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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jan 19, 2004
What is most of you all's aspetto time at 50'?

How long did it take you all to be able to comfortably and efficiently work this depth?

It seems I have a mental block beyond about 40-45'; heart starts to race and I get excited around this point...I'll have to surface, but I know I've got a longer breath-hold underwater

Any ideas on how to create a so called anchor or mental reference to stay calm at a deeper depth?...

any help would be appreciated.


A couple of weeks ago while spearfishing I did 1:18 @ 50'. Not all that time was on the bottom of course, but my descent and ascent were direct. It was (for me) a breakthrough, I got into a zone and my D3 tells me I was doing about 15 dives @ between 35-50 ft. with times of :59 - 1:18. (Yes, I did proper surface intervals ;))

The sad part was: I decided to go with it and drop my gun, relax more and try to get a longer bottom time; there I was @ 50' laying on the bottom (sans speargun) and a MONSTER sheephead cruises right by me. It was as if he knew I wasn't armed. :rcard

I seem to be about where you're at. For me I think the mental block might be a form of protection: I don't yet have the breathold capacity to go cruising and shooting fish in the 45-70 ft. range.
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I am dying to get one of those D3's. I have been guessing my depths until recently, when I used my buddies fish finder on his kayak to tell me it was 47 feet(asked him what the depth was before I dove). Was pleased to find I could dive that deep with some degree of comfort. Roan, the sheephead thing made me laugh. I had a nice one swim in front of me Sunday, and didnt zap him beacause I couldnt remember if they were in season or not. I understand what your saying about getting comfortable hunting at that depth. The dive that ended my day on Sun, I was a bit more active. Saw a patch of sand as I reached the bottom, and decide to check it for a flatty. The extra swiming burned more 02, so I took a pretty good push off the sand to head for the surface. As my feet left the bottom, my right leg cramped up pretty hard. Slowly kicked the rest of the way to the top one legged, to keep my leg from totally locking up. Wasnt to scarry at that depth, but if I were diving any deeper, I probably would have shucked the weight belt. If I had had any doubt about making the top, I would have deep sixed it. Swam to the Yak and called it quits when I reached the top. Will make it a point to hydrate better in the future, I think that was a culprit. I am also going to look into getting some rubber webbing and making my own belts. If I ever get into a situation where a belt drop is necessary, I dont want my wallet hand to slow me down. Those nice european rubber belts cost a pretty peny by the time they get shipped over here!!
Roan, any OC guys coming down for the SDFD meet?
close your eyes forget about water,depth, time....Of course does not over do this. Can be dangerous.
He knew perfectly well that you weren't a threat. Body language can be an open book. Wish I had the ability to close that book.

For me, there was a barrier about where yours is where my mind starts getting discomfort signals early in the dive (I gotta breath, etc). Those signals are bogus and, I think, come from compression effects on the lungs. Once I get through that zone, everything is fine again untill either I really do have to breath or 30 meters approaches.

Once I figured out what was going on(thanks to other DBers), I could ignore the signals to the point I don't notice them at 45 ft. That happened pretty quick, 3 or 4 diving days, roughly. When I haven't dove for months, the signals show up again, briefly.

strech...what you are experiencing is very common. On the rigs I never see the bottom and I am never quite sure about depth and consequently I am able to dive much deeper and longer than when I make my yearly pilgrimage to the keys. It seems when I find the bottom, whether in 30' or 70' I feel like its time to go up...maybe because Im not used to seeing the bottom??? Sounds like more a mental block than a physical one. Just continue to listen to your body, dont push too hard, and keep working those depths until you become more comfortable. Good luck and safe diving.
I would recommend that you get your buddy and a good sized float, run an 80' line with 5 lbs on the end of the line into the blue, so that it hangs suspended of your float. Then you two take turns diving down the line until you get past the depths you are uncomfortable with. Don't do statics at the depths yet, just spend some time getting comfortable in deeper water, with the security of a line to hang onto. Dive right beside the line with your fingers making an 'OK' around the line so that you can stop at any time.
You might also want to try some 'half-lung' or 'empty-lung;' dives, which will serve 2 purposes here: first, to give you the sensation of chest compression at a shallower depth, and second, to start kick in the dive reflex quicker. Do these at the beginning of the session and keep them under 30 seconds.
Once you have broken the 50' mark by a substantial margin (which I assure you is possible), you will be as comfortable doing aspetto in 50' as you were in 20'.
Be careful with aspetto down deep amigo,
Erik Y.
IB Yes, I'll be coming down, probably a few more OC folks too. Be sure to PM me GPS coordinates to your secret spots. :D
We've all heard and told big fish stories, but that sheephead was the largest fish I've seen. Probably 40 lbs. In fact I'm heading back out there in an hour or so! :p
And yes, IB watch that hydration! I had a close call last year: I was tired, not properly hydrated, I was at about 48' and both my calves totally cramped! Yikes! I barely made it back up. Dive safe.

Great advice everbody, thanks!
What I had to do is totaly get rid of my wrist/depthgauge. I normally use my kayak to get out to the end of the jetties so I have 50 ft of line to my anchor.I use the line as a guide and just work on following the line not thinking about depth,then after a couple of dives I attached the depthgauge to my ankle(I know it
sounds crazy)reset it to zero and continue making dives . After my
last dive I take off the gauge and see what my depth was. It would probaly help if I didn't wear my watch because i'm always
timing myself.

hope this helps AJ .
Seems to be looking like we can't find a ride to the picasso open...which means me and ash will be heading towards fla. for a couple days.

Wanna do some diving?
find us some decent viz (10ft+) and lets take a trip (as long as its not too long of a drive...gas is expensive and being a poor college student sucks)

4 hours from here to Jax is doable...I have no problem making a 6 hour drive either...

any suggestions? We checked on P.cola and its a bit to far from us.
I think we would have to go south to find viz like that right now.
For the last 2 weeks the seas was up and brought some dirty water from up north over here . A friend of mine went fishing somewhere just south of here and he said the water was crystal
clear . Maybe 45 minutes or so.I'll ask him some more about the
the spot and do a little research on it myself .

I spent my early years diving to 45 feet and it seemed that was all I could do. Then, I visited a friend in Hawaii and he arranged a meeting with some spearos, Japanese fellows, like him. We swam out from Sandy Beach and reached water with 60-70 foot depths about a 1/2 mile off shore. Seeing them work the bottom I pushed a bit and finally touched 60 feet. After a couple days, I could work that depth long enough to get off some shots, and some fish. After a week, I dove to 60-65 without thinking about it. It seemed normal. When I returned to the East Coast, I went to my usual spot and bounced off the 45 foot bottom a couple times before I realized that I wasn't in Hawaii. I learned that , when bottom fishing (reef wacking), it is necessary to push hard, get to depth, and take care of business. Concentrate on that, and the rest will take care of itself.
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