Tag Archives: North Shore

Dive 84

Date: June 27, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  09:51  Time Out:  10:45  Time:  :54

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop: N/A

Purpose: Solo Dive

Dive Type:  Shore      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  1-3′ Swells, Mild Surge   Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 20-30′

Air Temp:  81° F    Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  36.4′    Average Depth: 22′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 3,085   End PSI: 1,067      Air/EANx:  21%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Oceanic V-12 Split Fins, iGills

Notes:

For the second dive I went out on the left side of the cove and focused on the area straight out in front of Sharks Cove then came back in on the right side of the cove. I chose to just do a relaxing dive to observe all the fish species that inhabit the cove.

Saw a lot of Reef or Wedge Tailed Trigger Fish shown in the photo below, called Humuhumu-nukunuku-apua´a in the Hawaiian language which means fish that grunts like a pig. The  humuhumu as it is often referred to is the Hawaii State Fish.

iGills Snapshot

Stout Moray Eel

Moorish Idol

Threadfin Butterflyfish

Moorish Idol

Humuhumu-nukunuku-apua´a

Ornate Butterflyfish

Dive 83

Date: June 27, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  08:05  Time Out:  19:06  Time:  1:01

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop: N/A

Purpose: Solo Dive

Dive Type:  Shore      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  1-3′ Swells, Mild Surge   Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 20-30′

Air Temp:  81° F    Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  32.9′    Average Depth: 19′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,928   End PSI: 1,103      Air/EANx:  21%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Oceanic V-12 Split Fins, iGills

Notes:

Was supposed to assist with a private class today, but the plans changed at the last minute after I was already waiting at the dive site, so I decided to not waste the day and chose to do a Solo Dive instead.

Visibility was not that good today, but I saw a lot of various fish and several moray eels on the dive. I did see one small White Tipped Reef Shark sleeping under an overhang way around the right side of Sharks Cove.

iGills Snapshot

 

 

Coral at Sharks Cove

Product Review – Spare Air Model 300-N (Nitrox)

A few months ago I purchased the Spare Air model 300 to attach to my BCD as a completely redundant alternate air source for my dives. Since I do a lot of Nitrox or Enriched Air diving I chose the 300-N model because it comes Nitrox ready.

The Model 300 is a 3 cubic foot or 85 liter capacity scuba tank that can be pressurized up to 3,000 psi, and will give a diver approximately 57 breaths while at the surface. The deeper you are the more the surrounding water pressure will affect the number of available breaths. With this in mind, I only use my Spare Air on shallow dives of less than about 80 feet.

I purchase my Spare Air as a complete kit, which included the Spare Air unit that has the simple to use on-demand regulator with purge button right on top of it, high-visibility yellow mounting holster, coiled safety leash, attached mouthpiece cover, mounting straps with quick release buckles, pop out pressure indicator, and convenient yoke style Refill Adapter that allows me to attach the Spare Air unit to my scuba tank to fill the Spare Air from.

I opted to include the pressure gauge to my unit to replace the pop out pressure indicator so that I know exactly how much pressure is in the unit at any time, not just when it is full to 3,000 psi.

The aluminum cylinder is manufactured just like any other scuba cylinder and includes the same safety features. It should have a visual inspection every year, and also undergo hydrostatic testing every five years, the same as with your other scuba tanks.

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine was diving up on the North Shore when he had a catastrophic failure of  the o-ring where his first stage attaches to the tank, it completely disintegrated. This caused him to loose 1,000 pounds of air per minute. In this type of catastrophic event, with a full cylinder he would only have 3 minutes of air in his cylinder before it was completely empty. Luckily he also carries the same 3 cf Spare Air with him on his dives. He was able to switch over to his Spare Air and return safely to the surface without incident.

Luckily I have never needed the Spare Air in an emergency situation as of yet, but I have run several emergency simulation tests on it from various depths. Because of its small size and thereby limited air capacity it should only be used in an emergency out of air situation.

It will give you those precious breaths needed to return to the surface, but it does not have enough air capacity to allow you to make a 3 minute safety stop on the way up. This is why I choose to only use mine for shallower dives, which do not require a safety stop. If you were to use it on a deeper dive, you would have to just blow right past the safety stop and take your chances for DCS.

I love the Spare Air system for its simplistic design and functionality. For around $300 it can definitely be a life saver, and I wouldn’t do shallow dives without it ever again.

