Best Dive in London

Last night seven of us made our way down to the London Dive Chamber in Central London. We were greeted there by a friendly team who handed us our blue scrubs, made us complete a quick quiz (the reason for which will be come clear later on) and gave us a short presentation and safety briefing on our impending 50m dry dive.

There were definitely a few butterflys amongst the group as the deepest that most of had ever dived was to 40m so we weren’t sure how we would react with the effects of Narcosis caused by the effects of breathing Nitrogen in air at pressure.

We entered the chamber through the door cut out of the 1 inch steel thick tank. We sat on the benches and put our head phones to protect us from the noise of rushing air entering the chamber. Andreas placed his dive computer in a bucket of water next to me which we were told would protect it and we started our decent.

I was surprised about how often you had to equalise your ears, far more frequently then if you are in water. Due to the increase in pressure the chamber quickly increased in temperature (Boyle’s Law if you can recall your school days). It took around 6 1/2 minutes for us to reach our maximum bottom depth of 50m.

It was immediately evident on the effects of Narcosis. Pretty much everyone erupted with uncontrollable laughter, the worst culprits being Zoe, Jenny and Hope.This was made even worse when everyone started talking and sounded like ‘Pink and Perky’ (showing my age), if you’ve ever inhaled helium then it has a similar effect.

The nurse who accompanied us, who was also narked off her head, handed us the second part of our quiz to test for the effects of Narcosis. The one minute time allowance went really quickly and before we knew it we had to put our pens down.

I looked at Andreas’ Suunto D4 dive computer which was now showing that he needed to do a 7 minute deco-stop. After 8 minutes bottom time we slowly made our way to the surface. We did two deco stops at 12m and 6m where we given 100% oxygen to help remove the build up of Nitrogen from our bodies.

When we reached the surface we were given a de-brief, had our log books stamped and handed a goody bag which included sports bottle and T-shirt! Our narcosis results were then read out. Myself, Ian, Andreas and Ann all received roughly similar scores of 25 on the surface and 21 at 50m, Zoe excelled with 28 and 25 but Jenny and Hope were ‘hopeless’ scoring 25 on the surface and about 9 at depth.

This was definitely one of the most fun dives I’ve ever done, amazing as it was conducted about 4 tube stops from our pool in Soho, central London.

As all true divers we headed off to the nearest pub where I left the others who went for a curry. A splendid night was had by all so another Dry Dive has been booked for 25th April.

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