Tag Archives: Nate

Dive 70

Date: May 5, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 3 of 3

Time In:  13:28  Time Out:  14:13    Time:   :45

Dive Location: Sea Cave,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: DMC Practicals – Con Ed.

Dive Type:  Boat / Drift  Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Mild Current    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 100′ +

Air Temp:  80° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  77′    Average Depth: 46′

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,840    End PSI: 472      Air/EANx:  35%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, 2 Dive Lights, Scuba Pro Jet Fins


After switching over the students scuba tanks and eating lunch we decided on doing a drift dive at Sea Cave. For a drift dive from the boat we would use a “negative entry” meaning that we would empty all the air out of our BCD’s and descend from the surface as quickly as possible so that the group is able to stay together.

After a site briefing on the boat and quickly checking the students to make sure their equipment was ready the captain maneuvered the boat into position for our entry. Once in position, everyone quickly entered the water one after another similar to paratroopers jumping out of a plane.

As we descended I looked around and counted that we had everyone in the group together then Nate headed toward the Sea Cave leading the group as I followed along behind. We reached the entrance of the Sea Cave at about 50′ and stopped for a moment to check the current patterns, then proceeded inside up to about 20′ depth at the back of the cave. Frequently we find the highly endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals playing around inside the cave and I was hoping we would find some on this trip, but unfortunately there were none to be found today.

We were able to find one of the area inhabitants that are rarely seen in the area though, a Dragon Moray Eel. Because people can sell them for a lot of money we don’t often see them so it was a treat to be able to see one today. I will try to check in on him on future dives here.

After checking out the Sea Cave for a few minutes we headed back out to continue our drift dive of the area.

Normally when I have dove this site as we leave the Sea Cave we always drift to the West along the wall, but todays currents were backwards so we drifted to the East along the wall at about 70′ deep for about another 20 minutes before we deployed a delayed surface marker buoy and started to slowly ascend and make our 3 minute safety stop at 15 feet.

Once surfaced we realized that the seas had changed over the last 45 minutes that we were down and it had become quite choppy on the surface. Once the boat had maneuvered back into position we all swam for the current line trailing behind the boat and made our way back up the ladder.

Unfortunately the only injury of the dive came while floating on the surface waiting to get back aboard the boat when I was stung on the back of my hand by a jelly fish because I had forgotten my gloves onboard when I was assisting the students and reading them for their entry. I am severely allergic to jelly fish and insect stings/bites so I was very concerned. I had no idea how good he got me so as soon as I was back on the boat I readied my EpiPen just in case I started having an anaphylactic reaction to the sting. My chest started tightening making it difficult to breath easily but it was still manageable so I held off on administering the shot and applied a hot compress to my hand which was temporarily partly paralyzed from the sting and continued to monitor my breathing and pulse rate.

About half an hour later my breathing improved as we headed back into shore and I started to be able to move my hand again. Since the feeling was coming back into my hand, unfortunately so was the searing pain which subsided after I kept applying hot compresses to it for the rest of the night along with taking a Vicodin for the pain and 10 Benadryl tablets to help stop the rest of the reaction from the sting.

If anyone was to get stung on the dive I am glad it was me and not one of the students or other customers that we had on the boat today, so all in all it was a good day.

Dive 69

Date: May 5, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 3

Time In:  11:38  Time Out:  12:07    Time:   :29

Dive Location: YO-257 Wreck,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: DMC Practicals – Con Ed.

Dive Type:  Boat   Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Mild Current    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 70-80′

Air Temp:  80° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  95′    Average Depth: 56′

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,800    End PSI: 730      Air/EANx:  34%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, 2 Dive Lights, Scuba Pro Jet Fins


On this dive I would be assisting Nate with the Wreck Adventure Dive for the Advanced Open Water certification class. While on our surface interval I switched over the students scuba tanks so they would be ready for the next dive. Again my job was to follow behind the group observing the students making sure they did not have any difficulties.

We descended onto to the YO-257 and briefly toured its deck. Since the Atlantis Submarine was not around right now, the current was mild, and the visibility was good we decided to venture over to the wreck of the San Pedro which lays next to the YO-257.

As Nate lead the group across the ocean bottom to the San Pedro I remained behind to make sure that all divers made it across between the ships safely . The Atlantis submarine tours back and forth between the shipwrecks so basically I acted like a crossing guard making sure the way was clear for the divers.

We toured the wreck of the San Pedro which is much more deteriorated than the YO-257 is and then swam back over to the YO-257. I could hear the Atlantis submarine in the area but could not see where it was at yet, so as we were crossing back over I kept looking for the Atlantis and making sure that no divers were left behind on the San Pedro.