My Product Rating: 

Dive 76

Date: May 19, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 1

Time In:  08:56  Time Out:  09:24    Time:   :28

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii – Scofield Barracks

Purpose: DMC – Open Water Dive 4

Dive Type:  Shore       Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  1-3′ Surf    Wt:  21lbs

Visibility: 20-30′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  25′    Average Depth: 17′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,974    End PSI: 1,665      Air/EANx:  21%

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

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

Notes:

The surf had come up a little from yesterday, which meant that the visibility would not be the greatest, and ended up being only about 20-30 feet. Since we had already completed 3 of the 4 required Open Water Dives, the students were given the option of making a second dive today as a “fun dive”. Since the visibility had gone down from yesterday, and the surf had come up a little the students chose not to do the additional “fun dive.

For the last dive of the students Open Water Diver course, Open Water Dives we went back to the sandy area at the center of Sharks Cove so that they could perform their required skills. Afterwards we took them on a short tour around the area, again taking them over rocks which made them go into shallower water to see if their buoyancy had improved.

One student still struggled with his buoyancy and used a lot of air because he was constantly inflating and deflating his BCD to compensate for his poor buoyancy. When he was too low he would air his BCD up, making him rise too fast, then he would notice his mistake and dump all the air out making him crash back to the bottom.

After watching this a few times to see if he would grasp the concept of what he was doing incorrectly on his own apparently he was not getting it so when he was on the bottom I signaled for him to add just a little bit of air to his BCD, when he did that he rose just off the bottom so I signaled that it was good, then motioned with my hands to use breath control to rise up a little and to sink a little. He seemed to understand and performed as I showed him, but then when we started the tour once again he was back and forth from about 5 feet to the bottom like a ping-pong ball. Hopefully with more practice it will start to click for him.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 75

Date: May 18, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 3 of 3

Time In:  12:27  Time Out:  13:26    Time:   :59

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii – Scofield Barracks

Purpose: DMC – Open Water Dive 3

Dive Type:  Shore       Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  0-2′ Surf    Wt:  22lbs

Visibility: 30-40′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  27′    Average Depth: 18′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 3,091    End PSI: 1,356      Air/EANx:  21%

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

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

Notes:

For the third dive of the students Open Water Diver course, Open Water Dives we first went to the sandy area at the center of Sharks Cove so that they could perform their required skills, then took a tour of Sharks Cove going over some shallower areas where the rocks from the bottom come up higher. This was done so the students could see how their depth affects their buoyancy and as they come up shallower they have to release more air from their BCD’s to keep from floating up too fast and surfacing accidentially. Again a couple of the students had some buoyancy issues which I assisted them with.

Since we completed dives 1, 2, & 3 of their Open Water Dives today we only have 1 dive left that they have to complete tomorrow. The forecast is that the waves will be a little higher tomorrow, so hopefully this will allow us to get it over with before it gets too bad for them.

iGills Snapshot

Students taking a break between demonstrating skills

Dive 74

Date: May 18, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 3

Time In:  10:01  Time Out:  10:25    Time:   :24

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii – Scofield Barracks

Purpose: DMC – Open Water Dive 2

Dive Type:  Shore       Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  0-2′ Surf    Wt:  22lbs

Visibility: 30-40′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  21′    Average Depth: 17′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 1,363    End PSI: 737      Air/EANx:  21%

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

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

Notes:

For the second dive of the students Open Water Diver course, Open Water Dives we went to the sandy area at the center of Sharks Cove so that they could perform their required skills.

A couple of the students had some buoyancy issues and other problems which I assisted them with so that it didn’t cause a problem or turn into an emergency situation.

After the students had finished performing their required skills we ascended so that we could take a long surface interval before continuing with their third dive of the day.

iGills Snapshot

“Lookout Below”

Dive 73

Date: May 18, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 3

Time In:  09:07  Time Out:  09:40    Time:   :33

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii – Scofield Barracks

Purpose: DMC – Open Water Dive 1

Dive Type:  Shore       Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  0-2′ Surf    Wt:  22lbs

Visibility: 30-40′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  30′    Average Depth: 18′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,640    End PSI: 1386      Air/EANx:  21%

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

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

Notes:

As part of my Dive Master course I have to assist an instructor (Michelle) with teaching several classes, one of which is the Open Water Diver course that we started back on May 6th. The conditions finally cooperated with us and we got to do the Open Water Dives for this class today.

