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Old March 9th 04, 06:12 AM
suds
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

I scuba dive from my Ocean Kayak here in Hawai'i. The wife and I are
advanced divers but relatively new to diving off kayaks. Lots of folks talk
about how they dive off their kayaks here but nobody wants to actually show
you how it's done so we are learning the ropes on our own. We are slowly,
carefully, starting with shallow, near shore dives but working toward more
advanced, open ocean stuff. We find that we learn something new with each
dive. Safety is always the #1 concern. As we slowly learn and accrue
knowledge and our gear, what should be the order of priority? Here in
Hawai'i, it is very easy to be swept out into the open ocean. We carry a
gps, cell phones, and a vhf, along with extra water but obviously need more.
What is the group's opinion on various singling devices such as mirrors,
dyes, flares, strobes...? One person I spoke with went ballistic about a
first aid kit but it seems to be that if they don't find you, the band aids
won't be of any value.


suds


P.S. Flame away McDuff. ;^)



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Old March 9th 04, 08:10 AM
Peter
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

suds wrote:

Here in
Hawai'i, it is very easy to be swept out into the open ocean. We carry a
gps, cell phones, and a vhf, along with extra water but obviously need more.
What is the group's opinion on various singling devices such as mirrors,
dyes, flares, strobes...?


If being swept out to sea is a possibility then one of the new Personal
Locator Beacons (PLBs) might be the thing to have despite the cost. They
work like EPIRBs but with shorter battery life and lower cost.

Are you able to anchor your kayak so it can't get blown away while you're
diving?

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Old March 9th 04, 05:06 PM
bkr
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

suds wrote:

I scuba dive from my Ocean Kayak here in Hawai'i. The wife and I are
advanced divers but relatively new to diving off kayaks. Lots of folks talk
about how they dive off their kayaks here but nobody wants to actually show
you how it's done so we are learning the ropes on our own. We are slowly,
carefully, starting with shallow, near shore dives but working toward more
advanced, open ocean stuff. We find that we learn something new with each
dive. Safety is always the #1 concern. As we slowly learn and accrue
knowledge and our gear, what should be the order of priority? Here in
Hawai'i, it is very easy to be swept out into the open ocean. We carry a
gps, cell phones, and a vhf, along with extra water but obviously need more.
What is the group's opinion on various singling devices such as mirrors,
dyes, flares, strobes...? One person I spoke with went ballistic about a
first aid kit but it seems to be that if they don't find you, the band aids
won't be of any value.


suds


P.S. Flame away McDuff. ;^)


I won't go ballistic about a first aid kit, but I would recommend at
least a basic one in EVERY situation. I carry one any time I'm going to
be away from "civilization" in any aspect, even a day hike in local
parks. You never know when you may have an accident with a dive knife
that isn't life threatening but could cause some other worse problem.
Besides, it's not a lot of weight when using a boat so not a real bother.

What you have listed that you already carry is a good start, but
requires power. I would say you always need at least one
signalling/location device that doesn't require batteries. Which one is
your personal choice but keep in mind the llimitations of each. Flares
are great at night...mirrors less so without a decent flashlight.
Mirrors are good in the daytime if they are large enough, but on the
water, there is a lot of glare so a small mirror will just blend in with
glare off of waves. Strobes are again, good at night but less helpful
in the day unless you have a colored lense or bulb on them. Dyed smoke
is good only if it can be seen, so that's a daytime device but a highly
visible one if there isn't a strong wind.

