Tag Archives: kayak diving

Dive 90

Date: July 9, 2013       Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  16:49    Time Out:  17:19     Time:   :30

Dive Location: Kea’au Beach,   Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Strong Current        Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 60-70′

Air Temp:   86      Bottom Temp:  76.4

Max Depth:  58.6′       Average Depth: 33.6′

Safety / Decompression Stops:  3 Min / 15′

Start PSI: 3,015    End PSI: 2,213      Air/EANx:  21%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills, DPV, 2 Dive Lights

Notes:

Wanted to try a new dive site today that I have been looking at for a while. Getting out to the dive spot in the kayak was a bit harry today with the surf, but I finally made it after two attempts, just before I was going to give up for the day.

Lots and lots of fish, especially Tangs, Triggerfish and Barracuda and several Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Inside one of the swim-throughs I saw a HUGE moray eel that must have been at least 5 or 6 foot long and fat. He definitely hasn’t missed many meals. Will have to come back and do this site again when I have more time.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 89

Date: July 9, 2013       Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  13:29    Time Out:  14:03     Time:   :34

Dive Location: Kaiser Reef,   Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Moderate Current        Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 80-90′

Air Temp:   89      Bottom Temp:  77.2

Max Depth:  33.7′       Average Depth: 29.2′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 3,125    End PSI: 2,027      Air/EANx:  21%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills

Notes:

Decided to do a kayak dive today back at Kaiser Reef since there was only one dive boat in the area this afternoon. Current was a little higher this time than on my night dive here the other night, so I decided to stay on the sheltered side of the reef for this dive.

Saw several moray eels and one Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle today along with a lot of tangs and Moorish Idols.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 86

Date: July 4, 2013          Repetitive Dive: 2 of 4

Time In:  14:16    Time Out:  14:49         Time:   :33

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Moderate Current                Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 80-90′

Air Temp:   82       Bottom Temp:  76.6

Max Depth:  34.0′       Average Depth: 28.3′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,873    End PSI: 2,253      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills

Notes:

This was the 2nd solo kayak dive for the day. Saw 4 Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and a Hawaiian Monk Seal on this dive, unfortunately I could not get close enough to read his ID number to identify him with.

Headed back to shore to meet up with a friend for a couple boat night dives from his inflatable RIB.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 85

Date: July 4, 2013            Repetitive Dive: 1 of 4

Time In:  13:10    Time Out:  13:40      Time:   :30

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Moderate Current      Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 80-90′

Air Temp:   84       Bottom Temp:  77.6

Max Depth:  38.0′       Average Depth: 26.2′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,975    End PSI: 1,627      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills

Notes:

Decided to do a few solo kayak dives to celebrate the 4th with. Saw a few Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles today and a Crown of Thorns for the first time at this site. Since I am diving solo today I wanted to keep my dives short and not push any limits.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 78

Date: May 22, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  11:10  Time Out:  11:43    Time:   :33

Dive Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: DMC – Mapping Project

Dive Type:  Solo Kayak Dive      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  2-4′ Surf    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 10-15′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  34′    Average Depth: 28.3′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,930   End PSI: 2,298      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Dive Light, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, Compass, GPS, Dive Slates, Protractor

Notes:

Second Solo Kayak Dive today to work on my Mapping Project for the Divemaster course.

Visibility did not improve from the first dive, really sucks today.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 77

Date: May 22, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  10:15  Time Out:  10:45    Time:   :30

Dive Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: DMC – Mapping Project

Dive Type:  Solo Kayak Dive      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  2-4′ Surf    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 10-15′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  38′    Average Depth: 26.2′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,650    End PSI: 1,597      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Dive Light, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, Compass, GPS, Dive Slates, Protractor

Notes:

Did a Solo Kayak Dive today since the dive barge was not going out so that I could get some more measurements and compass headings so that I could complete my Mapping Project for the Divemaster course.

The south swell is really making diving off the south coast difficult this week. I got rolled 3 times on my way out to the dive site. Luckily once I was past the surf zone and out there it was much calmer. Unfortunately the visibility sucked which made it harder to work on my map.

iGills Snapshot

Divemaster Mapping Project

As part of my PADI Divemaster training I am required to create a map of a dive site to teach me underwater mapping and reinforce the underwater navigation skills that I learned in the Underwater Navigator Specialty course that I took last month.

For this task I was allowed to choose Koko Craters, a popular dive site off the South East coast of Oahu. Because I dive this site very often, and had already started a rudimentary map of the location in the Underwater Navigator Specialty dives it would save me some time.

Normally the mapping project is done by a group of Divemaster Candidates (DMC’s) who collaborate on a finished map. Since I am doing this mapping project alone I would have to do everything myself, which would mean multiple dives at the location to get measurements, compass headings, etc.

Unfortunately we have been getting hit with a south swell for the past couple weeks that has made diving on the south shores almost impossible. Most of the dive boats have cancelled their dives and everyone is shore diving up at Sharks Cove for the past two weeks. In order to work on my map today I was forced to do a solo kayak dive in very rough waters.

