Tag Archives: Solo diving

Dive 90

Date: July 9, 2013       Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  16:49    Time Out:  17:19     Time:   :30

Dive Location: Kea’au Beach,   Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Strong Current        Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 60-70′

Air Temp:   86      Bottom Temp:  76.4

Max Depth:  58.6′       Average Depth: 33.6′

Safety / Decompression Stops:  3 Min / 15′

Start PSI: 3,015    End PSI: 2,213      Air/EANx:  21%

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

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills, DPV, 2 Dive Lights

Notes:

Wanted to try a new dive site today that I have been looking at for a while. Getting out to the dive spot in the kayak was a bit harry today with the surf, but I finally made it after two attempts, just before I was going to give up for the day.

Lots and lots of fish, especially Tangs, Triggerfish and Barracuda and several Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Inside one of the swim-throughs I saw a HUGE moray eel that must have been at least 5 or 6 foot long and fat. He definitely hasn’t missed many meals. Will have to come back and do this site again when I have more time.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 89

Date: July 9, 2013       Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  13:29    Time Out:  14:03     Time:   :34

Dive Location: Kaiser Reef,   Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Moderate Current        Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 80-90′

Air Temp:   89      Bottom Temp:  77.2

Max Depth:  33.7′       Average Depth: 29.2′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 3,125    End PSI: 2,027      Air/EANx:  21%

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

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills

Notes:

Decided to do a kayak dive today back at Kaiser Reef since there was only one dive boat in the area this afternoon. Current was a little higher this time than on my night dive here the other night, so I decided to stay on the sheltered side of the reef for this dive.

Saw several moray eels and one Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle today along with a lot of tangs and Moorish Idols.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 86

Date: July 4, 2013          Repetitive Dive: 2 of 4

Time In:  14:16    Time Out:  14:49         Time:   :33

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Moderate Current                Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 80-90′

Air Temp:   82       Bottom Temp:  76.6

Max Depth:  34.0′       Average Depth: 28.3′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

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

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

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills

Notes:

This was the 2nd solo kayak dive for the day. Saw 4 Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and a Hawaiian Monk Seal on this dive, unfortunately I could not get close enough to read his ID number to identify him with.

Headed back to shore to meet up with a friend for a couple boat night dives from his inflatable RIB.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 85

Date: July 4, 2013            Repetitive Dive: 1 of 4

Time In:  13:10    Time Out:  13:40      Time:   :30

Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, Hawaii

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Solo Kayak Dive

Dive Type: Kayak    Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Moderate Current      Weight:  14lbs.

Visibility: 80-90′

Air Temp:   84       Bottom Temp:  77.6

Max Depth:  38.0′       Average Depth: 26.2′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,975    End PSI: 1,627      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: Spare Air, iGills

Notes:

Decided to do a few solo kayak dives to celebrate the 4th with. Saw a few Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles today and a Crown of Thorns for the first time at this site. Since I am diving solo today I wanted to keep my dives short and not push any limits.

iGills Snapshot

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

Dive 78

Date: May 22, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  11:10  Time Out:  11:43    Time:   :33

Dive Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: DMC – Mapping Project

Dive Type:  Solo Kayak Dive      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  2-4′ Surf    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 10-15′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  34′    Average Depth: 28.3′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,930   End PSI: 2,298      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Dive Light, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, Compass, GPS, Dive Slates, Protractor

Notes:

Second Solo Kayak Dive today to work on my Mapping Project for the Divemaster course.

Visibility did not improve from the first dive, really sucks today.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 77

Date: May 22, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  10:15  Time Out:  10:45    Time:   :30

Dive Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: DMC – Mapping Project

Dive Type:  Solo Kayak Dive      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  2-4′ Surf    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 10-15′

Air Temp:  81° F  Btm. Temp:  79° F

Max Depth:  38′    Average Depth: 26.2′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,650    End PSI: 1,597      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Dive Light, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, Compass, GPS, Dive Slates, Protractor

Notes:

Did a Solo Kayak Dive today since the dive barge was not going out so that I could get some more measurements and compass headings so that I could complete my Mapping Project for the Divemaster course.

