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Diving from a Kayak

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by divezero, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    5,889
    741
    Five miles out on the West Coast would put you in very deep water with severe currents. Mostly we stay close to shore. We can go up and down the coast though, which allows access to sites that only a boat or kayak can get too. We have shear cliffs and pounding waves on our shores.

    They make kelp clips for ab tubes, but I would not trust a kelp stock you can break by hand, to hold even one kayak. Now when diving Lake Tahoe we have just parked the kayaks on shore and jumped in with our gear on. Talking about funny looks...everyone else is in shorts and t-shirts and we were in drysuits.

    One other thing with a drysuit is the exhaust valve gets closed so the air stays in the suit. This is your flotation. I carry my required PDF, but it is stowed in the stern locker. The weight belt putting on and taking off must be done in order so you do not sink. The hardest part with wearing a drysuit is not overheating. Best is when it is cold and foggy, which is a typical day anyhow.

    I used the expanding foam to strengthen my kayak since the Hobie's are known for breaking at the pedal mounts. I have also heard stories of someone sinking one here, but fortunately their buddies were able reach the Coast Guard via cell phone and they came out and picked them up. Exposure protection is very important in cold water. The foam winds up performing three duties. I need to do something for our Scupper Pro TW in the way of floatation. I may just use the noodles. Nemrod, how did you put the noodles into your Scupper? Sideways, or?
     
  2. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
    2,151
    The noodles, I just got me a bunch of noodles and stuffed them in from the front hatch. Some I bound together to make a bigger bundle. I shoved them back in the areas that form the foot channels and back towards the seat. I then placed an airbag between them and the front hatch. The air bag is the kind they make for open cockpit yaks. I just shoved another up in the bow of my Scupper. I really want to get the airbag out and stick it in behind the seat but there is no access there. I bought the noodles in an industrial pack, I shoved a bunch in there. I can get them out if I need to. It ain't gonna sink and it did not add much weight.

    I have been considering finding a fitting of some sort and installing it behind my seat. In the event the interior were to flood due to my capsizing with the hatch open the noodles and air bag hold the yak fairly high. I could then roll it upright, place the hatch back on and then using a modified hand bilge pump attach to the fitting (which would have a weighted flexible flop tube on the end to keep it to the bottom), then connect to the fitting and pump the water out. I have also considered using a small motorcycle size battery to run electronics. I could install a small bilge pump for emergency use to restore bouyancy to the flooded yak. I think of all this because I am alone usually and I need to self rescue. I have rolled over several times and the yak has not flooded because I had the hatches on. If the hatch is not on, the Scupper has a huge front hatch, it would not take long to fill with water and these things have no inherent bouyancy, deep six.

    I am not saying these are good ideas, somebody probably has a better idea, I just felt as a solo yak diver I needed my yak to be unsinkable and able to be refloated. N
     
  3. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    7,899
    1,615
    Nemrod, what OK model is that pictured in your #16 post???.......TIA....
     
  4. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
    2,151
    Y'all are not listening to me, lol. That is an older OK Scupper Pro TW, one of the most highly regarded dive yaks. They do not make it any more when they came out with the Prowlers. The Scupper is faster than a Prowler 13/15, quite a bit faster. More tippy too but not bad. The closest you can come to them now is the RTM Tempo. I also do think the Prolwers are good yaks with a bit more stability. The Scupper tends to sit bow high unless loaded but the large bow helps it go up and over waves and surf instead of through them. I love my Scupper.

    http://www.topkayaker.net/Articles/Instruction/HullDesign.htm

    On this link you can see hull shapes. The example given for a Fishform hull just happens to be a Scupper Pro TW. The Prowlers are modified Symetrical hulls, the Scupper is a classic Fishform. Notice the shapes of the bow in planform.

    Scupper Pro TW

    http://www.twogoodkayaks.com/ScupperPro.html

    http://www.plasticnavy.com/kayakreview/scupper.htm

    RTM Tempo

    http://www.rtmkayaks.com/products/sit-on-tops/tempo.html

    Scupper on Taco

    [​IMG]

    N
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  5. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    4,766
    191
    OK, my turn. :D

    Wed. I kayaked out to Molokini for a dive. First order of business; watch the 10:20 PM weather from Guy Hagi, and then the morning news from his underlings. Forecast; mild variables with possible afternoon leeward sprinkles, 2-4' south swell (faces), flat and glassy.

    My yak is from Australia, a FeelFree Gemini (2-seater). My launch location is Makena Landing. Google Earth puts the distance at 3.9 miles; distance as paddled is a little more than 4 miles. Roommate lost the drain plug yesterday so I had to buy replacement at Ace; ~2 hours behind schedule (10-ish).

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    Molokini is a small islet that appears to be the right edge of the island in the background (Kaho'olawe) of the first two pictures. My noodle is cut up for the flag float; 50' 1/4" nylon line, no anchor, there are moorings. In the back under the lifejacket is my 5mm Auquastretch. It's supposed to be flat and glassy today, so that's the only gear strapped down. As you can see, this yak has a perimeter rope, so strapping stuff down is not a prob, I'm just lazy and overconfident.

    My gear is mostly in the front seat/foot area. This is going to be a lot of work for one dive so I have a 100 cft. Fins, booties and weight belt stowed next to tank, cooler w/ water, yogurt and grapes next to flag at bow. Oly 5050, as in my sig line, is in the small bag w/ mask and sun block; it rides between my feet.

