Dive Trip Report to: Florida's Beaches - Pepper Park in Ft. Pierce.
ScubaGirl & TailHook put on their gear and are ready for their 2nd Beach Dive of the year. The Irishman takes a different approach and gets his dive kayak ready. Ready to go , the ocean is flat, clear and warm.
Date / Dive #: 31-May-04
, Holiday Monday Morning Dive. My Dive # 464
A. Dive Beach Location: Beach Dive - Pepper Park - Ft. Pierce
Visibility: 25 - 30 feet (Wow - Great for Beach Diving, and awesome based on our past wind conditions)
Seas: Perfectly FLAT
Water Temp: Didn't have a gauge - high 70s to low 80s.
Skies: Typical Florida Sunny Clear Blue Skies!!
Air Temp: 80's
C. Dive Information:
Depth & Time: Me: Genesis Nitrox Dive Computer - Didn't have my computer, but the analog showed about 15 feet for maybe 45 min. I stayed on the surface snorkel like for a while!
Air consumption: Me: 3000 plus to about 800, again, didn't have my normal gauge on the tank.
Description: Well with the weekend conditions predicted to be calm, I've wanted to play with Cobra Navigator Sit-On-Top Dive Kayak for a while now. I liked the Cobra over the Ocean kayak for the better latching hatches. This particular kayak was rented from Ron Jon's in Cocoa Beach for $60 for the weekend. I already have a Tule kayak rack on the top of my Chevy Astro Van. The rack has a pull out (about 30 inches) bar on the pass side of the van. You lift one end of the kayak onto the bar and then the other onto the back of the van. It takes minutes to lift this 45 lb plus kayak with no problems!! I've been-there-done-that trying to lift a kayak over my head and put it on the top - on way!
Well the crew met at Pepper Park in Ft. Pierce at 8:00 am. I got there at 7:30 and started to assemble the toys. It's a lot of work the 1st time for a new kayak. Bungies all over, bag all of your equipment etc etc. Dave helped carry the kayak to the waterline - a 100 yard lift - and it's heavy. I'll get a set of attachment big wheels to do it myself. That's the last hurdle to overcome. Once at the waterline, it took only a few minutes to hook up and turn on the air and get into the water. I walked it out some then jumped on - had to get past the 3" breaking waves. I'm glad it was calm. Paddling out went fast - I was to the 3rd reef in no time compared to the swimmers. But, while fooling around with stuff, I managed to flip the kayak over - yep, you can do that very easily. That's why you strap on everything. I did manage ot loose my green bag for fins et al, but nothing else. The kayak was easy to right. I stayed in the water and tried to go down. I had on 7 lbs of weight, but could not stay day. Dave gave me an extra 4 lbs and I could stay down with some difficulty. I did have on a shortie to add to my bouyancy. Got to remember to carry come extra weights next time.
Patty and Dave joined me and we worked our way north. Dave saw a turtle . I saw many 5 ft nurse sharks and one 7 footer . Or was that one 5 footer several times and one 7 footer. They never did get close enough to get a good pic of them. We didn't see any of the other BAD Sharks that have been seen around for the past few days. Saw lot's of fish , some schools , several bugs, lot's of rocks and Sharp Spiney Urchans . Because of the Urchans, we wear we suits, even the shortie gives some protection.
Not having a pressure gauge with me - remember the tank is on the kayak, I asked Dave how much air he had left. He had 2000 lbs. I asked Patty if we could turn around and start back. I wasn't toooo worried about running out of air in 12 feet of water, but would like to have some left in my tank. Again, tropicals, bugs, etc etc. It was a very pretty, relaxful, warm dive.
Landing the kayak could be tough in heavy seas, but in 6" waves I jumped out and walked it up on the beach. We packed up and had our traditional Bacardi Limon Rum and Coke Toast.
Last Updated: 23-July-2004