higher concentration of Nitrogen (the Nitrogen molecules are closer together because the air is compressed).  Nitrogen makes up about 78 percent of the air we breathe, and in higher concentrations it can be slightly toxic.  Being Narced is like being high or drunk, and there are stories of narced divers doing crazy things like giving their regulators to fish to let them breathe.  The effects of Nitrogen Narcosis are only temporary, and it goes away when the diver returns to the surface.

Ethan had told us funny stories of what stupid things narced people do. And they don’t feel a thing. They don’t understand 2+2, but they’re happy 😀
Of course this is very dangerous. People forget to breathe and drown. Well, at least they die happy. 😀


Down there Ethan cracked an egg open. The yellow bubble inside stayed intact because of the high pressure and we could play around with it. Very entertaining!
On the photos you might notice that everything in that depth looks very blue. This is because the water absorbs more and more colours of the light. To prove it Ethan brought a Coke can. It looked very greenish down there until he switched on his torch. With artifical light from a close distance the true colour was restored.

The deeper you go, the lesser time you have because you stow up more and more nitrogen. Before we went to a shallower depth Ethan had us write our Name reverse (the characters too) and point to numbers on the board and touch our nose between each number. Turned out nobody got “narced”. It’s like a drink&dive test 🙂 Never do it!

We could continue cruising because we had gotten bigger tanks before the dive. The deeper you go the faster you use up your air. Bigger tanks = more air!

Ethan also brought a plastic bottle full with air down. On the ground it was flat as being run over by a truck – still with the same amount of air inside!
Later he blew it full up, and back up it was filled with 20 bar of air pressure. I’m surprised the bottle didn’t burst!

After the deep dive we had breakfast, then where briefed for our instruction dive. We had to dive a straight line with our buddy. One looked at the compass, the other counted the fin moves and looks out for the distance. For the way back it was the other way around. We managed just fine 🙂
We also learned natural navigation, where you look at the sun, the waves and the current. And you can also use natural landmarks. During this dive we went down to 22 meters.

At 11 we had our last dive, just in pairs, no specialty. We were at the Mantaray bay and dived through heaps of tunnels and underwater canyons. Awesome fun! When we were back we had lunch, then chillaxed and filled out our dive logs. Around 2.30 pm the Reef Kist docked and we left the Kangaroo Explorer. Shortly before 5 pm we were back in Cairns and collected our new cards at the Cairns Dive Centre.

I am now a certified Adventure Diver who can navigate, dive at night and dive deep (down to 30 meters). I have 10 logged dives so far.
My certificates never expire and I will collect more and more dives throughout my life.

The costs were high, but worth it.

  • 5 day Open Water Course (including 3 days / 2 nights live aboard): $680
  • dive medical (compulsory): $60
  • reef tax (compulsory, $20 per day): $60
  • mask+snorkel set (incl. 10% student discount): $188
  • under water movie: $75
  • camera hire for 3 dives (incl. $10 discount because of movie): 35$
  • upgrade to adventure course (night, navigation, depth): $95

This adds up to a shocking $1,193 equalling ~ 890 €. It’s a lot, but a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. And hey – a german driver’s license is more expensive!

The camera I had hired was available to me for 3 dives: the buddy dive the day before, the deep dive, and the navigation dive. Now you can enjoy my photos of the last 2 mentioned :).

From 2011-07-19 Deep Scuba Diving at the Reef. Posted by Philipp Hübner on 7/19/2011 (64 items)

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