How To Do Dive Tables

Dive Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Dive Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

dive-table

Recreational Dive Planners: Dive Tables explained

The most common dive table used by recreational diving companies and enthusiasts is the recreational dive planner. The recreational dive planner was the first dive table developed exclusively for recreational ‘no-stop’ dives and was developed as a result of data collected by the US Navy and later Doppler Ultrasound Research.

Why do we use dive tables?

Dives tables enable us to discover how long and how deep we can dive safely within the no-decompression limits for one or multiple scuba dives. They help us monitor the amount of nitrogen we have in our bodies during and after scuba diving activities. As human beings we are designed to breathe air under normal atmospheric pressure. This air consists primarily of oxygen and nitrogen. When we go scuba diving we are breathing air at increased pressures due to depth, and so our bodies are absorbing oxygen and nitrogen in higher quantities. Nitrogen is an inert gas and is not used by the body. When we scuba dive it is possible to put too much nitrogen in our bodies, and so we calculate our dive tables to help us monitor and ensure we don’t take in too much. It must be noted that dive tables can only give an educated estimate as to how much nitrogen is in our bodies. As every person is different, everyones bodies will take in and release nitrogen at different rates.

This website explains only the dive tables for use when breathing normal air. Different gas mixtures are not discussed here.

Important: No dive tables or dive computers can completely eliminate the risk of decompression sickness. All divers are advised to dive conservatively within their limits and adhere to all standards set by their dive supervisors and training agencies.

How do we take in nitrogen?

When we breathe in the nitrogen in our lungs is diffused into our blood stream and transported around the body. The amount of nitrogen we take in depends on two factors:

1)      DEPTH: The deeper we are underwater the more nitrogen we breathe in and the more nitrogen can be diffused into our bodies 2)      DURATION: The longer we breathe underwater the more time nitrogen has to saturate into different parts of our bodies

What are no-decompression limits?

Although every dive is a decompression dive (because we absorb nitrogen during the dive and then release nitrogen as we ascend), the term ‘no-decompression’ diving is just a shortened abbreviation of saying that we are always ‘no-decompression stop’ diving.

Recreational divers should always be ‘No-Decompression Stop’ diving. This means that recreational divers should always be able to ascend to the surface at the appropriate speed, WITHOUT having to do mandatory decompression stops on ascent. Our dive tables allow us to calculate how deep and how long we may dive before manditory decompression stops become necessary. (Note, ‘decompression stops’ are not the same as ‘safety stops’. Recreational divers should always practice safety stops at the end of every dive to add an extra level of safety to their dives).

Pop up link for ‘What does the term Decompression Diving refer to, and how is it different to the recreational diving discussed here?’

Decompression diving is when the amount of nitrogen taken into the body is considered too great to ascend directly to the surface, and so decompression stops must be made at different levels upon the ascent to ‘off-gas’ nitrogen. Decompression Stop Diving is considered technical diving and is outside the realm of what is discussed here.

Pop up Link To: ‘What are safety stops?’ Safety stops should be made at the end of every single scuba dive – at 5 meters (15 feet) for 3-5 minutes. Safety stops give the diver an added layer of safety and allow the body to get rid of excess nitrogen before ascending completely. They should be planned into the end of every dive. There are some exceptions when divers should not perform a safety stop however; such as in emergency out of air situations for example. (Safety stops are not the same as mandatory decompression stop diving, which is outside the realm of recreational diving and is not discussed here).

What if a diver exceeds the table limits? If you are using dive tables to calculate your nitrogen intake and you exceed the table limits, then there is no reliable way of estimating how much nitrogen is residual in your body. In this instance you should not dive for a minimum of 24 hours, and should seek advice from a dive professional. Divers should never exceed their depth and time limits. Good divers always plan their dives and execute their plan, staying conservatively within the limits.

Pop up link to ‘What is the Difference Between SSI and PADI’ At the recreation level there is not a great deal of difference between the training offered by PADI and the training offered by SSI. Both are reputable scuba training institutions and a qualification from either agency is recognized and accepted internationally. It is also possible to take scuba courses through different agencies – such as your Open Water Course with SSI and then your Advanced Course with PADI – in the same way you may do a degree at one university and get your masters at another. They are equally recognized and interchangeable.

Pop up link to ‘What is the difference between PADI Dive Tables and SSI Dive Tables?’ Where SSI use three dive tables, PADI uses just two tables by combining tables one and two together. Generally speaking SSI dive tables are much more conservative than PADI dive tables, although they both perform the same functions for the recreational diver and are used in much the same way.