The visibility wasn’t the best in the world today at Sharks Cove, but it was the only dive spot on the island available because of the high surf caused by the South Swell that is hitting the island this weekend. There were at least 4 classes going on from Island Divers Hawaii, and more classes from at least 4 other dive shops on Oahu all at Sharks Cove today. I have never seen so many divers all at one spot before, very tricky trying to walk up and down the hill from all the foot traffic today.

For the first dive we went to the left side of Sharks Cove where it was shallower and found a nice sandy bottom area for the students to perform their required skills. Since it had been so long since they were in the water performing the skills (May 10), some of them had trouble remembering the skills so we had to work with them a little more to refresh their memory.

Everyone was finally able to complete their required skills so we ascended to take a surface interval before the next dive.

iGills Snapshot

“Follow the Leader”

Dive 72

Date: May 7, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  11:26  Time Out:  12:22    Time:   :56

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Fun Dive

Dive Type:  Shore       Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  0-2′ Surf    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 40-50′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  35.2′    Average Depth: 21′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,779    End PSI: 502      Air/EANx:  21%

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

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

Notes:

For our second dive of the day we decided to do a different area of Sharks Cove which offered more caves and swim throughs and would be a longer distance. As we climbed back down the hill and reached the water another dive buddy of hers showed up with another diver and we decided to wait for them before we headed out. 

Once they had made their way down to the water we headed out on the surface just as I noticed an air leak in one of the dump valves of my BCD which took me a few minutes to fix. Apparently I must have gotten some sand in the valve on the first dive causing it not to seal and free flow. Unfortunately this means that I no longer have a full air tank and was already down to 2400 psi, but at least I was able to get it resolved instead of having to abort the dive. The waves have gone down a little but the tide had come up since our last dive so it was a little easier navigating through the rocks at the shore. 

As we toured the Eastern side of Sharks Cove we found numerous caves to explore some of which were 40 or 50′ long and just wide enough for two people to swim through side by side which we swam through. Because I am still claustrophobic this was a challenge, but with Michelle as my dive buddy I decided to use them to help overcome my fears. I easily swam through each of the caves except for the last one that we found which was just wide enough for one person at a time and made a turn inside so that you could not see the exit. I decided to swim around that one and meet the group on the other side. I will save this one for next time when I have more air.

Unfortunately it was time to end the dive and get ready for the Open Water certification class tonight.

Dive 71

Date: May 7, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  09:31  Time Out:  10:21    Time:   :50

Dive Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Fun Dive

Dive Type:  Shore       Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  1-2′ Surf    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 30-40′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  41.1′    Average Depth: 23′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,940    End PSI: 983      Air/EANx:  21%

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

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

Notes:

Since I am working with Michelle this week assisting her with an Open Water certification class at the new Island Divers Hawaii dive shop at the Outdoor Recreation Center up on Scofield Barracks as part of my DMC course training we decided to do a fun dive together before class tonight. She is really into shore diving which I am not a fan of and she is trying to convert me, so we decided to do Sharks Cove on Oahu’s North Shore.

The weather worked out for us causing the waves to be really small today only reaching 1-2 foot high which made entry over the slippery rocks easier. Once we were in she lead me on a tour of the area showing me several caves, overhangs and swim throughs that I did not know were in the area.

She also worked with me on a breathing control technique to help me make my air last longer while diving. Normally about 30-40 minutes is all I can get from an 80 cubic foot cylinder unless I am using my DPV, then I can get over an hour. On the first dive I was able to get 50 minutes out of the cylinder, and still had almost a thousand pounds of air left. I could have easily done a full hour on this one thanks to her but we came to the end of our dive and time for a surface interval before the next dive.

One of the things I hate about shore diving is the long walks carrying all your gear over usually sand or rocks and normally up and down hills to get to the water. Then normally a long surface swim before you get to the dive spot. Sharks Cove eliminates the long surface swim, but not the long walk down hill over rocks and sand, then climbing back up to the parking lot afterwards. This is too much like work.

Dive 46

Date: April 1, 2013       Dive Shop:  N/A

Location: Sharks Cove,  Oahu, Hawaii

Visibility: 60′ – 80′     Air Temp:   75       Bottom Temp:  73      Weight:  18lbs.

Depth:  40′       Time:   :52

Start PSI: 3,000    End PSI: 800      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: Spare Air, DPV

Notes:

Decided to do a second shore dive at Sharks Cove on Oahu’s North Shore. Saw lots of fish, and several moray eels.

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