Just consider when you are likely to be out and purchase your gear
accordingly. If it were me, I'd take a strobe (which every sea going
boat should have in my opinion), a mirror (and flashlight) as well as a
flare. Split this up between the boats (assuming you're each in
singles) if you want, but remember that you can also be separated from
each other.


bkr
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Old March 9th 04, 05:45 PM
Galen Hekhuis
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 06:12:59 GMT, "suds" wrote:

I scuba dive from my Ocean Kayak here in Hawai'i. The wife and I are
advanced divers but relatively new to diving off kayaks. Lots of folks talk
about how they dive off their kayaks here but nobody wants to actually show
you how it's done so we are learning the ropes on our own. We are slowly,
carefully, starting with shallow, near shore dives but working toward more
advanced, open ocean stuff. We find that we learn something new with each
dive. Safety is always the #1 concern. As we slowly learn and accrue
knowledge and our gear, what should be the order of priority? Here in
Hawai'i, it is very easy to be swept out into the open ocean. We carry a
gps, cell phones, and a vhf, along with extra water but obviously need more.
What is the group's opinion on various singling devices such as mirrors,
dyes, flares, strobes...? One person I spoke with went ballistic about a
first aid kit but it seems to be that if they don't find you, the band aids
won't be of any value.


suds


P.S. Flame away McDuff. ;^)


One of the things I have noticed is that if you want to be "found" it
really helps to have someone know you're missing. That someone may be at
the local yacht club (yacht clubs often have staff on 24/7) or it may be
just a friend, but it is often a good idea to have someone a bit worried if
you don't call by such and such a time.

Galen Hekhuis NpD, JFR, GWA
We are the CroMagnon of the future
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Old March 10th 04, 04:37 AM
suds
 
Posts: n/a
Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?


"Peter" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s53...
suds wrote:

Here in
Hawai'i, it is very easy to be swept out into the open ocean. We carry

a
gps, cell phones, and a vhf, along with extra water but obviously need

more.
What is the group's opinion on various singling devices such as mirrors,
dyes, flares, strobes...?


If being swept out to sea is a possibility then one of the new Personal
Locator Beacons (PLBs) might be the thing to have despite the cost. They
work like EPIRBs but with shorter battery life and lower cost.


A friend of mine was looking into an EPIRB. I'm not as serious as him so I
don't feel the immediate need for such a cash outlay. Still, I do want to
have some basic protection. I was just wondering what peoples opinions on
the various options were.


Are you able to anchor your kayak so it can't get blown away while you're
diving?


We tow the kayaks behind us as you would a dive flag.

Actually, since I'm off the water for a couple of weeks due to back surgery,
I was working on creating a harness that would hold both boats side by side
while we dive. I see several advantages: one, only one anchor line. This
means the divers can stay closer on the bottom in low visibility conditions
without fear of the kayaks becoming entangled. Two, more stability on the
surface while exiting and entering the kayaks. The downside (and it's big)
if you loose the line, you loose both kayaks.


suds




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Old March 10th 04, 04:52 AM
suds
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?


"bkr" wrote in message
...



I won't go ballistic about a first aid kit, but I would recommend at
least a basic one in EVERY situation. I carry one any time I'm going to
be away from "civilization" in any aspect, even a day hike in local
parks. You never know when you may have an accident with a dive knife
that isn't life threatening but could cause some other worse problem.
Besides, it's not a lot of weight when using a boat so not a real bother.


OK, I'll consider the first aid kit but you raise a better idea...

What you have listed that you already carry is a good start, but
requires power. I would say you always need at least one
signalling/location device that doesn't require batteries. Which one is
your personal choice but keep in mind the llimitations of each. Flares
are great at night...mirrors less so without a decent flashlight.
Mirrors are good in the daytime if they are large enough, but on the
water, there is a lot of glare so a small mirror will just blend in with
glare off of waves. Strobes are again, good at night but less helpful
in the day unless you have a colored lense or bulb on them. Dyed smoke
is good only if it can be seen, so that's a daytime device but a highly
visible one if there isn't a strong wind.


Obviously, a second set of batteries for each device would be a good idea.
You're going to need them anyway so why not buy them ahead of time and pack
them with you.

I was thinking a singling mirror and a strobe would be a good next step. I
believe I've seen strobe/flashlight combos and that seems to make sense. As
far as dye goes, I've been considering a device that's like a long strip of
plastic carpet. It comes as a small rool but unrolls to a 1'x40' red,
platic sheet that you would tow behind you. Any opinion on that.


Just consider when you are likely to be out and purchase your gear
accordingly. If it were me, I'd take a strobe (which every sea going
boat should have in my opinion), a mirror (and flashlight) as well as a
flare. Split this up between the boats (assuming you're each in
singles) if you want, but remember that you can also be separated from
each other.


We intended to each carry a basic set of signaling gear but you do raise an
interesting question: if blown out to sea, would it be a good idea to tie
the boats together to avoid separation? If so, then how? End to end?


suds


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Old March 10th 04, 04:54 AM
suds
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?


"Galen Hekhuis" wrote in message
...


One of the things I have noticed is that if you want to be "found" it
really helps to have someone know you're missing. That someone may be at
the local yacht club (yacht clubs often have staff on 24/7) or it may be
just a friend, but it is often a good idea to have someone a bit worried

if
you don't call by such and such a time.



Would the babysitter due? ;^)


suds


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Old March 10th 04, 05:15 AM
Peter
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

suds wrote:

"Peter" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s53...
We carry a gps, cell phones, and a vhf, along with extra water but obviously
need more.


What is the group's opinion on various singling devices such as mirrors,
dyes, flares, strobes...?


If being swept out to sea is a possibility then one of the new Personal
Locator Beacons (PLBs) might be the thing to have despite the cost. They
work like EPIRBs but with shorter battery life and lower cost.



A friend of mine was looking into an EPIRB. I'm not as serious as him so I
don't feel the immediate need for such a cash outlay. Still, I do want to
have some basic protection. I was just wondering what peoples opinions on
the various options were.


I haven't been very impressed by the visibility of the usual distress
signal devices carried on kayaks. Flares and strobes look very bright at
night but aren't all that clear a signal during the daytime if you're
pretty far offshore, especially if visibility is impaired at all. They
also depend on there being people on shore or boats who see the signal and
recognize it as an emergency. The colored dye is effective at helping
searchers find you once they get close but it won't work to initiate the
search.

There was a case a bit over a year ago of someone in a kayak off Hawaii who
was blown out to sea. Even though he was able to call the Coast Guard for
help on his cell phone it was still about two days before he was found.
One problem was that the batteries gave out fairly early in the search.

A PLB or redundant VHF radios seem to me more likely to be effective than
the visual distress signals.

Are you able to anchor your kayak so it can't get blown away while you're
diving?


We tow the kayaks behind us as you would a dive flag.

Actually, since I'm off the water for a couple of weeks due to back surgery,
I was working on creating a harness that would hold both boats side by side
while we dive. I see several advantages: one, only one anchor line. This
means the divers can stay closer on the bottom in low visibility conditions
without fear of the kayaks becoming entangled. Two, more stability on the
surface while exiting and entering the kayaks. The downside (and it's big)
if you loose the line, you loose both kayaks.


Yes, redundancy is always good to have in safety-critical systems

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Old March 10th 04, 09:36 PM
William R. Watt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

well, there's always sponsons ...

but in this case I'd suggest a kayak catamaran. join the kayaks with light
cross beams and install nets fore and aft. You'll have a much more stable
dive platform which can carry quite a load. make it wide enough so you can
paddle and then learn to stagger your strokes to they don't interfere. the
space between the hulls on catamarans is important. it has to be wide
enought so the hull waves don't interfere and slow the boat down. the
distance between centrelines of the hulls has to be at least half the
length of the hull (to be precise that's the length of the waterline rather
than the entire hull)


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Old March 11th 04, 09:15 PM
Galen Hekhuis
 
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

On Wed, 10 Mar 2004 04:54:11 GMT, "suds" wrote:

Would the babysitter due? ;^)


Possibly. If the babysitter knows who to call. HPD probably isn't a good
choice for an ocean rescue, although that's where a 911 call might wind
up. Better would be a call to the Coast Guard, the Marine base there, or
the


Galen Hekhuis NpD, JFR, GWA
We are the CroMagnon of the future


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