In this blog article I write about my experiences with apnea diving and diving 20 meters deep for the first time in the Dive4Life diving tower in Bonn Siegburg. Without a certain training and above all experience, deeper diving depths can become dangerous very quickly. If you are looking for an introduction to apnea diving, I recommend the following book, the ideal introduction to this great sport.
Dive 20 meters deep for the first time
At the end of 2018 the time had come, organized by my Mannheim Freediving club in which I train regularly, we met at 9:30 a.m. in the Dive4Life diving tower in Bonn Siegburg ( https://dive4life.de ).
My (also harpoon enthusiast) acquaintances Arek & amp; Wladek were already waiting in the entrance area. Wladek had booked the tickets online a month in advance, on Saturday from 10: 00-12: 00 for € 31. The gates opened shortly before 10:00.
We had already seen before how real caravans of bottle divers dragged endless boxes of materials towards the entrance. Anyway, we dive with “light luggage”. We quickly submitted our certification at the checkout
(I think it is compulsory, my pool / freediving certification was sufficient here). There were free lockers right in the entrance area, where we changed as quickly as possible. After all, Wladek and I were the first in the water, but then bottle divers take longer.
We swam straight to the buoy which extends from the surface to a depth of 20m and reserved it in the German / Polish manner, as the best idea later turned out to be. Arek and his wife soon joined them and we first dived comfortably at 10m, adjust buoyancy, does everything fit ?! After the first 15 minutes, the first attempt is made: 20 meters. I had already dived to 15m + very often, I had also reached 19m in the lake (with absolute blackness on the bottom) (my PB up to then), but 20 was new to me. Was it because so far I was more likely to be on the coast in coastal areas that did not allow for 20 or when harpooning I was the experienced buddy and did not want to risk going to 20 meters with a beginner. The respect was there. I thought to myself, no matter you are here with professionals, at the moment you are in a very good condition, the water is crystal clear and warm, you will not get better conditions.
I lay down on the surface, 1 hand on the buoy and started breathing, exhale / inhale 3/1 deep into my stomach, one final exhalation to get every ounce of stale air out of my lungs, first stomach, then the lungs and finally the upper respiratory tract. A deep inhalation, first filling the stomach, then the lungs and finally the upper airways. With a pull on the rope it went down. Head slightly on your chest, straighten your legs with the flap of your fins, stay calm and dive into the ground. Pressure equalization as quickly and often as necessary and possible. The walls slid past me, it was getting darker. I reached the bottom plate and was surprised how easy it was for me. Wladek lay down on the floor and received me kindly. Enjoyed the soil briefly and then slowly emerge. Once at the top, there were definitely still reserves. Im OK! I was overcome with joy as I had increased my PB (Personal Best) by 1 meter.
In the further course more and more divers reached the tower. & nbsp; Towards the end there were about 30 divers in the water, which made the water very restless with their air bubbles. A horde of French freedivers also reached the pool and attached their buoy 3 meters from our buoy. The result was that when you relaxed on the surface you kept getting fin kicks in all parts of the body. When diving you had to be careful not to get tangled up in an inattentive bottle diver .
Nevertheless we did a lot of 20m dives with ground times and had a lot of fun. I increased my lead to 3.7 kilograms (on a 5mm suit). So my buoyancy was 10 meters at + – 0 and I was able to enjoy the amazing feeling of being pulled down the last 10 meters.
What I noticed while diving and only really became aware of it in a later conversation: The first contractions came relatively early, around 10 meters, but then stopped very quickly. Once at the bottom, you felt great, like you could dive another 10 meters. I knew the physiology behind it, but at the moment I wasn’t aware of what could have made the situation dangerous. The oxygen is dissolved in the blood by the high pressure at the base and leads the body to believe that there is a top O2 supply. As soon as you reappear, however, the pressure decreases again. The lungs expand and the dissolved oxygen is released from the blood and into the lungs. If you have now again spent too much time deep down and too much oxygen has been consumed, the body can fall below the critical limit of oxygen, threatening shallow water blackout .
As already said, I was familiar with this mechanism, but it was only afterwards that I realized that this was exactly what happened, when from 10 meters on the feeling set in, Wow, nothing is a problem at all. Next time I’ll be much more aware of this feeling and the knowledge behind it.