Type III fun while kayak-diving

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coldwaterglutton

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+1 for manual bilge pump, all my kayaks are equipped with those (none of my boats are for scuba though).

A paddle float is another great item to have, it will assist with reboarding and also lets you use your paddle as an outrigger for stability (paddle float extended out 90 degrees and other end of paddle under your butt or lashed to deck bungee).
 

Rick Brant

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Thank you for posting this. I am a kayak diver so I am interested in the good and the bad. My kayak has two gear hatches (plus two gear wells), but the hatches have inner liners that keep the boat from flooding in the event one is left open. Basically it looks a dry bag that has the bag opening stretched over the hatch opening. When you put gear in the hatch, it is inside the bag also. This keeps the gear dry in addition to avoiding flooding.

Also, your last bullet seems like the most important one. The drysuit was a bad choice. Too finicky when there are ten other things to worry about IMO. Also if you did get stuck overnight for some reason, I think your wetsuit would have provided better life support. I only kayak dive in warm climates though so I can't really judge.

And finally, as mentioned above, putting gear on and off in the water is way easier IMO. I dump my assembled rig off the end of the boat and then jump in to put it on. When done I reverse that and then drag it back up over the rear of the boat. It's not that hard but there are definitely many opportunities for trouble, including letting anything that sinks fall in the water. As for a spare mask or PFD, I like to have less gear if possible. I can use my BCD as a PFD if needed. If there is too much crap in the boat, it makes things tougher overall.

Oh and for the question about towing the gear, my Plan B if something goes wrong is just to tow my inflated rig behind the boat. I'm never even a mile out so I could paddle that way pretty readily.
 

MaxE

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Thanks for the pointer, I've never heard of these. You have in mind something like this, right?
6c221e86-b635-49ea-917f-c401e9f03115


At $20, it's pretty cheap insurance, I think I'll order 2.


My thinking was
+1 for manual bilge pump, all my kayaks are equipped with those (none of my boats are for scuba though).

A paddle float is another great item to have, it will assist with reboarding and also lets you use your paddle as an outrigger for stability (paddle float extended out 90 degrees and other end of paddle under your butt or lashed to deck bungee).

I had a longer post I can’t get to publish. For me every time I get In my kayak a PFD, paddle float, and bilge pump are minimum safety gear
 

coldwaterglutton

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I had a longer post I can’t get to publish. For me every time I get In my kayak a PFD, paddle float, and bilge pump are minimum safety gear


My kayaks are proper fiberglass touring models with closed cockpits. We use them out on the Long Island Sound, an area with lots of boat traffic and lots of currents. The kayaks are all intentionally yellow and 2 of the 3 are equipped with flags so they can be seen even amidst chop.

Each kayak is equipped with bilge pump, sponge, paddle float, tow rope, and signal smoke cans. We use PFDs equipped with whistles and mirrors. And I carry a PLB and a marine VHF portable on my vest.

And I still feel like I am not doing enough.
 

johndiver999

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That situation sounds pretty scary, pretty out of control. I've only snorkeled from a kayak, but I know there is no way I would try to don a scuba tank while on a kayak. I had a hard enough time snorkeling from a kayak. The dry suit scares the heck out of me, I got a real thing for overheating. You guys muscled your way out of that situation, other people might not have been able.

I don't think you mentioned this, but going that far off shore, you should have filed a float plan with someone. If things got really bad, you could have stayed anchored with the knowledge that somebody would be looking for you in 5-6 hours (in the correct spot). That is a very important option that you seemingly discarded, which could have made the situation much less dangerous, especially if the buddy had been more severely compromised.

You obviously should have pfd's and an underwater flashlight to signal searchers when they start looking in the dark for you. And I hope you have a cell phone in a pelican box stashed somewhere too.
 

chillyinCanada

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Thank goodness that you guys got through this with nothing more than lessons learned. And thank you so much for sharing.

Murphy is always watching.

Lots of great tips coming forth in this thread too.
 

lowwall

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I haven't dived off a kayak, but I've spent a lot of time messing around in small boats, including one summer working as a whitewater raft and kayak guide. The key in these types of situations is to be methodical and don't try to take shortcuts. The first time you righted the boat should have been the time to stop and get everything together. Get your gear secured (maybe with the heavy stuff clipped off in the water?) and then the boat bailed out and then decide if you want to continue.

I can't figure out why your buddy was in such a hurry to get back in the boat. He had to be super buoyant and the cool water must have been a relief. Lay back and relax for a bit. I am assuming you have some kind of line off the kayak that you can hang onto so you don't float away.
 

Brett Hatch

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Lots of good advice in this thread, thanks all for the pointers.
 

jborg

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This seems like a situation where one would like to have a PLB or two, in case you get blown out to the ocean.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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