I ended up getting rolled 4 times today while trying to get out to the site. Once I was offshore out at the site the seas were much calmer and I was able to get some diving done. Unfortunately the visibility was very poor for this location, normally we have around 100′ visibility at Koko Craters, but because of the south swell today it was only 10 to 15 feet, which made working on my map very difficult. There was also a strong current which also added to my challenge, luckily I had strapped one of my DPV’s to my kayak in anticipation of the strong currents and surge. Using the DPV I was able to overcome the current and get some work done on my map.

Here is the map I made of the Koko Craters Dive Site. Hopefully it will be good enough to pass and I can get signed off for this project. I don’t see how I can make it much better.

KokoCratersDiveMap

You can download a Printable .pdf version of the map by clicking here or a larger .jpg image by clicking on the map above.

Kayak Upgrade

I decided that I did not want to limit myself to just single tank dives with the Pelican kayak, so I also bought a 15 1/2 foot long Ocean Kaiak Trident Ultra 4.7 New Zealand model pictured here that has a higher weight capacity which will allow me to use it for multi-tank dives.

The weight capacity of the Trident Ultra 2 is 550 pounds so I will be well within that capacity on two tank dives using aluminum 80’s.

I also upgraded it by having the rudder system installed on the back of the kayak to give me more maneuverability in the water and make it easier in the currents of the open ocean. The Trident Ultra 4.7 is already setup for the addition of a transducer so I can add a sonar unit easily to the kayak to make finding dive spots easier.

I am also having additional anchor points added to the kayak to attach clips to for my equipment that I will hang over the side of the kayak when I am ready to enter the water.

Since this kayak is quite a bit heavier than my Pelican, I am also having a new kayak rack installed onto my Suburban that will assist me in loading and unloading it. I decided on the Thule Hullavator system which will make it a lot easier for me and keep me from denting or scratching the new paint job on my truck. The kayak should be ready by Wednesday for me to pick up and we will install the Hullavator rack system then.

The new kayak and rack system has cost me $3,000.00 so far, and I still have to get additional items to make it dive ready like a dive flag, current line, anchor, etc. Luckily all of the really expensive items are out of the way now.

This weekend I will be testing out the new kayak and getting used to it in shallower waters over near the Koko Craters dive sites that I dive frequently. I wont be diving from it yet, I need to get used the the handling of the new kayak first, so this weekend will be spent just cruising around the bay taking it for a “test drive”.

The rear tank well of the Trident 4.7 New Zealand model is the largest on the market giving me lots of rear deck room to secure my dive tanks and gear and the front hatch has plenty of room for my oxygen tank and other emergency equipment that I always take with my when diving.

Since the New Zealand model of the Trident 4.7 has a tank well that is so much larger than other kayaks I am able to lay two aluminum 80 cubic foot scuba tanks side by side instead of having to strap the second one on top of the bow hatch. There is still room behind the tanks for my 200′ current line and buoy.

Kayak Diving

I have been wanting to try something new that I have not had a chance to try yet, diving from a kayak. I have seen a couple people from a distance while onshore or onboard the dive boat that were diving from a kayak and I just met someone in a CPR class that I taught whose husband is really into kayak diving and is getting others involved in it.

I have a Pelican Castaway 116 DLX kayak like the one shown to the right that was designed for fishing that I bought a few years ago that has just been sitting in the garage collecting dust. I thought I would look more into kayak diving and what is needed in a kayak to see if mine would work for diving or if I would have to buy a new one. Mine has a large rear cargo deck with bungee tie-downs already installed, and a closed cargo well underneath the bow deck. There is also an additional dry storage area directly behind the seat back for smaller items that need to be kept dry.

After doing a lot of research on the subject online and talking to other people that dive from kayaks I was fortunate to find out that the kayak I have meets most of the diving “necessities” already in its factory form. I just needed to make a few minor additions like  a mounting for a dive flag, some additional attachment points for equipment tethers, an anchor, current buoy with at least 200′ of line, etc.

Unfortunately this dark green kayak is not the most desirable color for kayak diving as bright colors are more desirable to make them more visible, but the design and layout of the kayak is workable for single-tank diving with room for one aluminum 80 onboard.

I have attached a 42″ flag pole to the bow of the kayak that can be laid down flat or removed when not needed that has both the standard red and white U.S. version of the dive flag attached to it as well as the blue and white international version since we have so many tourists from all over the world here in Hawaii. It also has a light on top that can be seen for 2 miles for better visibility for night diving.

Technically the red and white “Diver Down” version is for protection of the diver by requiring other vessels to stay 300′ away from the flag and the blue and white “Alpha” flag is for protection of the boat meaning to stay clear that it can not be maneuvered normally to get out of another vessels way to avoid a collision. Even though I am only required in Hawaii to fly the red and white version under state law, I choose to fly both of them for safety.

Over the next few weeks I will be making additional modifications and additions to it while I test it out and get used to using it as a dive platform. I will try to keep you up-to-date on what I find out, and my progress as I delve into a new adventure in the world of kayak diving.

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