Dive Tables Vs Dive Computers It should be noted that tables assume that the dive is spent at the maximum depth for the whole duration. This dive profile is known as a square dive. Dive computers monitor your estimated nitrogen absorption at different depths throughout a dive, and therefore have many benefits over using dive tables. See your local dive centre for further information or enrol upon a Scuba Diving Course.

great barrier reef

For wonderful scuba diving holidays, or scuba courses, at the Great Barrier Reef,

3 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

3 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

0

 Reef Encounter's 4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course Complete your scuba dive course on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Reef..read more

Book
4 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

4 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

0

Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard, 4 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom Start your Open Water Dive Course anywhere in the World and complete in on Australia’s..read more

Book
4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

0

Reef Encounter's 4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Reef Encounter’s VIP “Top Deck”offers a relaxed ambience and provides the..read more

Book
2 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

2 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

0

Great Barrier Reef 2 Day Referral Dive Package Stateroom Start your dive course anywhere in the  world and complete it with a referral dive course..read more

Book

Great Barrier Reef Tours

Reef Experience Family Tour

Reef Experience Family Tour

0

Reef Cruise with Reef Experience's family day trip is Cairns all inclusive package tour packed with family friendly activities ...plus the chance for Mum and..read more

Book
Great Barrier Reef, Reef Experience

Great Barrier Reef, Reef Experience

0

BEST VALUE OUTER GREAT BARRIER REEF Cruise TOUR! Snorkel, scuba dive and glass bottom boat the Great Barrier Reef on Cairns' only all inclusive reef..read more

Book
Great Barrier Reef Pontoon

Great Barrier Reef Pontoon

0

Great Barrier Reef Pontoon: Visit an all-weather Marine World platform, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef - this Great Barrier Reef Pontoon..read more

Book
Family Day Trip Compass Cruises

Family Day Trip Compass Cruises

0

Travel on our budget family day tour to the Great Barrier Reef with Compass Cruises and enjoy the magic of the outer Great Barrier Reef..read more

Book
Reef and Raft (2 days)

Reef and Raft (2 days)

0

Great Barrier Reef cruise and raft with this incredible 2 day package tour! See the highlights Cairns tropical North has to offer with an adventure..read more

Book
Reef and Tropical Experience

Reef and Tropical Experience

0

Two Cairns tours in one package! See the Outer Great Barrier Reef and visit the lush Rainforests of Cape Tribulation in only two days. These..read more

Book
Reef and Outback Experience

Reef and Outback Experience

0

2 day Reef and Outback Experience Package. Explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and Discover the Australian Outback on your trip to Chillagoe..read more

Book
2 Day Reef Sleep

2 Day Reef Sleep

0

Great Barrier Reef Sleep, floating hotel, liveaboard, scuba dive, snorkel, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Book
Reef and Rainforest Experience

Reef and Rainforest Experience

0

The ultimate 'Reef and Rainforest Experience' combines two premier Cairns day tours highlighting the best of Tropical North Queensland attractions, the Great Barrier Reef &..read more

Book
Skydive and Reef Experience (2 Day)

Skydive and Reef Experience (2 Day)

0

Experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef after the adrenalin hit from jumping from a plane for your skydive, on this fantastic Skydive and..read more

Book
Skydive and Reef Experience (2 Day)

Skydive and Reef Experience (2 Day)

0

Experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef after the adrenalin hit from jumping from a plane for your skydive, on this fantastic Skydive and..read more

Book
Sailing Reef Tour 2 day (1 night)

Sailing Reef Tour 2 day (1 night)

0

Embark on a two day Great Barrier Reef liveaboard sailing adventure without the crowds onboard Coral Sea Dreaming. Holding a maximum of only 12 guests,..read more

Book
Reef, Raft and Bungy (2 Days)

Reef, Raft and Bungy (2 Days)

0

Reef, Raft and Bungy (2 days) - Cairns 2 day package including a day on the Great Barrier Reef, Bungy jump and White Water Rafting

Book
Reef and Tropical Delights

Reef and Tropical Delights

0

Enjoy the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, tantalise your taste buds and the scenery of our Rainforests in this Reef and Tropical Delights Package...read more

Book
Rainforest-Raft-Reef

Rainforest-Raft-Reef

0

Experience the highlights that Tropical North Queensland has to offer with this Rainforest-Rafting-Reef Experience 3 day package.

