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Technical Diving

Discussion in 'Invade Bonaire, 2013' started by cbrich, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. cbrich

    cbrich Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Austin
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    I know Elena asked me in Coxumel about doing some Technical Diving, and since the Invasion is in Bonaire, maybe we can get some in. Bonaire has some great spots for Technical diving, Red Slave & the Windjammer are just a few, but really any of the dive spots are technical diving.

    Red Slave: Will require a rental truck/s. This site is know for the ship anchors and also the reef. There are several anchors, The deepest anchors are at 400'.

    Windjammer: this is a wreck at 200'-220'. This is a very difficult wreck to dive since it's located on the oil companies water area. I tried to dive this particular wreck in 2010 but did not happen, because if a ship is at port, no diving is allowed. That's right NO diving is allowed in that area when a ship is offloading fuel.

    Some other thoughts that come to mind. Most of the technical diving I did was using Air, and 32% for deco, since these gases are free. If you are interested in Trimix, then I only know of 1 place that mixes trimix, and that is Captain Don's Habitat. They usually try to keep a cylinder or two of helium, but don't count on it. We were told if all possible try let them know in advance because getting Helium takes a long time, since it has to be shipped in from Venzuela. The price of Helium is very expensive, I don't remember what the exact numbers were, but I do remember that a set of doubles was going to cost around $250-$300, this included the trimix fill.

    For the Technical Divers, what are your thoughts about doing some deco dives?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
    Texas Torpedo likes this.
  2. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

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    I dove the Windjammer a few times on air in the late 70's (no Helium on the island back then). The concern about the tankers is that they can suck any diver who's above 150' into the props (which would kinda ruin your dive)... We were very aware of any ship on the horizon, even though their wasn't a tanker offloading fuel.
     
  3. cbrich

    cbrich Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Austin
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    WOW, was not told about the prop. On the first I day was down there, my group got into the truck and drove up to the spot, and knew are chance of diving the windjammer were 0, since we saw 1 tanker at port, and 6 tankers on the horizon. When we got back we asked the operators at Captain Don's Habitat, and they said no diving this week on the Windjammer.
     
  4. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

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    Don use to me miffed at anyone who wanted to dive the Windjammer (I think he thought it was too deep). Having dove the Andrea Doria the year prior, I wasn't too put-off by the scary stories. I had a guide (the only Dive Instructor at Habitat at the time) who had made the dive several times before. Unfortunately, he also invited two PADI Instructors from New York who ended-up both running out of air at 180' (but that's another story). The wreck is relatively open without the often encountered cables and sharp edges of many wrecks. Good fun... :wink:
     
    James R and Texas Torpedo like this.
  5. James R

    James R PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Austin, TX USA
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    I would be down for a windjammer dive if we can get one in!
     
  6. TONY CHANEY

    TONY CHANEY Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
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    Go ahead DCBC and tell us the story...has got to be a good one.
     
  7. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

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    It's kinda hijacking the thread and I already wrote about it in 'lessons learned' a few years back (I've looked for it unsuccessfully), so here's a 'shortened version' :)

    ... Considering the depth and that I hadn't dove with the 2 Instructors from NY, we all agreed that it would be a group 'solo' dive (every man for himself). When I was on my way back from the wreck, I saw the 2 NY guys about 10 feet apart about 30 ft above the wreck. I swam up to the first guy and he gave me the "give me air" signal! This really shocked the hell out of me. So regardless of "the deal," I gave him my Octopus regulator. He just froze and was hyperventilating...

    I was trying to move him to 'his buddy,' who was obviously narced and who showed no interest in the situation that his friend and I found ourselves in. I thought 'I have to get out of here!' I started taking-off my tank to give it to them, because I didn't think that I could move him with the time I had left. I was trained in the Navy to doff and don SCUBA in 100' of water and since that time, I regularly practiced doing free ascents (150'). I also knew that I had a Safety diver at 50' (who was a previous student of mine and who I knew I could depend upon); so I figured that the air I needed was within my 'dive envelope.' Just before I started the free ascent, the Instructor from Habitat (Dave) and his friend came to the rescue and they were physically able to move the hyperventilating New Yorker upward. At this time his narced buddy went OOA...

    At this point, I had under 500 psi available. As I was free from the 'rescue,' I was pretty relieved. I signaled Dave that I would make my ascent to the safety diver for decompression. When I arrived, I started the process. As I waited, I got more and more ticked-off at these divers. Neither of these 'Instructors' should have been on the dive if the first-place. They had no idea of their air consumption and one should have terminated the dive when he was feeling the adverse affects of narcosis. They wouldn't even look me in the eye; I could have killed them both and felt justified... Topside they didn't apologize or say a word.

    I did learn something about myself. Regardless of initially believing the every man for himself bravado, when it came to the crunch, I had to try to help them. Perhaps if I had been deeper without a chance to self-egress from the situation, I would have bailed and left them to Davy Jones, I don't know. I do know that those two guys are lucky to be alive.

    An Instructors rating (or any other for that matter) is not necessarily a guarantee of diving competence. Courses are less comprehensive than they once were. Now I never dive with anyone I don't know below 100' (unless I'm teaching, or diving commercially). It's not that I question people's competence (there are competent divers out there), but I know how easy someone can put themselves into a bad situation and if I'm there, I'm going to want to bail them out (better not to put myself in that situation to begin with). Extreme Diving is dangerous, I've almost cashed-in a couple of times myself. It always there waiting for any of us to slip-up, especially if we push the envelope a bit too far...

     
    Texas Torpedo likes this.
  8. TONY CHANEY

    TONY CHANEY Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
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    thanks for the additional information. no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot help but be a "mother hen" or in my case a "daddy rooster" underwater. Maybe it comes from watching students, while dive mastering, messing around and not knowing that the reef goes from 60' to 150' real fast.
     
  9. Texas Torpedo

    Texas Torpedo Pollo Grande Tejano! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: College Station, Texas
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    Hoping to dive the Windjammer this time too.. Count me in. AL80 20.9 to 400' please.. (joking)

    DCBC, thanks for the info / story & sharing it again..
     

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