The south swell is really making diving off the south coast difficult this week. I got rolled 3 times on my way out to the dive site. Luckily once I was past the surf zone and out there it was much calmer. Unfortunately the visibility sucked which made it harder to work on my map.

iGills Snapshot

Divemaster Mapping Project

As part of my PADI Divemaster training I am required to create a map of a dive site to teach me underwater mapping and reinforce the underwater navigation skills that I learned in the Underwater Navigator Specialty course that I took last month.

For this task I was allowed to choose Koko Craters, a popular dive site off the South East coast of Oahu. Because I dive this site very often, and had already started a rudimentary map of the location in the Underwater Navigator Specialty dives it would save me some time.

Normally the mapping project is done by a group of Divemaster Candidates (DMC’s) who collaborate on a finished map. Since I am doing this mapping project alone I would have to do everything myself, which would mean multiple dives at the location to get measurements, compass headings, etc.

Unfortunately we have been getting hit with a south swell for the past couple weeks that has made diving on the south shores almost impossible. Most of the dive boats have cancelled their dives and everyone is shore diving up at Sharks Cove for the past two weeks. In order to work on my map today I was forced to do a solo kayak dive in very rough waters.

I ended up getting rolled 4 times today while trying to get out to the site. Once I was offshore out at the site the seas were much calmer and I was able to get some diving done. Unfortunately the visibility was very poor for this location, normally we have around 100′ visibility at Koko Craters, but because of the south swell today it was only 10 to 15 feet, which made working on my map very difficult. There was also a strong current which also added to my challenge, luckily I had strapped one of my DPV’s to my kayak in anticipation of the strong currents and surge. Using the DPV I was able to overcome the current and get some work done on my map.

Here is the map I made of the Koko Craters Dive Site. Hopefully it will be good enough to pass and I can get signed off for this project. I don’t see how I can make it much better.

KokoCratersDiveMap

You can download a Printable .pdf version of the map by clicking here or a larger .jpg image by clicking on the map above.

Solo Diving Hypocrisy

For about the past month I have been interested in Solo Diving and attempting to find more information on it. Every PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) instructor that I have spoken with about my interest in it say the same things, “solo diving is dangerous and should never be done” or “PADI does not allow solo diving“, or my favorite “as a certified PADI professional I will pretend I did not hear that“, yet PADI themselves offers a Distinctive Specialty for this exact same thing. They just named theirs the PADI Self-Reliant Diver Distinctive Specialty which is taught at many PADI dive shops around the world.

So that makes me start thinking, if solo diving is so taboo and dangerous and you should never do it, then why does PADI have a Distinctive Specialty teaching you to do what they say you should never so in the first place?

There seems to be a lot of hypocrisy concerning solo diving when it comes to PADI. So I started looking outside of PADI for information on solo diving and I discovered that Scuba Diving International (SDI) teaches a course on solo diving, and guess what, they were even bold enough to name it a Solo Diving Course.

Solo diving is no more dangerous than any other form of recreational diving. It needs to be done correctly, and with the proper equipment and training, just as any other form of recreational diving needs to be. Even diving incident statistics for the past decade do not show that solo diving is more dangerous than any other form of recreational diving.

I am not saying that “Buddy Diving” is bad, or that there is anything wrong with it, but I have been paired up with a “dive buddy” on a boat dive that I have never met before, have no idea what kind of a diver he or she is, and have no idea of how competent they would be in an emergency situation.

I do know that from past experiences I do not allow myself to rely on my “dive buddy” in an emergency. I rely on myself, my training, and the equipment that I carry with me on every single dive, including a completely redundant air supply. If I am going on shallow dives I always carry a 3cf Spare Air system, and if I am going on deep dives I carry a 30cf pony bottle with separate regulator and gauge. I also always dive with a spare mask in my BCD pocket, just in case something happens to mine on a dive.

As soon as I am able to I plan on taking the SDI Solo Diver Course. One of the prerequisites for the course are a minimum of 100 logged dives, which I will be able to complete in about a month or so, I am already at 72 logged dives.

Below is a very good video that was recorded at the London International Dive Show in April of 2012.

I believe that instead of making everyone believe that solo diving is taboo and dangerous, we should teach the correct ways to solo dive, and the proper equipment that needs to be used for a solo dive. Its like a police officer giving you a ticket for speeding, then the same officer speeds when not on an emergency call. Its complete hypocrisy, and that is one thing that could make new divers leery and untrusting of diving associations and what they say and teach, and question other things that are taught to them for safety.

%d bloggers like this: