Date: June 25, 2013 Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2
Time In: 13:27 Time Out: 14:35 Time: :68
Dive Location: Kahe Point Beach Park (Electric Beach), Oahu, HI.
Dive Shop: N/A
Purpose: Fun Dive
Dive Type: Shore Environ: Ocean / Salt
Conditions: 1-3′ Swells, Mild Current & Surge Wt: 14lbs
Air Temp: 82° F Btm. Temp: 81° F
Max Depth: 24.9′ Average Depth: 12′
Safety / Decompression Stops: None
Start PSI: 2,735 End PSI: 856 Air/EANx: 21%
Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Boots, Gloves
Equipment: 30cf Pony Bottle, Oceanic V-12 Split Fins, iGills, DPV
A DiveBuddy.com member was on island this week and wanted to do some shore dives so we decided to try out Electric Beach. The visibility was a little lower than normal today, but we still had two good dives and I got to put my new Dive Trailer into use.
We saw a couple Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Hawaiian Barracuda, and a Moray Eel, but no sharks today.
Logan had never used a DPV before so I gave him a “crash course” in safely using a DPV, he loved it and plans on purchasing one for himself now.
To keep him from having to rent gear for the dive I loaned him a set of fins, weights, and 2 tanks. No need to go out of the way to the dive shop.
I have been searching for a system to mount my 40 cf pony bottle tanks from when I do my deeper dives besides mounting it to d-rings on my BCD under my arm which is a little uncomfortable because it gets in the way sometimes.
I have looked at a few models and did not like them, either due to their design, or their price, until I received the Pony Bottle Holder from XS Scuba that I recently purchased from Divers-Supply.com.
This is a very simple design, yet you can instantly tell that it is a well designed, durable, quality product that is made to last for years. The webbing of the straps is a lot thicker than I thought it would be considering it is only designed to hold a pony bottle strapped up against your main tank. It doesn’t have to carry a lot of weight.
The system uses two separate straps that are long enough to go around my aluminum 80’s easily and look like they would have no problem fitting a 100 either. The buckles are stainless steel to prevent rusting and the straps are secured with velcro the entire length of the strap, not just a tab on the end of it. I can’t think of a possible situation on a dive where the velcro of these straps could come loose.
Inside both the main tank straps and the pony bottle straps are rubber grippers to prevent either tank from sliding out of the straps.
I strapped my pony bottle onto my aluminum 80 and secured the straps, then dropped it into the water for several hours to make sure that the straps had been impregnated with as much water as possible to see if it would allow the straps to loosen up at all. When I pulled it out of the water and shook the BCD quite briskly, the pony bottle didn’t budge a bit. The rubber grippers held everything nice and secure, and the long length of the velcro did not allow the straps to loosen one bit.
I can’t wait until this ear infection clears up so that I can test this out in the water on an actual dive, not just in my rinse bucket.
My Product Rating:
I decided to make a change to my dive gear setup. Today I installed the Oceanic Air Xs 2 Alternate Inflator onto my Oceanic Excursion 2 BCD.
The Air Xs 2 combines both the low pressure inflator for the BCD and the alternate air source regulator into one streamlined unit.
When using the Air Xs 2 in an Out of Air (OOA) emergency instead of donating my octopus regulator to the out of air diver I would instead donate my primary second stage regulator which I now have on a 7 foot hose going across the front of my body and wrapped around my neck “tech-style”. I would then switch over to the Air Xs 2 as my regulator to surface with.
I am also considering the possibility of leaving the octopus installed along with the Air Xs 2, which would give me a total of 3 second stage regulators. If I were in a situation where two divers were out of air, I would donate my primary and my octopus to them, and use my Air Xs 2 to surface with.
I know the chances of running into this extreme situation where two divers would be out of air at the same time would be rare, but there is always the remote chance. I have seen a couple times where a pair of dive buddies had just enough air to make it back up to the surface. If something were to happen which delayed their ascent by just a few minutes, they would not have had enough reserve air to make it back up to the surface.
I know that we are all trained to not dive like that, and to always ascend leaving plenty of air left in your tank for the ascent, safety stops, and emergencies, but let’s face it, it doesn’t always happen like that.
Especially here in Hawaii with all of the tourists that we have diving here. Sometimes it seems like they think that since they paid for the tank of air, and they are going to get their moneys worth out of it. They seem to push the limits more than local divers do, I suppose because they are trying to cram as much as they can of their vacations into the few days that they are on the islands.
On shallow dives I already carry a 3 cf Spare Air system strapped to my BCD under my arm, and on deep dives I switch it out to a 40 cf Pony Tank system, both of which give me a completely separate air source if something were to happen to my primary. On my 40 cf system, I also have 2 second stage regulators installed on it instead of just one. So in all, on deep dives I would have a total of 5 regulators and two separate air sources in an emergency. I would rather have too much equipment in an emergency than not have enough when it is needed.
I haven’t yet decided on keeping the octopus regulator attached to my rig or removing it. I guess I will try keeping it there for a while and see how it goes, and if I don’t like it I can always take it off later.