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BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
10-25-2007, 09:44
I plan to do some NC coastal wreck diving. The best wrecks are usually miles off shore and are often over 100 fsw.

I have all the kit I need for quarry diving. My reg is top of the line Apeks w/ 300 bar DIN connection. My BP/W can accomodate singles or doubles, although I have only used singles thus far.

I'm in good physical condition but the depth rules out CESA and makes it likely that my buddy won't have enough gas for both of us, so it seems I ought to have an independent air source.

Should I go with a pony, or twins, or doubles with isolation manifold?

What other special gear should I not leave home without?

js1scuba
10-25-2007, 10:37
I plan to do some NC coastal wreck diving. The best wrecks are usually miles off shore and are often over 100 fsw.

I have all the kit I need for quarry diving. My reg is top of the line Apeks w/ 300 bar DIN connection. My BP/W can accomodate singles or doubles, although I have only used singles thus far.

I'm in good physical condition but the depth rules out CESA and makes it likely that my buddy won't have enough gas for both of us, so it seems I ought to have an independent air source.

Should I go with a pony, or twins, or doubles with isolation manifold?

What other special gear should I not leave home without?


Ideally you should have a sufficent gas supply for the dives you want to do plus a 1/3 reserve. I suspect you are doing no-stop nitrox dives only, so you would best be served with a set of doubles OR a large single 100 cuft or more with a pony/stage as emergency reserve.

Other items you must have

Line reel with 2x the depth of the water you are diving in.
Line reel with 50-100 feet line on it for small navigation
SMB (surface marker buoy) and Saftey Sausage
Dive Alert and Whistle
Two lights one primary one back up
Cyalume Sticks (2) if you are diving in the afternoon / evening
Knife 1 line cutter 1
Exposure suit, hood, gloves
Quality dive computer (suunto, Cochran etc)

Wreck diving in North Carolina is very rewarding BUT you are out in the ocean and things change fast there. Don't be seduced into thinking the blue water is benign. The next thing you need to chose is a top operator there. Both Olympus and Discovery Diving out of Morehead City run great dive trips. Consider also taking a good wreck diving class from one of them.

Cheers

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
10-26-2007, 10:24
Thank you for your excellent advice. I'll sign up for a wreck course with one of the Moorehead operators

I hadn't considered the long reel or cyalume sticks. I have all the other gear.

Is it worth carrying a strobe in case I get left over night?

I just went out to the quarry and measured my SAC rate. Taking that and the Nitrox dives I expect to do for the next year I think I need a 120 in order to keep 1/3 in reserve. I'm 6'-2" (or at least used to be!) so the cylinder height won't be a problem.

I'm thinking a 19cf pony is about right.

But if I'm going to be carrying a big tank and a pony why not just dive doubles in the first place?

js1scuba
10-26-2007, 11:12
Thank you for your excellent advice. I'll sign up for a wreck course with one of the Moorehead operators

I hadn't considered the long reel or cyalume sticks. I have all the other gear.

Is it worth carrying a strobe in case I get left over night?

I just went out to the quarry and measured my SAC rate. Taking that and the Nitrox dives I expect to do for the next year I think I need a 120 in order to keep 1/3 in reserve. I'm 6'-2" (or at least used to be!) so the cylinder height won't be a problem.

I'm thinking a 19cf pony is about right.

But if I'm going to be carrying a big tank and a pony why not just dive doubles in the first place?


The offshore survival kits are always good to have. But keep in mind that the operators dont leave you. You are the one who usually will get lost. So stay closer to the anchor line!

As to tanks. If you will be only diving singles you might want to look at a Faber FX133 its about the same height as a 120 but is 8" diameter and will give you more gas. As to the pony. If you are mounting it to the cylinder then a 19 is ok -- If you will carry it "stage style" just get a 30 or 40.

Doubles are fun and serve a lot of purposes but it also depends on the charters you are on and the group you dive with. No need to carry gas that you wont really be using.

Cheers

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
10-27-2007, 14:31
Good point about the diver's role in being lost at sea.

It seems most problems are still diver error. From what I've heard and read, even with a negligent operator, the problem is usually with the operator not noticing or not responding properly to the diver's error.

Cheers.

cshel
10-27-2007, 17:00
At our briefing for the trip we didn't get to take.... they said that if you get lost and you have a strobe... and someone on the boat can verify that you have a strobe, they will wait till dark to look for you and it will take them all of 5 minutes to find you.

The list of strongly recommended gear included: smb, gap spool or small reel, signaling mirror (CDs work), whistle, dive light (two is best),strobe light, snorkle, slate, compass, pony bottle, gloves.

Also a collapsible gear bag is a must. Very little excess space on board.

fireflock
10-28-2007, 15:10
No operator I've been with, and I've been with all of the big ones in Morehead/Beaufort and Wilmington will wait until dark to look for a diver with a strobe. They are on the radio as soon as they realize someone if floating (sometimes they can't leave immediately to get you as other divers are in the water) and often another boat in the area can lend a hand. I've been told that knowing you have a strobe is good information that will searchers will take into account, but I've never heard of anyone waiting to start searching.

Currents will get you into trouble if you're not watching yourself in NC. My feeling is that a large number of people who end up floating fail to follow some basic suggestions that the crew will cover in the briefing. For example, use the line system for ascent and descent, watch your gas particularly if you're not used to the depth, and start your dive into the current if possible. Following a few basic guidelines will go a long way towards keeping you out of trouble.

On doubles....keep in mind you have to haul those things up the ladder on a pitching boat. That makes some divers lean towards big steel singles for NDL diving (almost everything on regular charters).

Rich

bubble-head
10-28-2007, 20:39
My personal preference for our Atlantic wreck diving is my HP 130 with a slung 30 or 40 pony. As Rich said, getting a set of doubles up on a pitching ladder in 6-8' seas is a pain in the butt.