Once you’ve completed your first learn to dive course and have your scuba diving licence, you are ready to explore the different types of diving that exist. That’s right there are plenty of different types of scuba diving to enjoy besides regular open water scuba diving including night diving, drift diving and deep diving.
Scuba diving opens your eyes to the exciting and alien underwater world that exists beneath the surface of the ocean. Night diving makes this world seem even more mysterious as the darkness transforms the depths into a completely different world brimming with new life. This brings with it a new set of challenges and dangers that will test your wits and scuba diving skills.
When diving at night, a powerful scuba diving torch is mandatory for safety and communication purposes. Scuba diving sign language still plays an important role during night dives, with actions performed close to the chest whilst being illuminated by torch light. Surface Marker Buoys are an invaluable inflatable scuba diving device that helps divers remain in contact with the boat whilst night diving.
Drift diving is different to both night and deep diving as it takes into account the oceans natural currents to propel a diver through the water quickly, which allows you to travel further for less effort. Some scuba divers even compare the feeling of drift diving to flying as divers feel a complete sense of freedom. Drift diving also allows divers to look down and notice predators easier than during normal dives.
As with everything in life the positives of drift diving also come with some dangers and participating in drift diving requires a high level of scuba diving experience. Underwater currents are often unpredictable which adds an additional level of danger to drift diving. Whilst drift diving you are being carried or moved along by the current, which means your direction may not always be under your control so it is paramount that divers have great buoyancy skills to help ensure safe manoeuvring. Skilled drift divers observe the movements of the sea life around them like the direction they are swimming, as it provides you with helpful tips on the direction of the current.
Surface Marker Buoys are vital when drift diving to ensure your safety as you can easily be taken by the current and lost if you’re not careful. All boats should use a SMB to help track a divers where about. Surface Marker Buoys are also used by scuba diving partners to remain in contact whilst moving through harsh or different conditions.
Scuba diving is considered deep diving when the depth of the dive is at least 18 meters from the surface, however most deep diving adventures occur closer to 30+ meters. Deep diving trips are not like your typical scuba diving adventures that focus on aquatic life and reefs. Deep dives usually involve exploring some old wreckage from a sunken ship or maybe a rare species of marine life that is only found in the deeper water. Due to the depths involved, deep diving can be dangerous if the dive is not properly organised so proper planning must take place before leaving the boat.
Once you get to depths below 50 meters, it’s important to remember that there is a large risk the compressed air you are using to stay alive will become toxic. The nitrogen in the air can become narcotic at these depths and drug you causing delayed response time which could be disastrous. Luckily the effect can quickly and easily be rectified by swimming to shallower waters.
Decompression stops are extremely important when returning to the surface from a deep diving trip and a backup cylinder and regulator under the boat are a good idea for additional safety.
Is wreck diving dangerous?
Wreck diving can be dangerous if correct procedures aren’t followed. As long as adequate training is undertaken, wreck diving can be extremely good fun, safe and rewarding.
Do I need to do a course in order to go wreck diving?
To dive on and around a wreck you do not need a specific course or a wreck diving cert, at a minimum you would need to be an open water diver, or an advanced open water diver if you were diving beyond 18 metres. To further investigate a wreck which would mean going in and penetrating the outer structure, you will need to do your SSI wreck diving specialty course.
What special equipment should I use?
For general wreck diving, including penetration, you will need a torch and a wreck reel, in addition to all the other standard diving equipment.
Are there plenty of wrecks in Southeast Queensland to dive on?
We are lucky in South east Queensland that there are many wrecks for us to dive on with just a recreational diving certificate. The most popular wrecks in the area are dived by most charters on a regular basis, the most popular being the wrecks that make up the curtain artificial reef and the ex HMAS Brisbane.
Why do you use a wreck reel to dive?
Wreck reels are used to mark your path when penetrating the wreck. They are used by clipping or tying the end of your lines on a structure on the outside of the wreck then the line is reeled out as you swim inside. If you were to become disorientated and lost inside the wreck or if visibility was bad, you can follow the line back to your entry point.
Is wreck diving more dangerous than normal diving?
When wreck diving, the dangers are the same in any other recreational diving, so always stick to your depth limits and know your decompression limits but due to the environment associated with wreck diving, you must be careful to follow the extra safety procedures that are involved. These can be learned in more detail during your advanced open water course and the SSI wreck diving specialty course.
What types of wrecks are best to dive on?
When wreck diving you will experience wrecks that can be over 100 years old or wrecks that have been sunk for just a few months. Wrecks are amazing habitats for all kinds of marine life so whether old or new you will always be guaranteed to see plenty of interesting creatures. Some of the more interesting wreck sites are former naval vessels, or large cargo ships.
What is the HMAS Brisbane like to dive on?
HMAS Brisbane is one of Southeast Queensland’s premier dive sites, sunk only 5 years ago, it is a amazingly well preserved and is home to fantastic marine life. Due to the wreck being scuttled especially as a dive attraction, it is very safe and accessible to all levels of divers.
How deep is the HMAS Brisbane?
The HMAs Brisbane sits in 30 metres of water, this makes it accessible for advanced open water divers but also open water divers as the main deck is only at 18 metres so there is plenty to see and explore within your certified depth limit.