Tag Archives: Wreck Diver 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


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


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 57

Date: April 22, 2013       Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii, Hawaii Kai, HI.

Location: Kahala Barge,  Oahu, Hawaii

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

Visibility: 60-80′      Air Temp:   79       Bottom Temp:  76      Weight:  22lbs.

Time In:  09:33    Time Out:  10:01

Max Depth:  83′       Average Depth: 80.4′     Time:   :28        Safety Stop: 15′ 3min

Start PSI: 2,524    End PSI: 1,767      Air/EANx:  32%

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

Equipment: Spare Air, DPV, Dive Lights, Slate


This was my second dive for the Wreck Diver Specialty. My task this dive was to map the wreck and my penetration point for a later dive on Thursday. I failed art in school, and i will be the first to admit that I can not draw anything, so trying to draw a map of a wreck that someone else will be able to use to dive the site and penetrate the wreck was very difficult for me.

I located 2 possible penetration locations with good areas to tie off a penetration line both outside and just inside the wreck structure. I wanted to located a second one just incase for some reason I was not able to use my first choice on Thursday when we come back to penetrate the wreck.

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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