The SSI Deep Diver Specialty – Exploring the Depths of the Mysterious Ocean
The Deep Diver Specialty Course
[reading time: approx. 4-5 mins.]
After our OWD (Open Water Diver) we did the SSI Deep Diver specialty course on Malta as our first specialty. There is so much more to explore when you go deeper! On Malta these are mainly wrecks, which often lie between 25 and 40 meters. Therefore this course made absolutely sense for us.
We’ll tell you here about the theory and practical part, the duration and the expectable price.
Why doing the Deep Diver Specialty?
The Deep Diver Specialty offers so many advantages for your dives and is definitely recommended for scuba divers. You’ll be allowed to dive until a maximum depth of 40 meters, which sounds pretty much in the beginning. Of course you don’t always need to dive that deep, but often that’s way better than the allowed 18 meters with the OWD, especially if there are wrecks or other places of interest.
MV Karwela - the max. depth is 42 meters
Prerequisites before doing the Deep Diver Specialty Course
The Certification Prerequisite is just having the Open Water Diver. But in our opinion, it should be a prerequisite for yourself that you’re already feeling reasonably safe underwater. Some people are doing this specialty directly after the OWD Course, after having like six dives. Which is far away from feeling safe we think, but that’s your own choice.
We did our Deep Diver after exactly 20 dives and that was perfect for us. We were already feeling pretty safe underwater and could handle deeper dives better.
The P29 - max. depth is 35 meters
The Theory Part
As with every SSI course you can choose if you would like to learn the part already at home or on site. We did it at home with the SSI mobile application and everything was totally understandable. So go for it, then you’ll have more time for diving in your holiday.
You’ll learn about the following things in the theory:
The maximum depth of 40 meters and why there is a max. depth
The planning of a deep dive, which is pretty important - because you want to reach the surface with 50 bars – but nothing spectacular
For the planning you’ll learn how to calculate your SAC (surface air consumption) rate to then calculate the RMV (respiratory minute volume), which is how much air you’ll need at a certain depth
Detailed information about the NDL (no-decompression limit), which is the limited time you can spend underwater without having to stop during your ascent – You’ll learn this in the course because the deeper you go, the shorter is your time slot
How to use a pony tank (that’s a small spare tank) - some diving instructors take one of these with them on a deep dive or they leave it at 5 meters in case someone needs it at the safety stop
The risks: a repetition of the risks that you’ve already learned during the OWD course, as well as for example the icing of the regulator and the nitrogen narcosis, which is the effect of nitrogen in deeper waters that affects your perception and behavior
The effect of repetitive dives on your no decompression time
The highest part of the P29
The Practical Part
Once you’ve learned everything in theory, it’s time to do your first dive going deeper than 18 meters. Mandatory are by the way three deep dives within the course. No worries, you’ll not always go until the limit of 40 meters. Most of the diving instructors will plan your first deep dive until around 30 meters and the last ones deeper, only if you’re feeling comfortable enough of course!
Within and after the dives you’ll practice the following things:
How to breathe out of the pony tank and how to check (before changing the regulator of course) if there is any air inside – maybe another diver needed it before and it’s already empty
Some instructors will play a little game with you, e.g. you need to do some easy calculations and show the result with your fingers – but which works easily on the surface is maybe pretty hard or even impossible in the depths -> the effect of the nitrogen narcosis
While doing the safety stop in the end of your dive, you’ll practice which steps you have to pay attention to when shooting up the SMB (surface marker buoy)
After the dives you’ll calculate your RMV with your instructor to plan your next dives
And last but not least: you’ll check your no deco time for the next dive in the surface break – you just need to have a look at your computer of course, but additionally some instructors will show you how to read it from tables as well
Um El Faroud - the max. depth is 36 meters
The Duration of the Course
Of course it depends whether you already learned the theory at home or not and if you're doing well while the dives, but as there are only three mandatory dives, you can complete this specialty in just two days.
Like everything, it depends where you are doing the course and especially what is included in the price. We would say that everything around +/- 200 Euros (~240 USD) including the certification fee is a normal price. Note: If you need rental equipment, this will cost you another 40-60 Euros.
Price example: We did our Deep Diving Specialty with the Extra Divers Malta and paid 210 Euros including the certification fee plus another 40 Euros for the rental equipment.
MV Rozi - max. depth is 36 meters
In conclusion we can totally recommend this specialty course to everyone who is really passionate about diving and wants to explore the underwater world and its deeper wrecks, reefs, caves or drop-offs.
If you have any further questions, just write it down in the comments or message us.