Upon returning to the Yo-257 we began touring the openings that have been cut into its hull allowing the divers to swim through it for their first experience of penetrating a wreck. Since my penetration experiences during the Night Diver Specialty dives and the Wreck Diver Specialty dives I was able to do the penetrations without a problem. It also helped that I was able to keep my concentration on the students instead of what I was doing.

As we reached the mooring line and started our ascent the Atlantis submarine came into view  just off the starboard side of the YO-257. As it got closer to the side of the YO 2 advanced divers that were not staying with our group were coming out of the holes in the side of the YO and were surprised by the Atlantis which was about 20 feet from them. They stayed close to the ships side and ascended up to the rest of us on the mooring line.

We ascended up the mooring line and made a 3 minute safety stop at 15 feet before climbing back onto the boat for our surface interval and lunch before our third dive.

Dive 68

Date: May 5, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 3

Time In:  09:53  Time Out:  10:20    Time:   :27

Dive Location: Sea Tiger Wreck,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: DMC Practicals – Con Ed.

Dive Type:  Boat   Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Very Slight Current    Wt:  20lbs

Visibility: 50-60′

Air Temp:  80° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  97′    Average Depth: 63′

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,790    End PSI: 747      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, 2 Dive Lights, Scuba Pro Jet Fins


This was my first dive for the practicals portion of my Dive Master course. Today I assisted Nate Jonson with the Deep, Wreck, and Drift Adventure Dives of an Advanced Open Water course for 2 students.

My job today started off with preparing and loading scuba tanks on the boat for a total of 15 divers, then selecting the wetsuits, BCD’s, regulators, computers, fins, and masks for the divers who did not bring their own with them. Actually this was the hardest part and most stressful of the day. I am so bad at guessing peoples equipment sizes based on their height and weight, especially with the females. I have been slapped too many times by females for guessing their weight incorrectly while growing up that I suppose I am “scarred” from the experiences.

With assistance from Nate I was able to get all of the divers gear ready for them before they arrived at the Island Divers Hawaii dive shop in Hawaii Kai, and all of the gear was the correct size for them.

Our first dive would be the Sea Tiger which was highly requested by several of the divers (not just me). I have been waiting since starting to dive in January for a chance to dive the Sea Tiger. We normally only do this dive location with our three tank dives on Sundays, so I have never had an opportunity to do this dive yet and I was excited for the chance. After an initial weight check at the surface and assisting a PADI Course Director who was visiting from the mainland with adding additional weights to her BCD we started our descent down to the Sea Tiger.

Since I was diving Nitrox today I could not descend all the way to the bottom which was about 120′ with Nate and the students. Instead I hovered above them at the deck of the Sea Tiger at 97′ while observing them go through their skills. Once they had completed the required skills for the deep dive they joined me on the deck for a tour of the ship. My job then was to follow along behind the group which was lead by Nate observing the students for possible hazards and making sure they did not have any problems on the dive.

After taking a tour around the Sea Tiger we started our ascent back up to the boat. At the mooring line I reminded the students to deflate their BCD’s for the ascent so that they would not be too buoyant while coming back up. At 15 feet we made a 3 minute safety stop and then surfaced and climbed back onto the boat without incident.

Because I was assisting with the class today as a DMC (Dive Master Candidate) I carried extra weights in my BCD pockets in case the students needed additional weights. I only carried 2 additional 2 pound weights, but I could really feel the difference as I was very overweighted.

Dive Master Candidate Course

Becoming a Dive Master is the first step towards transitioning from recreational diving to professional diving and becoming an instructor. I have been working on the online training portion of the course and the bookwork for the PADI Dive Master Candidate course for the past month or so and I will be starting on the practical training this weekend.

On Sunday I will be assisting Nate Jonson in teaching an Advanced Open Water certification class as part of the “Continuing Ed” portion of my DMC practical training. The following week I will be assisting Michelle Martus with teaching an Open Water certification class with the pool sessions and open water dives.

When I spoke with Michelle on the phone to get this training set up I did not realize that I already knew her until she asked me if I remembered her. She was also in the Emergency First Response Instructor class that I took back in January of this year. She was already a Dive Master with Deep Ecology on the North Shore and was in the process of becoming a scuba instructor then. I kinda went backwards by becoming an EFR Instructor before becoming a scuba instructor.

I had talked to Michelle about going diving together during the EFRI class, but I forgot to get her contact information and I changed dive shops from Deep Ecology over to Island Divers Hawaii so we were never able to plan a dive together. It just goes to show you that even though Oahu has a population of over one million people on it, it is still a very small island and you never know who you may run into.

I am nervous about assisting in my first classes this week, but at least knowing both of the instructors that I will be working with will make it a little easier.

Over the next few weeks I will have a very hectic schedule while I try to get all of the practicals checked off as well as the required “demonstration quality” skills and pool work that has to be completed. On the pool work, the two parts that are concerning me are the timed 400 meter and 800 meter lap swims and the 15 minute water tread.

