Dive Trip Report to:
The Florida's Beaches -
Purpose: To Beach Dive Florida for old wrecks, cannon, ships, bugs etc!
Pictures: DEBI , GARY and The IRISHMAN in their Dive Kayaks at the Reef Site. DEBI and GARY with LUNCH!!
Date / Dive #:
Saturday, 24-Aug-02 , Morning Dive. My Dive # 405
A. Dive Beach Location: Beach Dive Pepper Park - With Kayak's!!!
Visibility: 30 to 40 ft (Great Vis for a beach dive)
Seas: 1 to 2 ft on Entry, slight during the kayak and dive, 1 to 3 ft on the Exit - Very Rough!
Water Temp: 84 deg. It's really warm, we wore only a skin to protect us from whatever. The skin does not protect from the Spiny Urchens!!
Skies: Typical Florida Sunny Clear Blue Skies!!
Air Temp: High 80's
C. Dive Information:
Depth & Time: Me: Genesis Nitrox Dive Computer - Didn't Use it! Diving out of the Kayak, my dive tank and 1st stage of the regulator were in the Kayak. I had a 45 ft length of hose going from the 1st stage on the tank to me on the bottom. A waste belt held the hose to me so I could pull around the kayak! There was no BC. I used the reg from my backup system in place of the reg wtih all of the gauges and computer. I'm estimating that I was down to maybe 20 feet for at least an hour and a half! This is based on my kayaking dive buddies!
Air consumption: Me: [120 cu ft], 3700 lbs to 1000 lbs and it was even NITROX 32%!!!
Current: The current was mild to the north, but there was a 5 foot surge. First you went this way 5 feet and then you went that-a-way 5 feet! You had very little control over the surge movement.!
Description: This was to be my first Beach Dive using a kayak. The advantages of the kayak are you can get out to the far reef lines very fast. You also are diving with minimal equipment. Your dive tank stays in the kayak and you are connected to the kayak and dive tank by 45 ft of hose. The hose serves to bring air down to you and to pull the kayak around. You have no need for a BC or weight belt (so they say)! But, to get all of this equipment to the beach takes some time - several trips. If you are by yourself, you must take the kayak off your vehicle (usually the roof) and carry it to the shoreline. In my case, I had a 14 ft 55 pound Scupper Pro . A single 55 pound wieght might not be too bad to carry, but a 14 ft long kayak is another thing to consider.
Well, this time I had some help to carry things. Being the 1st time using the kayak, it took some time to get a location to put things on and strap it all down. The seat had to be adjusted, and places found to tie down fins, food, etc. Just in case, I decided to take along my weight belt with 3 pounds of lead in it - thank goodness I did!
With about a two foot surf, the three of us kayaked out. There were two separate divers (no kayaks) that were on there own to get out to the third reef. We pushed the kayaks out through most of the waves, jumped on and started to paddle. It wasn't too bad, we were moving at a good pace. We headed North East. I wanted to go north of the last boat that was out there and out to around the 4th reef line. We probably went at least a mile. You could not have swan out here in you dive gear. While getting our gear on, two surf boards approached. It was the local life guards. We joked around some and they went on their way. There great people, and we highly respect them and their jobs!!
Almost ready to go, one of my dive partners snapped the buckle ot one fin. We couldn't find anything else to use to hold it, so both my partners headed back to shore to get a bungie for the fin. I went diving! I was down about 20 minutes when they finally got back. They stated that the shore waves had really picked up and it was very difficult to get onto shore and to get back into the water. That's a statement that I really did not want to hear this being my first kayak dive.
My two partners, on separate kayaks, had all their dive gear (BC, tank, fins, etc) strapped to the kayaks. They were not using the 45 foot hose, they were using the normal dive gear! They inflated the BC (BC, integrated weights, tank, reg) and threw it into the water, jumped in and put on their BC. I had just fins, mask and a waste strap to hold the hose - no BC or weight belt. I also had no pockets to put my flashlight or BC pcikets to put gloves in or BC hooks for my bug bag!! I quickly improvised. Over the side and down I went. It was very apparent that the 3 pounds of weight that I had on my waste was not enouth. I spent a considerable amount of energy kicking just to stay down. If I stopped and grabbed a rock - being careful not to grab an spiney urchan - sometimes to rock would break off and float with me to the surface. It was a LOT OF WORK just to stay down. That was really the story of this whole dive - it took most of my energy just to stay down. There also was about a 5 ft surge - one moment you went left 5 feet and the next you went right. There was no control over it unless you firmly grasp a BIG rock!
A bug was spotted under a 5 ft dia rock. I started to go for it with one of my dive partners. It was very difficult just to stay down, much less try to get upside down and head in the crack looking for the bug. After about 10 minutes of floundering for the bug, I gave up! I spotted quite a few bugs, but due to my underweight situation, could not go for many of them. There also were a lot of undersize ones. This was a good location to dive for bugs at.
Not having my tank, BC and guages, I didn't have a depth or bottom time. I'm estimating I had 1 hr and 30 min under at maybe a max depth of 20 ft with an average of 15 feet. It definately was an interesting first Kayak Dive Experience!!
Last Updated: 01-Sept-2002