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Old 21-11-2018, 10:22   #31
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

We have our own dive gear, four aluminum 80s with proper racks, and the Oceanus Jr dive compressor on board our 40 foot sailboat. We've both been PADI certified since the late 80s and did a re-cert about 8-9 years ago. We are anal about equipment and compressor maintenance, filling procedures, filtration, etc. Our lives depend on it.

We haven't done as much pleasure diving since cruising as I had hoped, usually because of weather related conditions or water quality. We have left the boat unattended to snorkel or dive the reefs off familiar and safe anchorages. If we're going farther than a surface swim away, we take the dingy with our 9.9 outboard and either anchor it or drag it with us.

Having scuba gear on board has saved us from having to replace our our anchor and chain when it got wrapped around a huge bolder at Isla Isabel in the Sea of Cortez due to wind/boat swing. Without being able to dive on the anchor and unwrap the chain, there would have been no way for us to leave the anchorage without cutting lose our chain and anchor. That saved us thousands of dollars.

I also use scuba gear regularly to clean and inspect the bottom and prop. Besides savings us $700 - $1,000 pesos a pop for a bottom job, it's great exercise and I thoroughly enjoy it.

We walk past a popular dive shop's outside access air compressor regularly when they are filling tanks. Based on the condition of the compressor, we are glad we are breathing our own air when underwater. No one has our best interest at heart better than we do.
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Old 21-11-2018, 17:39   #32
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor647 View Post
No one has our best interest at heart better than we do.

Good point!


To the OP: I take it you're not planning on cruising on the 25' mentioned? I can't imagine fitting a dive compressor on such a small vessel.

As mentioned, maintaining a compressor is expensive and labour intensive. Hence it really comes down to the type of diving you really want to do. In many cases, a good hookah would be a decent compromise, although I've never used one myself. I shall try that one day.
As a safety mitigation for hookah dives deeper than, say 10m, a bail out cylinder on a sling could be an option.
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Old 21-11-2018, 18:03   #33
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

You dive or you don't, what's all the whining about........
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Old 21-11-2018, 20:17   #34
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Depends what kind of diving you like, and your own level of experience. I've been scuba diving now for close to 40 yrs. I don't dive now the way I used to 10 yrs ago, let alone at the beginning. But to your question:

I carry 1X10 and 1X12 ltr steel dumpies. I'm fairly frugal (or rather, learned to be!). If possible, with Nitrox. Don't have a compressor onboard. No room, and also complex expensive maintenance. In most places I dive regularly (Med, W Indian Ocean, Carib) it is normally not a problem to fill them up if up to date.

Up to a few yrs ago I used to do quite a bit of solo diving. In that case, best IMO if you know the terrain well beforehand, and are comfortable with what you can expect. Also, in my experience, most good sites may well merit a second visit. Would reserve solos for second visits, and dive with a buddy or in a group on first-time sites. Would strongly suggest do not solo first time on a wreck.

Good, responsive surface support is a good idea in all cases though! On one occasion, I think it was in Zanzibar, I blew the cylinder o-ring and had to surface ahead of everyone. I was left buoying up and down for 30 mins because the guy on the boat had gone to sleep!

If on my boat (or on my own), on a new site, I like to do a bit of exploring beforehand, say day before. If you can skin dive comfortably to 10-12 mts, you can reconnoitre a large track of reef pretty good. Check the layout, check currents and surf, find good spots to anchor or tender the dinghy, and generally find interesting stuff to check close up later. It's a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours in the water, and it can improve your dive immensely.

Most importantly, perhaps, it allows me to plan the dive for myself and others. I'm afraid I'm of the old school. I plan my dive and dive my plan. Don't follow the computer blindly. Often (IMO anyway) it is better to stay put within 100 mt track of reef, and explore it systematically square mtr by square mtr. The big stuff may or may not be there at that time, but you'll always find the small stuff if you focus to look for it. You'll miss it if your eyes are permanently scouting the blue.

These days I seldom dive below 25 mts, so smallish cylinders still give me plenty bottom time. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is between 15 and 22 mts anyway.

