|Date Reviewed:||April, 2001|
|Location:||Smack downtown Seattle|
|Site Description:||Stark metal chamber|
|Main Attraction:||Getting fed|
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, this is one of the easiest dives you can every do. It is the only 60 fsw dive in the Seattle area that does not require much of any thermal protection (or scuba gear, for that matter!). One of the unique characteristics of this dive is that you can actually eat and talk at depth. Also, by getting to breath pure oxygen (EAN100?), there is not much chance of narcosis (although, that may be a minus in this case). However, despite these unique benefits, this dive really sucks. Vis is never more than 8 feet, unless you look out one of the tiny little ports. There is not much marine life at this site, unless you order fish and chips or sushi while in the chamber. Also, although I like maximizing bottom times, 6 hours does seem a bit excessive. All this can be yours for +$5000, unless your insurance company is willing to pick it up.
Seriously, I recently had the "opportunity" to go on a chamber ride. I went diving with my brother one morning at Sunrise (awesome dive!) and went bowling that night. I threw 11 games and my thumb was a little numb the next morning, which is not unusually. However, the numbness did not go away over the next few days. I called DAN (of which I am a member) and they sent me to Virginia Mason for evaluation. Because the doctor at Virginia Mason could not rule out DCS, they sent me on a Level 6 (60 fsw for two hours, 30 fsw for 4 hours) ride. As it turns out, the ride did not effect my symptoms at all, so DCS was eliminated as a potential cause.
Many thanks to DAN and the staff at Virginia Mason. The staff at Virginia Mason is truly awesome - they are friendly, informative, and fun. Many thanks to Laura for enduring the six hour ride with me in the chamber that day and helping make the time pass fairly quickly (I hope you get to go see those Manatees someday!).
Some observations/facts on diving in a chamber:
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