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Old 18-11-2018, 16:57   #1
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SCUBA diving success stories?

The allure of SCUBA diving from my own boat is part of what has drawn my interest to the cruising lifestyle. Actual SCUBA diving is very inexpensive. The cost of doing it is all in access to dive sites. By diving from the big boat or a dinghy, it's possible to enjoy dives without paying $50 per person per dive, which is the going rate (including tip) around the world.


Real world, there are all kinds of barriers to doing this. Well-known dive destinations are by and large closed to private boats. It is widely considered unwise to dive from an unattended boat, and to dive solo, making it necessary to have at least three qualified people aboard to engage in diving. As a practical matter, you have to have your own compressor, because of the regulatory problems involved in getting fills otherwise.


So, who has overcome this and had some fantastic dives as a part of their cruise? How did you manage it? What's your advice?
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Old 18-11-2018, 17:48   #2
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

That sort of depends.
Where are you talking? US? further afield?
Some of the issues you mentioned are valid points....sort of.
I was a dive instructor, stopped paying my dues this year ,,,,realistically, I dont want to teach again.
I have tanks aboard, always will. I dived off my boat via tender in mex, belize and honduras. Down there the tanks dont even need to be in Hydro....most places. Keeping tanks in current hydro is no big issue anyhow.
You definately do not need the VIP (visual ispection} decals down there. Thats just a money grab anyhow. Getting fills in the US, Mex , Belize and Honduras has never been an issue.
As for diving alone, I do it a lot. (yes, screaming , yelling, graphs and colourfull charts from those that do not agree) but I am comfortable with it.

I sailed down to Utila Honduras last may for a couple of weeks diving. I dove with the shop I used to teach at. First dive they send a kid DM with me. Every time he looks at me , "you ok signal"??? YES!!! I AM OK, BEEN DOING THIS BEFORE YOU WERE A GLINT IN YOUR DADDY'S EYE!!!

So after that I was first in and went on my way and they knew to leave me alone. Had a great time.
I looked after a house in Roatan for a few years, did loads of dives off my dink alone. I used to run out to the reef, drop a little anchor on a long rode, drop my gear in, go down and take the anchor with me. Was great, did some long dives. If I wanted to go deeper than the anchor I would drop the anchor, go , then come back to it.

But, as the hoards of naysayers will soon point out, it's not for everybody, it has it's risks (like driving while everybody else is texting) it just depends if you are able to put your fears in perspective and are comfortable and confident with your abilities. Good gear of course. goes without saying.

Iam pretty sure diving off your own boat down the east coast of FL is no issue.

I cant comment on other countries. I dare say that it is likely illegal in some countries (not saying which Mate), but that would only be in the silliest of places.

I am not going to get into an argument with those that have a different opinion. You are entitled to it, and hope you are happy with it.

Good luck. Enjoy your diving!!
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Old 18-11-2018, 17:50   #3
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Well, I see you have a 25' and I used to do it on my 24' years ago. One thing for sure is to have a way to store the tanks absolutely securely. I know of a boat, 24', that sank and it was suspected an unsecured SCUBA tank had fallen against a through-hull in rough weather and the sailors did not notice the leak until it was too late. As far as diving, I always threw all the gear in the inflatable and used that as the platform for everything. Still do. It is much easier to dive from, and transfer the gear to and from, the inflatable, IMO.
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Old 18-11-2018, 18:03   #4
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

I have two hookah systems onboard, a 12v for the dinghy and a 110v for diving from the mothership. I also have two filled bottles stored on board, but no compressor so far. I might pick one up before the summer. We also have a Gladius Mini underwater drone on order, so my wife can go diving too.
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Old 18-11-2018, 18:36   #5
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SCUBA diving success stories?

Quite a few cave divers had rather dive alone, I feel that I can handle whatever happens by myself, after all I fly Solo without a Copilot, so why not dive alone?
Especially in open water, the whole buddy concept is silly, if you need a buddy to be safe, you shouldnít be diving.

VIPís are not a legal requirement, itís an ďIndustry standardĒ Hydroís at least in the US, is the law.
I buy my VIP stickers off of EBay and do not let the dive shop do it, I did this after some idiot dive shop VIPíd my O2 clean tanks and valves and put silicone grease on the valve O rings, meaning that I had to have the valves cleaned and rebuilt and the tanks tumbled to remove any possible grease.
If you fill your own tanks, consider getting a CO tester to test the air, itís been a couple of years but a couple of cave divers died in Mexico cause the shop air was contaminated with CO, that was from improper compressor oil, but they still died.
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Old 18-11-2018, 19:14   #6
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

You can get compressors that run on 110V or gasoline. Most sailors don't like carrying gasoline but the outboard needs it too. It requires a lot of support to fill tanks on a sail boat. Typical electric motor for tiny compressors is 1-2HP. They are super noisy. Most 5kW generators struggle to start the motor. A variable speed electric drive unit can help with that. But that takes even more space and they don't like salt water at all. Then there is the maintenance. Air filters, desiccant changes, air quality testing are all needed at some point. Small compressor can take 1.5 hours to fill 2 tanks from empty.

In many popular places you can lug tanks ashore and get them filled. We did that in BVI. You can do it in Bonaire too. Those are the places I have experience. Usually you can get on the VHF and find a local shop that will fill tanks.