In some places like the Med, Red Sea, Tanzania, Maldives, Seychelles, authorities wont let you dive except with a commercial operator. If they do in specific sites, you will still need permits to do it. Always check first as the fines can be hefty. Yes, it's more expensive, but good commercial operators will take you to sites you could not possibly discover or access by yourself, and the logistics are so much easier.

Anyway, shout if you need any more input.
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Old 22-11-2018, 01:10   #35
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

" Doom to the Lion Fish ! "Click image for larger version

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Old 22-11-2018, 07:02   #36
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Glad people are killing these worthless buggers. But it is a futile exercise I fear since 90+% of lion fish live down below 100 feet. Not many divers are hunting at those depths. For every one we kill up on the reef there are 10 more waiting to take its place. There may be no good solution.

But it sure improves my attitude when we can bag a mess of them.
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Old 22-11-2018, 07:15   #37
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

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Glad people are killing these worthless buggers. But it is a futile exercise I fear since 90+% of lion fish live down below 100 feet. Not many divers are hunting at those depths. For every one we kill up on the reef there are 10 more waiting to take its place. There may be no good solution.

But it sure improves my attitude when we can bag a mess of them.
So true. I don't think there's ever been a successful eradication of a marine invader. However, there's lots we can do as cruisers/boaters to minimize their spread (which is also another good reason to learn to clean your own hulls!):

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...vasive-Species
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Old 26-11-2018, 09:03   #38
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

So, not really a success story:

We did a two-year cruise to Mexico and Alaska a couple of years back. We're both rescue certified and had gear for both warm and cold water diving (dry suits). We dove once, and that was with a dive outfit.

Why? Well, in Mexico you cannot spear with dive gear so we free dove for that sport (with limited success, unfortunately). All other in water activities were snorkeling/free dive based, it was just as good and frankly a lot easier than lugging tanks onshore via dink and carrying to the dive shops. A compressor is in the cards when we return to cruising full time (getting a son through Hign School right now). In Alaska, we were nervous about diving off the dink with the high currents, something I wish we did but next time we'll line up some dive operations.

As many have said, we find it easier to drop in off the dink, you can even tow your dink/kayak on a drift dive. Much better than swimming back to the mothership.
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Old 26-11-2018, 09:12   #39
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

So, not really a success story:

We did a two-year cruise to Mexico and Alaska a couple of years back. We're both rescue certified and had gear for both warm and cold water diving (dry suits). We dove once, and that was with a dive outfit.

Why? Well, in Mexico you cannot spear with dive gear so we free dove for that sport (with limited success, unfortunately). All other in water activities were snorkeling/free dive based, it was just as good and frankly a lot easier than lugging tanks onshore via dink and carrying to the dive shops. A compressor is in the cards when we return to cruising full time (getting a son through Hign School right now). In Alaska, we were nervous about diving off the dink with the high currents, something I wish we did but next time we'll line up some dive operations.

As many have said, we find it easier to drop in off the dink, you can even tow your dink/kayak on a drift dive. Much better than swimming back to the mothership.
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Old 26-11-2018, 10:08   #40
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsysol View Post
So, not really a success story:

We did a two-year cruise to Mexico and Alaska a couple of years back. We're both rescue certified and had gear for both warm and cold water diving (dry suits). We dove once, and that was with a dive outfit.

Why? Well, in Mexico you cannot spear with dive gear so we free dove for that sport (with limited success, unfortunately). All other in water activities were snorkeling/free dive based, it was just as good and frankly a lot easier than lugging tanks onshore via dink and carrying to the dive shops. A compressor is in the cards when we return to cruising full time (getting a son through Hign School right now). In Alaska, we were nervous about diving off the dink with the high currents, something I wish we did but next time we'll line up some dive operations.

As many have said, we find it easier to drop in off the dink, you can even tow your dink/kayak on a drift dive. Much better than swimming back to the mothership.
Thats been my same transition in SCUBA / cruising. Years ago my late wife and I carried SCUBA gear. We rarely used it. Eventually just started carrying snorkel gear. Now for many years Ive only snorkelled for the same reasons you state. My current wife is not a SCUBA diver, but we do a lot of snorkelling.

Ironically, my buddies and I used to be manic SCUBA divers. We travelled a lot to the Carib to dive. Many years later, after moving to the W Carib I rarely dove any more, but prefered to snorkel. Most of the pretty stuff, and common game species, are in relatively shallow water anyway. SCUBA I really only needed for deep dives, wreck dives, cave dives...and other more risky stuff I did when I was younger, but dont do anymore.

One thing I do find harder to do snorkelling vs SCUBA is photography. Its more of a challenge, especially if the water is a little rough, to maintain a stable position and set up shots while snorkelling.
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Old 26-11-2018, 10:11   #41
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

After a dive accident (air embolism. Entirely my fault. Silly little mistake. Two days in decompression ) I decided to stick with free diving.
No masses of heavy gear. No refills. Zero cost.
And the colours are always amazing. With depths beyond about 10 metres colour ( except maybe in SUPER clear water) disappear so ignore all the glossy advertising.
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Old 26-11-2018, 10:40   #42
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Successful dive trip near Kickím Jenny, eastern Caribbean. We dive with a gasoline Hooka with a three diver splitter. In the anchorage I sometimes string all hoses together for 120 total feet. Doing our best to remove the interlopers. I usually find lion fish under the boat.
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Old 26-11-2018, 10:53   #43
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

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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?
Your post confuses me. Normally, the 1/2 day or full day cost of the dive boat is borne equally by all on the boat. I have never heard of paying by the dive!!

You don't need your own compressor and most certainly not for "Regulatory problems". You might want your own compressor if you need multiple refills on an extended cruise.

Why would it be necessary to have "at least 3 qualified people aboard"?? I would assume one would have some dive training to be a dive buddy and the other yourself.
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Old 26-11-2018, 12:27   #44
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Just back from this seasons cruise through the south pacific. From San Fransisco down Mexico, left for the South Pacific from La Paz. Cruised through the Marquesas, Tuamotus, and Societies, then headed to Hawaii for the off season, headed back to Tahiti in the spring some time.



We did a lot of diving 85+ dives each in the Tuamotus and the Societies, some of the best diving in the world. At the minimum of $75 a dive that the dive operators charge, that would be a minimum of 12,700 or so. Over 100x more than the cost of our used compressor.



We have our own compressor, and would pretty much get rid of anything else aboard to have it.


Maintenance, and use are not that tedious or expensive, and we have an older model which we bought used. Other cruisers that have BAUER compressors have the same experience, change the oil and the air filters and fill tanks, go diving, rinse gear, repeat. Listening to it while it fills tanks is a little bit of a pain in the ears, but it is well worth the diving that we do.



Make no mistake, we cruise to dive, for us it is our favorite cruising activity.



We know of a lot of boats that have hookahs and never ever get them out of their lockers. (in fairness we have had to pry people off their boats to get them to come diving with us when they had the equipment aboard too). We never saw a single hookah in use in the South Pacific.



Dive the reefs of the world while you can they are all going to be gone soon. Visit them any way possible, and enjoy them while they are there. Within our lifetimes that are going to cease to exist.



Filling tanks is possible in the south pacific at the more developed islands, although not always at all shops. Most want to charge you $150 for a dive with them, which involves a lot of finning around to use up your air, and get them to the bar faster to spend that $150.


I can't imagine cruising without a compressor, I can't imagine what you would do for fun if you were not diving? :-)


Diving solo or not, if you ask around any anchorage with good diving you can find people to dive with. We were approached by a lot of boats when they saw us dive, and we have done a lot of drift dives, and current dives with other cruisers each taking a turn on the surface chase dingy. We have met life long friends this way on all of our cruises.


Guy and Melissa
S/V Aiki
Honolulu Hawaii
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Old 26-11-2018, 13:34   #45
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Re: SCUBA diving success stories?

Have dove off our own boats in FL and the Bahamas for over 40 years! Had a compress on our 48í uniflite and currently have a 220 volt compressor with a 4 tank manifold on our 52 Hatteras CPMY which we have had all through the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. Super diving to buoyed reefs in San Salvador (riding rock inn) bahamas from our own boat for weeks, also Conception island Bahamas is wonderful and mostly buoyed, also west end of Provo and n side of west Caicos. No issues with live aboards or local dive shops using the bouys but we also prefer to drift dive the edge of the wall with the boat following a dive flag float. Go for it!
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