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    25 minutes or so into the voyage I can just see Little Beach (photo 4), Molokini now juts above the distant Kaho'olawe and looking back to Haleakala the convective lift cloud build-up is earlier than predicted.

    No more surface photo's; 15 minutes later the wind picks up to 10 knots out of the North (starboard broadside), small white caps and it starts sprinkling. 10 minutes out of Molokini it's raining and the wind is up to 15 knots with 2'-4' seas. I take a couple white caps over the gunnel but still stable.

    This yak turns into the wind with one passenger so right arm is paddling harder than the already hard paddling left. Have to turn a little into the weather to get around the East tip of Molokini. The dive boat I used to work on is across the crater on the Reef's End mooring; seems prudent to check in with friends. Had to borrow a proper mooring line, I was only prepared for flat and glassy. :shakehead:

    Time to Molokini - 70 minutes (10 more to Prodiver), time to get tied off - 20 minutes. Two out of the 5 guests on Prodiver are ready to toss cookies, they will make a quick first dive and shelter behind Molokini for lunch, checking to see if I need assistance after lunch. Found out later there was no calm water on the backside, guests were miserable, Prodiver bails before I surface. They radio other boats to check if I'm underway and get confirmation.

    As usual, life is much easier below. Dropping down quickly just around Reef's End; no white tip reef sharks at the 80' & 90' overhangs. Looking out and down I spot three grey reef sharks below; two ~5', one ~10'. I head their direction while spinning off my WAL; got off two shots of the big one but not very close. Feels deep; 138' says the Suunto, break off pursuit and head back to Reef's End.

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    Those images are heavily cropped and PhotoShopped, but that was the goal of this dive; grey reef shark! Back up to 110' it becomes more typical of a Molokini dive. I had actually never been to this white tip rest area; like most guides I keep the tourists above 80' so they don't hoover their tank.

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    By the trevally picture I'm back above 80' and heading across the sand channel. Continued in next post...
     
  6. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    4,766
    191
    These are my best ever longjaw squirellfish pics, but that may be because I've always had more interesting subjects within reach. This dive was pretty plain after the white tips.

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    Hung out at the Cleaning Station for a while but no large animals in sight. I did hear some dolphin clicks before I crossed the sand channel the first time, but never saw them. A couple pics at the Cleaning Station to show the dif between strobe and ambient at 50' depth.

    [​IMG]

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    That good sized white mouth moray is pretty comfortable around a diver, that trevally is likely the same one as earlier (looking down the slope instead of up the slope), and I should have spun off the WAL for the blackside hawkfish (cropped).

    Back on the surface after a 60 minute dive, I wrestle the tank back into the yak, get everything back in place and untie. Quick food break as I drift into crater; wind down below 10 knots, no white caps, still overcast, still wearing 5 mil.

    20 minutes of paddling and I'm warmed up enough to remove wetsuit. 30 minutes later I put long sleave T on for UV protection. A little more rain convinces me to paddle harder to stay warm. Winds are now out of the South (starboard broadside) so I'm still paddling harder with the right arm. The sun comes out a couple minutes from shore; It's as beautiful as when I left, slightly over 4 hours earlier. Paddling time back from Molokini - 90 minutes or so. Total paddling time - just under 3 hours.

    Cleaning gear and loading kayak is a chore after that ordeal, but it's all good cause I pulled it off! :D
     
  7. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
    2,151
    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey, wow.

    Here is a link that shows float bags similar to the ones I bought for my kayak. Not exaclty the same but similar. I don't fully inflate them because they might deform my yak, I just put enough air into them that the yak cannot sink.

    NOC :: Kayak Float Bag - $17.00

    N
     
  8. Boxcar Overkill

    Boxcar Overkill Contributor

    295
    2
    Good write up Halemano. I thought I posted that earlier, but I guess it didn't go through.

    Yesterday I tried my first dive off a kayak. It was pretty simple. We have a yearly pass to rent kayaks for free after 4:00pm from Sam's Tours. So a friend and I left work a little early and went down to the docks at Sam's Tours to get our boats.

    It all went fairly smoothly. We attached the tanks to the Kayaks, paddled through the rock islands until we go to the wreck, a ship called the Chuyo Maru.

    The Chuyo Maru is a Japanese medium sized costal freighter that was bombed during Operation DESCECRATE ONE in WWII. It lies about a mile off shore from Sam's Tours. The main deck was 85' underwater, the mast was at 50', the bottom was around 120'. Because I'm not trained for wreck diving, I didn't penetrate, and instead stayed on the outside looking at the stern gun and the corral, and through the hatches. We were down for under an hour.

    When we were done, we put our gear back on the yaks and paddled on back to Sam's for a post-dive beer. Hard to believe we had all that fun for a $7 tank of air. That's a pretty good deal. I'll being doing it again next Wednesday. Thanks to everyone here for the good advice.
     
  9. SuSexFulDiver

    SuSexFulDiver Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Los Angeles
    85
    0
  10. OceanObsessed

    OceanObsessed Marine Scientist

    750
    1
    Yes, very nice write up and pictures too Halemano. I'm jealous of the good vis you guys have over there!
     

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