Book
Whitsundays Liveaboard Sailing (3 Nights)

Whitsundays Liveaboard Sailing (3 Nights)

0

Whitsundays Liveaboard Sailing (3 Nights) See the spectacular Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef on a 3 night sailing adventure onboard Emperors Wings!  You can..read more

Book
3 Day Reef and Daintree

3 Day Reef and Daintree

0

3 day Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest package will have you experiencing the best of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

Book
3 Day Liveaboard Snorkel

3 Day Liveaboard Snorkel

0

This ultimate 3 day liveaboard Snorkel Tour will have you snorkelling on the beautiful Outer Great Barrier Reef with Cairns premier Liveaboard Vessel "Reef Encounter!

Book
3 Day Liveaboard Snorkel

3 Day Liveaboard Snorkel

0

This ultimate 3 day liveaboard Snorkel Tour will have you snorkelling on the beautiful Outer Great Barrier Reef with Cairns premier Liveaboard Vessel "Reef Encounter!

Book
3 Day Liveaboard Snorkel

3 Day Liveaboard Snorkel

0

This ultimate 3 day liveaboard Snorkel Tour will have you snorkelling on the beautiful Outer Great Barrier Reef with Cairns premier Liveaboard Vessel "Reef Encounter!

Book
2 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

2 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

0

Great Barrier Reef 2 Day Referral Dive Package Stateroom Start your dive course anywhere in the  world and complete it with a referral dive course..read more

Book
3 day Scuba Dive Liveaboard

3 day Scuba Dive Liveaboard

0

Great Barrier Reef 3 Day  Scuba Dive Liveaboard Reef Encounter, Australia’s only floating luxury boutique hotel, is situated on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef off..read more

Book
3 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

3 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

0

Great Barrier Reef Referral Dive Course Reef Encounter is an SSI Accredited training facility and has been offering outstanding scuba diving on Australia's Great Barrier Reef..read more

Book
Learn To Scuba Dive 3 Day Course

Learn To Scuba Dive 3 Day Course

0

Learn To Scuba Dive on a 3 day liveaboard Open Water Course and become a qualified scuba diver at the Great Barrier Reef! Includes 8..read more

Book
3 Day Liveaboard Resort Dive

3 Day Liveaboard Resort Dive

0

Our 3 day Liveaboard Resort Dive Adventure includes 8 daytime scuba dives at beautiful Outer Great Barrier Reef locations, for those who do not hold..read more

Book
4 Day Liveaboard Scuba Dive

4 Day Liveaboard Scuba Dive

0

Great Barrier Reef 4 Day Liveaboard Scuba Dive  Discover Australia's Great Barrier Reef Reef Encounter, Australia’s only floating luxury boutique hotel, is situated on the..read more

Book
Best of Cairns

Best of Cairns

0

Indulge in these luxury tour options that the Best of Cairns has to offer.

Book
3 Day Top Deck Snorkel Tour

3 Day Top Deck Snorkel Tour

0

Experience the WOW factor on Australia's Great Barrier Reef - Top Deck Club ! A VIP Top Deck holiday is designed for people who wish..read more

Book
4 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

4 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom

0

Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard, 4 Day Referral Dive Course Stateroom Start your Open Water Dive Course anywhere in the World and complete in on Australia’s..read more

Book
Learn To Scuba Dive 4 Day Course

Learn To Scuba Dive 4 Day Course

0

Learn To Scuba Dive on a 4 day liveaboard Open Water Course and become a qualified scuba diver at the Great Barrier Reef! Includes 11..read more

Book
3 Day Top Deck Scuba Dive

3 Day Top Deck Scuba Dive

0

3 Day Top Deck Scuba Dive Reef Encounter's Top Deck Club really is the ultimate way to see Australia's Great Barrier Reef includes your very..read more

Book
4 day Stress and Rescue Dive Course

4 day Stress and Rescue Dive Course

0

A specialty scuba dive course in Stress and Rescue on Australia's Great Barrier Reef is one of the best ways that divers can make that..read more

Book
3 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

3 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

0

 Reef Encounter's 4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course Complete your scuba dive course on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Reef..read more

Book
4 Day Top Deck Scuba Dive

4 Day Top Deck Scuba Dive

0

Dive Australia's Great Barrier Reef on our Top Deck Scuba Dive A VIP Top Deck holiday is designed for people who wish to experience the best..read more

Book
4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course

0

Reef Encounter's 4 Day Top Deck Club Referral Dive Course Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Reef Encounter’s VIP “Top Deck”offers a relaxed ambience and provides the..read more

Book
See more listings