You can take 3 2-week luxury live aboard dive trips a year anywhere in the world and spend less $ than diving from a sail boat. And I would be willing to bet the total annual number of dives from the sail boat will be about 1/2 what you can do in 6 weeks on a live aboard charter.
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Old 18-11-2018, 19:23   #7
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Itís been probably 15 yrs ago, but the Wife and I enjoyed this one greatly, itís pure diving, but real nice accommodations too.
http://allstarliveaboards.com/aqua-c...aboard-diving/
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Old 18-11-2018, 19:33   #8
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Quite a few cave divers had rather dive alone, I feel that I can handle whatever happens by myself, after all I fly Solo without a Copilot, so why not dive alone?
Especially in open water, the whole buddy concept is silly, if you need a buddy to be safe, you shouldn’t be diving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
As for diving alone, I do it a lot. (yes, screaming , yelling, graphs and colourfull charts from those that do not agree) but I am comfortable with it.
...

I cant comment on other countries. I dare say that it is likely illegal in some countries (not saying which Mate), but that would only be in the silliest of places.

I am not going to get into an argument with those that have a different opinion. You are entitled to it, and hope you are happy with it.

Good luck. Enjoy your diving!!

Thanks. For clarity, I have made a substantial number of solo dives (and solo flights, for that matter).



Quote:

If you fill your own tanks, consider getting a CO tester to test the air, it’s been a couple of years but a couple of cave divers died in Mexico cause the shop air was contaminated with CO, that was from improper compressor oil, but they still died.
Thanks, I'm aware of the risk.


I am trying to build a sailboat-friendly compressor plant out of a Walter Kidde 2.2 cfm pump, and am, how shall we say, doing a good deal of troubleshooting. Hopefully it will come together.
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Old 18-11-2018, 19:39   #9
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

We have a hookah that works great for us.

A Brownie gasoline powered model on a float. I can not imagine diving with a deck mounted air supply, and being limited to one air hose distance from our boat.

No tank fills to hassle with, and we have no problem diving from an unattended boat. For depths down to 50 feet or so it's an awesome way to go. The machine can take divers deeper (80 feet), but with a mechanical surface air supply, we prefer to stay well within no-decompression limits.

It is a machine, and requires maintenance and care. Just like a compressor. If you can deal with that, good. If that is something you are unwilling or unable to do, another solution would be better.

I am sure there are some, but we have yet to find a place where diving from a private boat was prohibited. The ocean is large. You can certainly find a fun place with a bit of looking. Maybe even your own private spot better than the more heavily traveled ones. No, I will not tell you mine...
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Old 18-11-2018, 19:53   #10
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Iíll tell you one, itís San Saba Island in the Bahamas, there is a dive motel there called the riding rock inn, very small and not touristy at all, excellent 6 pack boats, not cattle boats, and some of the best wall diving I have ever done.
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Old 18-11-2018, 20:07   #11
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I have two hookah systems onboard, a 12v for the dinghy and a 110v for diving from the mothership. I also have two filled bottles stored on board, but no compressor so far. I might pick one up before the summer. We also have a Gladius Mini underwater drone on order, so my wife can go diving too.
On second thought, I'll probably just buy two more bottles and forget about the compressor.
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Old 18-11-2018, 22:38   #12
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The allure of SCUBA diving from my own boat is part of what has drawn my interest to the cruising lifestyle. Actual SCUBA diving is very inexpensive. The cost of doing it is all in access to dive sites. By diving from the big boat or a dinghy, it's possible to enjoy dives without paying $50 per person per dive, which is the going rate (including tip) around the world.


Real world, there are all kinds of barriers to doing this. Well-known dive destinations are by and large closed to private boats. It is widely considered unwise to dive from an unattended boat, and to dive solo, making it necessary to have at least three qualified people aboard to engage in diving. As a practical matter, you have to have your own compressor, because of the regulatory problems involved in getting fills otherwise.


So, who has overcome this and had some fantastic dives as a part of their cruise? How did you manage it? What's your advice?
Not so in the W Carib at least. There are very few sites that have any restrictions on private vessels from Belize to Panama. You wanna dive from a private boat, you go dive.

I havent lived in the USA in long time, but used to dive from my own boat in FL and have friends who still do....and FL is pretty heavily regulated. Ditto the Bahamas, Cuba, etc...

Where are these heavily restricted locations you refer to?
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Old 18-11-2018, 23:25   #13
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

There's a ship wreck called the RMS Rhone in the BVI. There's a couple of mooring balls right above that were completely empty and free when we went there in March. We tied up, dressed in and jumped off the back of the boat, straight down to the wreck, had a lovely dive and back to the boat for lunch and a beer.

This is the definition of a diving success!
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Old 18-11-2018, 23:29   #14
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

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There's a ship wreck called the RMS Rhone in the BVI. There's a couple of mooring balls right above that were completely empty and free when we went there in March. We tied up, dressed in and jumped off the back of the boat, straight down to the wreck, had a lovely dive and back to the boat for lunch and a beer.

This is the definition of a diving success!
Yes, I dove the Rhone, and a few other BVI sites, almost 2 decades ago...sounds like not much has changed in terms of accessibility.
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Old 18-11-2018, 23:36   #15
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

There are a few sites in Belize where permits are required for commercial boats (like Hol Chan near San Pedro), but other than that, I cant think of any others in the entire W Carib.
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