Freefalling Underwater

I highly recommend taking a deep diving course.

You descend the first few meters like you normally do, making sure you can equalize the pressure in your ears. Then… the brakes come off!

There is no speed limit on the descent, so you freefall faster and faster just like in skydiving. Instead of pulling a parachute, you inflate your Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD) to achieve neutral buoyancy at your target depth. In this case, our target was 40 meters, and the bottom of the wall at Kontiki off Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines, was conveniently almost exactly 40 meters.

This must be why I see so many photos of technical divers looking like skydivers. That does seem to be the natural position you take as you watch your depth on your dive computer.

If all goes well, you get narced up (nitrogen narcosis) on the descent. I don’t think I got narced up, but my instructor disagrees.

He made the point that I didn’t achieve neutral buoyancy at the bottom. I conceded that I was aware of that, but there were too many photos to take and too much debris to retrieve before reaching our No Decompression Limit (NDL). I think I would have the same buoyancy critique at any depth with that much going on in so little time.

Anyway, we’ll do another dive to 40 meters. I won’t need to take the camera, so that’ll be 1 less distraction. Plus, the camera shut itself off at depth anyway, and wouldn’t power back up until we were ascending.

I’m looking forward to my next jump! There is little sightseeing to do down there so far, but you can stop and smell the proverbial roses on the way back up.

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