Posted by Wayne on September 24, 2001 at 23:51:37:
In Reply to: Dive Computers?? posted by BadFish on September 24, 2001 at 21:24:29:
If you do multiple repetitive dives, they are fantastic. If you do one-tank beach dives, they do not do much except help you remember what to write in your log book. I am a recent convert to using a computer. I really like them becuase they handle the multilevel dive aspects of a dive. For example, after you get more training and experience (I think I remember you are a newly certified diver), lets say you dive Avalon's underwater park. You swim out and drop down an outer location and navagate back. You start out at 87 fsw and swim up to the 30 fsw areas of reef (where you spend most of your dive) and end your dive at the ascent line after a safety stop and with 500 PSI. Your total bottom time might be 50 or so minutes.
By the tables, you are nervous, but common sense tells you that you spent most of the dive shallow. And you are "feeling" just fine, but what about the tables saying that you messed up? That nagging sense of foreboding will eat away at you and eventually you will "discover" that you can blow the tables without DCS and may start failing to use them. This is a path to destruction! Unless you are really good at keeping a running average depth, and unless you are doing "normal dive profiles", the computer will do a better job of helping you keep track of your current NDL status.
They are not fool proof and they are only a tool to help a diver make decisions, but they are nice to have along! I really like having mine and I NEVER push its NDLs. Although on Multilevel dives it is nice to know when it is time to ascend to the next shallower depth to stay clear of NDLS. They do not replace planning, but they can make diving more enjoyable and -- dare I say -- potentially safer.
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