Tag Archives: PADI Specialty

Dive 67

Date: May 2, 2013

Time In:  10:53  Time Out:  11:27    Time:   :34

Dive Location: YO-257,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: Wreck Diver Specialty #4

Dive Type:  Boat   Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  STRONG CURRENT    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 40-50′

Air Temp:  88° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F    .

Max Depth:  98′    Average Depth:

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,926    End PSI: 275      Air/EANx:  32%

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

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

Notes:

This was the fourth and last dive for the Wreck Diver Specialty course.

Since the current was so strong today and I had not mapped this wreck we decided not to have me deploy a penetration line on the YO-257 and opted for just a “fun dive” to explore the wreck. I had dove this wreck once back in early March for my Advanced Open Water certification, but we stayed on the outside of it and did not venture inside. This dive we would penetrate the wreck to help me overcome my claustrophobia.

As we descended on the YO-257 the visibility had dropped from our previous dive and I was not able to see the wreck until we descended past the buoy and were approaching it. The first thing I was able to see was the Nautilus submarine which takes tourist on a tour of the YO-257 and the San Pedro which is sunk beside it. On my last dive here you could see the San Pedro from the YO-257

I saw several large jelly fish which concerned me because of my allergy to their stings. I always keep an Epi Pen in my dive bag just incase I have an anaphylactic reaction to them. This is also why I dive with a full wetsuit, hood, boots, and gloves to cover up and protect everything that I possibly can cover.

On this dive Nate my instructor played tour guide as I followed him inside the wreckage of the YO-257. We swam through several areas of the ship seeing the sea life that call the YO home including a very large Moray Eel that was hanging out above a rusted pipe inside. There was also another Moray Eel that found a nice home in a round port hatch on the ships starboard hull that did not seem very happy to be disturbed from his sleep.

Dive 66

Date: May 2, 2013

Time In:  09:29  Time Out:  09:57    Time:   :28

Dive Location: Kahala Barge,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: Wreck Diver Specialty #3

Dive Type:  Boat   Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  STRONG CURRENT    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 60-80′

Air Temp:  82° F  Btm. Temp:  76° F    .

Max Depth:  83′    Average Depth:

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,835    End PSI: 347      Air/EANx:  32%

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

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

Notes:

This was the third dive for the Wreck Diver Specialty course.

On this dive we practiced laying a penetration line on the outside of the Kahala Barge wreck. The current was very strong today which made it difficult to concentrate on laying the penetration line, keeping it tight and securely anchoring it along our route across the wreck.

Once the line was laid out we practiced the correct way to follow the line back to the “entrance”, working as a buddy team with Nate, the instructor from Island Divers Hawaii. This teaches you how to follow a penetration line out of a wreck incase you get lost or you have impaired visibility due to silt. We then followed the line back to the reel and practiced retrieving the line.

Because of the strong current today, it took more air than normal to accomplish the task. As the air pressure continued to drop I watched my pressure gauge very closely as we ascended to do our 3 minute safety stop and reached back a couple times to assure myself that my Spare Air was still attached to my side just in case. Fortunately I did not need to deploy it, but It was close.

Unfortunately my iGills came up missing just before the dive so I do not have the dive profile snapshot to attach to this dive. I am ordering a replacement for it, but it will be about a week before it arrives.

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 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 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

Dive 61

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

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

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

Visibility: 80-90′      Air Temp:   82       Bottom Temp:  76.6      Weight:  14lbs.

Time In:  14:16    Time Out:  14:49

Max Depth:  34′       Average Depth: 28.3′     Time:   :33        Safety Stop: None

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

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

Equipment: Spare Air

Notes:

This was the second dive for the Underwater Navigator Specialty course.

On this dive I had to use a compass and locate objects on predetermined headings that were given to me counting kick cycles between the objects, while mapping the area and objects that I found. At the last object I had to use reciprocal headings from each object to find our way back to the boat

iGills Snapshot

Dive 60

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

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

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

Visibility: 80-90′      Air Temp:   84       Bottom Temp:  77.6      Weight:  14lbs.

Time In:  13:09    Time Out:  13:39

Max Depth:  38′       Average Depth: 26.2′     Time:   :30        Safety Stop: None

Start PSI: 2,622    End PSI: 1,508      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: Spare Air

Notes:

This was the first dive for the Underwater Navigator Specialty course.

On this dive I had to use a compass and swim 20 kick cycles due north, then make a 6 point turn with each side having 20 kick cycles ending up at my starting location.  This was very difficult with the current, but I finally managed to complete it. I also had to pick an object on the sea floor then take two compass bearings on it so that I could locate the same object again on a later dive.

iGills Snapshot

Underwater Navigator Specialty

Getting lost underwater and running out of air is a major concern of mine, so I decided to do the Underwater Navigation Specialty course to make me better at navigating and finding my way underwater.

For this course my instructor was Tara with Island Divers Hawaii who also did part of my Advanced Open Water Diver course back at the beginning of March.

There was a mild current, which I had to keep in mind while trying to navigate the courses that Tara gave me to follow. I had a minor “brain fart” at the beginning when I was reading my compass incorrectly, but as soon as I realized what I had done wrong I was able to correct it and complete the pre-determined course patterns correctly.

What made it difficult was for the last part of the course, not only did I have to follow bearing headings that were given to me, making course adjustments due to the current, but I had to draw a map of the area at the same time. I can barely draw “stick figures” so I was impressed when I was able to draw a map that actually resembled our dive location somewhat. I’m not sure if anyone else would be able to follow my map and find their destination, but at least I could use it to find our way back to the boat so thats all that mattered.

Hopefully what I learned in this course will keep me from becoming lost at sea.

Dive 59

Date: April 23, 2013       Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii, Hawaii Kai, HI.

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

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

Visibility: 60-80′      Air Temp:   84       Bottom Temp:  76.3      Weight:  14lbs.

Time In:  15:06    Time Out:  15:48

Max Depth:  47′       Average Depth: 39.6′     Time:   :42        Safety Stop: None

Start PSI: 2,847    End PSI: 500      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: Spare Air

Notes:

This was the second dive for the Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course.

After getting more comfortable with the new Excursion 2 back inflate BCD I was able to loose 4 pounds of my dive weights in this class bringing me now down to 14 pounds. I felt a lot lighter, which made me able to move faster, easier, and conserve air better. I had to free-flow my regulator to get my tank down to 500 psi to do another weight check because I had not used enough of it.

iGills Snapshot

Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialist

Since I recently purchased a new BCD which is a back inflate style instead of the jacket style that I had been using up to this point I decided that this would be a good time to take the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialist course to help me dial in my weighting and buoyancy with the new equipment.

I worked with David, my instructor from Island Divers Hawaii and with some tips from him we were able to really zoom in on my ballast weight. We were able to drop 4 pounds off of my weighting which made a huge difference in being able to move easily underwater. I felt a lot lighter and more fluid as I moved now, and with the extra weight being off of me I barely had to add any air at all to my BCD which kept me more streamlined with the bladder tighter against my back.

I had heard that this was an important specialty to take, but until actually doing it I had no idea how much of a difference what I learned in the class would actually make.

%d bloggers like this: