Help! Big Ooops on Roatan

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Marie13

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That BC sounds absolutely miserable. How much more weight than with your BP/W? Just curious.
 

Doc

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Interesting discussion.

the unavailability of a familiar gear set, option of a basic beginner level rig.

back plate / wing, or BCD Stab Jacket.

I have three different BPW style set-ups. OMS, Halcyon and one I made myself with Titanium, Lexan and Poseidon scrap. Maybe six 30cf tanks, four steel 120’s, 6cf tanks full of Neon or Kryptonite, FIIK. I got new-in-box reg sets that are 10+ years old. My garage looks like a small LDS.

Here’s the punch line:

When we do our yearly CCV trip, I do not bring gear. I rent BCD set-up from Patty at Dockside Dive Center. I know her gear is top notch, in perfect service…why would i bother to drag 40# of stuff with me to do 1.25hr dives on an Aluminum 80 at an average of 24fsw?

[i do bring my reg set only because i like my 6’ primary, but- i can dive without it]

I get BJ’s referenced need for the follow-on liveaboard dives, so I’m really just tossing this out there to others traveling to CCV. Dockside Dive Center is the one place in the world that I would say- the rental gear is perfect.

I look at it like ski gear, guns, or crazy red-heads. At this point in life, I have the expertise to grab-it and go.

Stab Jacket have pockets, so there’s that!
 

DogDiver

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To follow up on what Doc said. One of only a handful of dive shop rental gear on this planet I trust. Although this next trip I’m bringing along a backplate, harnesses, wing, bands and a twin set manifold. I’m going to build a set of twin 63’s just for a half dozen really long drop off dives. Starting at the where we do the first boat dive.
 
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boulderjohn

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That BC sounds absolutely miserable. How much more weight than with your BP/W? Just curious.
It has been several years since I dived with an AL 80, and IIRC, I used my aluminum backplate and put a total of 8 pounds in camband pockets to be a little overweighted. On this trip, I used 14 pounds, and probably would have been happier with a few more.
 

Doc

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I’m going to build a set of twin 63’s just for a half dozen really long drop off dives. Starting at the where we do the first boat dive.
CCV offers a version of each drop-off dive they call “enduro” which is just a longer distance version. I have seen a couple of times where the “wrong diver” asked for enduro and the DMs didn’t argue, they just dropped the air-sucker 83’ further than the standard drop off dive.

We have to just get past the “that’s the same dive over and over crowd” who has not yet achieved eternal enlightenment, so~ I got that going for me. Gunga-aGulunga.

This is a very unique location that is perfect for an equally unique trick. IF the waves are very calm, an enduro atop the reef structure is a magical experience. Not many divers ever do this. I’m talking the whole ride in 5~17fsw. (Unlike the AM and PM drop off dives, Sun position is irrelevant, you can pick either wall)

The conditions and character atop these two “house reefs” are remarkable in terms of their condition and variety. It is stuff you simply do not see anymore in the Caribbean…unless you know where to look- and most importantly….when to try to be there. The right conditions and skill sets- or you will die. Horribly. Slowly, and screaming all the time.

There are also reef structures directly in front of Coco View (not exaggerating) that are un-visited, pristine and just eye-popping. The great majority of divers are going too deep and too fast to notice. When I “drag” divers to these spots as a variant on returning from a drop-off dive, their entire perspective changes about CCV. I wait for the right days and select the right skill-sets of buoyancy control- not out of snobbishness, just a matter of protecting these zones and the divers themselves- one bad move and you’re hamburger. Risk has rewards.

So, twin sets with a total 124cuft has an allure, but at my super shallow profile on CCV Drop-Off Dives, an Alu80 has me walking through this garden for up to 1:30, at that point, I’m ready for a Monkey-LaLa.
 

DogDiver

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The drop off dives are completely different each dive by just changing your depth by 5 feet. They are often the highlight of my trips. Twin 63’s are not for every Tec wanna be, but it will provide me with a warm fuzzy feeling diving solo to have extra gas. As a full time cave diver living in north Florida cave country, I’m used to diving with twin sidemount steel 120’s, plus 1 AL 80 and 1 AL 40. So the privilege of jumping off a boat with a single 80 is a real treat.
 

stadevene

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Every time we’ve been to CCV we rent. As Doc says, Patty’s gear is in better shape than any gear I would own and as “basic recreational divers” <spit> her gear is perfect. We’ve also seen a number of people blow a hose or have a newly serviced reg fail. In my case they just swap out the hose and away I go.

Doc’s comments about the top of the reef or in the shallows by “the ski slope” are also bang on. We’ve had drop off dives where we asked to get dumped at the Prince Albert, circled around it once or so and then spent an hour in 20 feet looking at all the critters of to the side of the cut while everyone else is fast kicking in. That area to the north of the cut is aces. We have not done the enduro as Doc calls it or gone along the top of the reef but that sounds interesting. One of these years we will have to be there for a week when you’re there Doc and you can show us some of your secrets.
 

Doc

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One of these years we will have to be there for a week when you’re there Doc and you can show us some of your secrets.
How about 16-23 of April 2022 Full Moon?

we will be there: “Doc’s Trip”. (Chicago)
 
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boulderjohn

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I am home now, and perhaps anyone still reading this might be interested in some random thoughts about my 18 days in Roatan.
  • We knew it was rainy season, but that phrase did not prepare us for the brief episodes of sun and dark clouds interrupting the steady rain punctuated by torrential downpours. That sure "dampened" my reflections on the experience. On the Aggressor, we got out of the water chilled after the dives and then spent the surface intervals in the walk-in refrigerator they called a boat. I guess they like that amount of air-conditioning, but by the end of that week, I was thoroughly cold.
  • No amount of warnings prepared me for the sand fleas or whatever those biting insects are. My wife went snorkeling without a wetsuit the first day at CocoView, and her back tormented her for a week. At CocoView, we learned never to set foot outside for more than a few seconds without being covered in repellant. I was still itching all over on my 5th day on the Aggressor. By the end of my week on the Aggressor, I was healed, but we had a final evening and morning on shore. We sprayed ourselves carefully, but we are now back to tormenting itchiness.
  • On our boat at CocoView, my friends and I were the only ones who were not multiple repeat visitors. One was on her 27th time there, and another couple was on their 17th. They obviously love it. They always requested the same captain and DM. They were nearly all into photography, mostly macro, and their familiarity with the crew may be the reason for our dive profiles--a brief visit to the walls or crevasses followed by long, long, long periods hovering in the coral rubble at the top of the reef. I believe the highest SurfGF I had at the end of those dives was about 19, and I was in the single digits on some dives. As predicted in this thread, I did some of the same dive sites with the Aggressor, and I much preferred the profiles we did there. I guess it shows the true meaning of Sly Stone's "different strokes for different folks." Those people loved CocoView. I will never be back.
 
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