Until learning to dive in January, I have not had an opportunity to learn how to swim. I did not swim as a child before all of my fears took hold of my life, and after they were in place I had no desire to go near the water. I can swim now, but not very fast, and for short distances before I start to panic. This will be a huge obstacle for me to overcome to be able to complete the Dive Master Candidate course.

Wreck Diver Specialty

Since there are so many wrecks to dive in Hawaii I decided to add the Wreck Diver Specialty to my list of certifications. Diving on a wreck and diving on a wreck properly without damaging it or injuring yourself are two different things so I wanted to learn the proper way of diving on a wreck so that I could make sure that I did not do anything to harm it for future divers.

The course required four wreck dives, each with various skills that need to be performed. The first wreck dive I completed in my Advanced Open Water certification course, so this left me with just 3 more dives that needed to be performed.

On the second wreck dive I had to map out the wreck so that i would have a map showing my penetration points for the last wreck dive when I will actually penetrate the wreck. I have no idea why, but this seemed difficult for me because I can not draw. I just was not able to easily draw it as I saw it. It took me a while to get it right, but the finished map was good according to Nate the instructor from Island Divers Hawaii.

On dive 3 we learn how to deploy and retrieve penetration lines by practicing on the outside of a wreck. We also need to show that we can swim along a penetration line without kicking up silt while holding a dive light.

On Dive 4, the final dive of the Wreck Diver Specialty we actually penetrate the wreck using a penetration line that I deploy to be able to relocate the entrance once we are inside. We also need to be able to swim through the wreck maintaining contact with the penetration line using a dive light without disturbing silt which would hinder visibility.

Unfortunately I was not able to complete dives 3 and 4 this past Friday when I had them scheduled because on Thursday I went to test out my new Trident 4.7 kayak and got sunburned very badly on my legs, so I had to reschedule the dives. On Friday morning the pain was so bad in my legs when I tried to stand, I am glad that I rescheduled the dives instead of trying to “grin and bear it”.

I will be completing dives 3 and 4 of this specialty on Thursday morning.

Dive 64 – Night Dive

Date: April 24, 2013       Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii, Hawaii Kai, HI.

Location: Kahala Barge,  Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Type: Boat    Environ: Ocean / Salt   Conditions:  Strong Current

Visibility: 50-60′      Air Temp:   79       Bottom Temp:  73.9      Weight:  22lbs.

Time In:  18:55    Time Out:  19:26

Max Depth:  92′       Average Depth: 58.7′     Time:   :31        Safety Stop: 3min / 15′

Start PSI: 2,755    End PSI: 400      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 7-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: Spare Air, DPV, 2 Dive Lights


This was my second dive for the Night Diver Specialty. My instructor was Nate from Island Divers Hawaii, which I requested because I have grown to trust him, which is not easy considering my past. I feel a lot more comfortable around Nate, and as it turned out tonight, I would be able to do things that I thought I would never be able to do again.

After descending down to the Kahala Barge wreck, we started touring around the barge in the darkness. I am extremely claustrophobic, and am needing to get over that to complete the wreck penetration portion of the Wreck Diver Specialty, which I will be doing on this particular wreck in a few days.

When Nate decided to venture inside one of the openings that I had mapped on the wreck a few days earlier, I have no idea what came over me, but I actually followed him inside and through the wreck in the darkness with only our flashlights lighting the way.

I was terrified of being trapped inside and running out of air, like my experience in the mine shaft collapse 25 years ago, but I overcame it trusted Nate and followed him into the darkness inside. It was exhilarating afterwards knowing that I was able to accomplish such a monumental feat by overcoming one of my biggest fears.

After touring the rest of the wreck we ascended to get ready for our next dive.

iGills Snapshot

Night Diver Specialty

Along with my claustrophobia I am also now afraid of the dark, otherwise known as Achluophobia, which stems from my being buried alive in my past. I decided to go for the Night Diver Specialty to help me get over my fear of the dark.

For this course I requested that my instructor be Nate from Island Divers Hawaii. Nate was the instructor that helped me complete my Open Water Diver certification with back at the end of January. I feel very comfortable with him and I knew that if I had a chance of completing this course, it would have to be with him as the instructor.

The Night Diver Specialty consists of 3 separate Night Dives, each with various skills that need to be accomplished, culminating with a three minute lights out while sitting on the bottom of the ocean skill. This was the part that I was so worried about not being able to complete.

With Nate’s direction, I easily accomplished the required skills, and even went above the required skills by performing a wreck penetration in the darkness following him.

After completing the Night Diver Specialty course I am no longer as afraid of the dark as I was. Now it is at a manageable level that I can control myself.

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