As you would come to find, I believe that cave diving can be the most thrilling adventure of your life.
This is because it combines the elements of a measure of danger and isolation from the rest of the world.
It pretty much feels like going off to an entirely different world, a sea world.
And of all the factors that we consider essential in cave diving, perhaps timing ranks highest.
Why? Here’s why.
Why Is Timing Important?
Timing is essential in cave diving for the only reason that your resources are finite.
This implies that you have a limited supply of oxygen. And I cannot overemphasize how vital your oxygen supply is.
When cave diving, there is no running out of oxygen until you get back to the top.
This is why the duration that the oxygen would ideally last for is calculated. Afterward, some allowances are added to prevent running out.
For instance, if the tank has a limit of 2 hours, it is expected that you spend significantly less than that underwater.
And for the remaining time, begin your return journey and ascend to the surface with some oxygen leftover.
This is done to ensure that panic doesn’t set in when you start running out of time.
Panic is one factor that destabilizes and can make you do something wrong.
Hence, remaining on the safe side involves keeping a close eye on the time.
You are also ascending to the surface with plenty of time on your side.
Why Do Divers Have to Come Up Slowly?
When cave diving, the gas you breathe in is a combination of 79% Nitrogen and 21% oxygen.
Similarly, the air coming out of the tank has the same pressure as the surrounding water.
Therefore, if you’re at a depth of 66 feet, the air in your lungs would be three times the normal earth pressure.
At a point, nitrogen and air would dissolve in your bloodstream and tissues.
Rising gradually allows for the nitrogen to leave the body slowly and safely via the lungs.
A speedy scene would cause the nitrogen to bubble in the body.
And coming up to the surface like this would be identical to uncorking a soda bottle.
The gas, when released, could result in a severe condition known as the bends.
Some other reasons include:
- It is preventing injury to your lungs because of the high pressure. This especially happens when the airway isn’t left open.
- To regulate buoyancy properly: Rapid ascent would cause the air in your lungs, suit, and BDC to expand. This would make you more buoyant, and you could hit your head against some foreign object.
What Happens if Drivers Don’t Follow the Perfect Diving
The main repercussion of not following the perfect diving is known as the bends.
It is also known as decompression sickness (DCS) or Caisson disease.
Cave divers typically go to some significant depths and get nitrogen and air into their bloodstream.
If ascension is done rapidly, the gases which have already dissolved in the bloodstream, mainly nitrogen, come outside and begin to bubble.
This bubbling can affect various parts of the body, including the lung, joints, heart, brain, and skin.
How to Maintain Your Timing Underwater
First, you have to check the oxygen level on your scuba tank from time to time.
In addition to this, I would advise the use of a timer. Once you dive, you start your timer, and you can stay within your time limits better.
Furthermore, there are some ways that you can maximize your time underwater.
This implies that you would be able to stay for longer underwater and make it back up in good time.
Here are some of the practical ways:
- Slow and Deep Breaths
This is one of the best ways to conserve air underwater.
By taking slow and deep breaths, oxygen circulates appropriately in the body.
A long exhale also ensures that most of the carbon dioxide is breathed out. This way, you won’t feel the urge to breathe rapidly.
- Swim at a Steady Pace
We would suggest swimming at a slow pace here.
Reducing swimming speed implies that less energy is used.
Consequently, you would be using less oxygen. So, this would help to conserve your air.
- Buoyancy Control
Buoyancy control is an essential part of conserving air while scuba diving.
Increasing the air volume in your BCD would imply that there would be less to breathe.
Exerting a lot of energy to avoid the bottom would leave you exerted and have you breathing more.
Therefore, controlling buoyancy is essential, and a BCD or buoyancy control device comes in handy.
Buoyancy would help to reduce accident risks, make air supply last longer, and save energy too.
Information and application of said information are everything.
Once you know what to do and do just that, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.
We recommend that you’re entirely confident before going on a proper cave dive.