Tag Archives: Night Diving Specialty

Dive 65 – Night Dive

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

Location: Corsair Wreck,  Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Type: Boat    Environ: Ocean / Salt   Conditions:  STRONG CURRENT

Visibility: 60-80′      Air Temp:   77      Bottom Temp:  72.6      Weight:  24lbs.

Time In:  20:33    Time Out:  21:03

Max Depth:  103′       Average Depth: 50.6′     Time:   :30        Safety Stop: 3 Min / 15′

Start PSI: 2,844    End PSI: 1,953      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 7-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves, 2 Dive Lights

Equipment: Spare Air

Notes:

This was the last dive for the Night Diver Specialty course.

On this dive I had to sit on the bottom in the darkness with our dive lights turned off for 3 minutes. Right before we hit the bottom of the line we hit extremely strong current making us feel like a flagpole holding onto the line with our legs floating in the current.

On the bottom, even though I was over weighted I had to hold onto the huge anchor that the buoy is attached to just to be able to stay in one place for the tree minutes that was required to complete the skill. Sitting there in the darkness without my light was extremely spooky. I was able to see bio-luminescence from a lot of tiny microscopic sea life floating past, it reminded me of getting hit in the head and “seeing stars”.

After the 3 minute darkness skill was completed we tried to tour the Corsair wreck, but the current was way too strong so we ended the dive early and ascended.

On the way back up to the boat we were assaulted by hundreds of small jelly fish tightly floating together in a swarm. Normally this would not be considered a big thing, except for the fact that I am severely allergic to jelly fish stings and insect stings and go into anaphylactic shock. I do keep an Epi-Pen in my dive back on the boat just in case I stop breathing. Luckily I did not get stung due to my full exposure suit, gloves, boots, and full hood tucked into my wetsuit. All of the divers that were not completely covered like I was got numerous stings each.

I have never experienced such a compacted swarm of jelly fish before, partly because I time my dives with the lunar calendar to avoid them, but I was tricked this time with them out there on the night of a full moon instead of after it.

Getting back on the boat was made difficult because while we were down on the bottom the swells had really picked up and the boat was getting tossed around quite a bit. Trying to climb back up the ladder reminded me of trying to ride a bucking bull in a rodeo.

iGills Snapshot

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

Notes:

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.

Dive 62 – Night Dive

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

Location: Corsair Wreck,  Oahu, Hawaii

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

Visibility: 80-90′      Air Temp:   79      Bottom Temp:  72.4      Weight:  14lbs.

Time In:  18:58    Time Out:  19:27

Max Depth:  103′       Average Depth: 74.8′     Time:   :29        Safety Stop: 3 Min / 15′

Start PSI: 2,891    End PSI: 2,222      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves, 2 Dive Lights

Equipment: Spare Air

Notes:

This was the first dive for the Night Diver Specialty course.

Even though I had dove the Corsair Wreck several times, seeing it at night was completely different from the daytime. It was quite spooky being in the darkness so deep, but for the first time since I started diving back in January, I ran out of bottom time before I ran out of air.

iGills Snapshot

More Specialties to Come

Professional Association of Diving Instructors

Since getting my PADI Master SCUBA Diver rating I decided to add on some more PADI specialty classes over the next couple weeks:

  • Diver Propulsion Vehicle Specialty
  • Wreck Diver Specialty
  • Night Diving Specialty
  • Underwater Navigation Specialty
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty

This will give me a total of 10 PADI specialties. Eventually I will get all of the specialties that are available in Hawaii, unfortunately a few of the specialties I will have to travel to the mainland to get (ice diver, altitude diver, etc.). If I am going to be an instructor, I need experience in all of the specialties so why not get started on them now.

The first specialty class I will be doing will be the Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) Specialty this Monday afternoon. I already own 2 of the SEA DOO Explorer X DPV’s that I use almost daily while diving so getting that one out of the way seemed like a “no-brainer” to me.

I will be scheduling the Wreck, Night, Navigation & Buoyancy specialty classes around my busy schedule over the next 2 weeks. I am hoping to have all of them finished by the 21st.

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