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What's the best way to enter & exit from shore?

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by Pembina, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. TheWizard

    TheWizard Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Reading, MA
    225
    9
    I do a few things differently from what other have posted when shore-diving on Bonaire and Curacao, with rocky uncertain bottoms, but low to moderate surf. I don't necessarily recommend my technique to new divers.
    Firstly, after setting up and checking my tank pressure on shore, I turn my air OFF so as not to loose any due to free flow on the swim-out.
    Entrances I do with my mask around my neck, my fins in my left hand and my camera/flash combo in my right hand. My camera/flash is also strapped to my right wrist.
    For me, leaving mask off for entry improves my visibility of bottom variation slightly, but YMMV.

    Once into waist deep water or thereabouts, I roll onto my back, letting my half-full BCD support me as I quickly and easily don my fins with my feet at the water's surface.
    From there, I surface-swim out to the drop-off on my back most of the way. Once I get there, I put my mask on and turn my air on behind my right ear.
    I'll sometimes take a pic or two on the surface during the swim-out and I find that easier to do w/o mask on.

    Exiting from the dive, we typically swim u/w all the way into waist-deep shallows, whereupon I remove my fins just as I stand up. I also drop my mask down around my neck as I carefully pick my path over the rocks to dry land...
     
  2. cadams3121

    cadams3121 New

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
    1
    0
    So I should have read this thread first. First mistake as I dove with my brother in law at Kona Sheraton to see the manta rays, also first night dive. We decided against the easy boat ramp entry to avoid a longer swim, so we headed to the rocks. Surf seemed easy enough, but of course it was dark and didn't account for the bad terrain immediately beneath. As I hit a low spot, lost my balance and fell forward. Luckily I caught myself on a nice handhold about a foot below the surface. Unfortunately a sea urchin had also identified that rock as a great hold...ouch! I shot upright just in time to get smacked in the face with a nice wave falling backward. Apparently the sea urchin had friends as I landed on my backside on 2 additional urchins perfectly spaced for each side of said back side....double ouch! Although my buddy was not positioned to catch me, he was in position tocatch my fins as they flew. All said and done I sit here surfing for the next best remedy for urchin stings. It wasn't a total loss though. Able to drive on, and still had a great experience swimming with the manta rays (7 total). But I dohave a couple nice "badges" to show for the fun in the water. Open for urchin barb removal tips if anyone has any, lol.
     
  3. ronski101

    ronski101 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: redondo beach, calif
    472
    35
    One method I did not see anyone talk about is holding on to your dive buddy and slowly side step into the water. This helps to keep you from falling when one of you steps into a hole.
     
  4. highlandfarmwv

    highlandfarmwv Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hattera, North Carolinas
    597
    8
    I have hundreds of Bonaire shore dives. Only once so far did it beat me up enough to call the dive!! I carry fins and mask in one hand (or mask around neck) and camera with strobe in other. I always go in solo, even with a buddy. No use two people falling.... And I am old, almost 60, and a weak female. Getting in is entirely technique and here are my favorite tips:

    1. ALWAYS leave air on and regulator in mouth until you are on dry land. I had a friend who fell down on her back in 1 foot of water, tank wedged in a channel; and had a difficult time keeping her head up enough to breathe. And don't think you won't fall.....
    2. Do not worry about trying to keep face out of water when putting on fins, as you will be bouncing around with the surge. Face down mask on or off. (personally I put on mask before fins) and breathe out of reg. You are not going to use much air there at the top of the water. I guess if you have a snorkel handy you could use it, I keep snorkel in pocket.
    3. Hard soles, definitely. Never pick up one foot till the other is secure. That 45degree angle someone else mentioned works well. Kind of a "surfer stance" facing the way you are going.
    4. Wetsuit with thick knees. You will go down on them!!
     
    boat sju likes this.
  5. boat sju

    boat sju Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Haslett, Michigan
    1,516
    403
    Just got back from Bonaire and was reminded of a few more points. 1. If there are exiting divers lined up in an attempt to get a feel for the surge and time their exit through a narrow chute - please give them the right of way. 2. If a fully geared diver is walking back up a narrow path to the parking area and you're just wanting to walk down the path for a look see - please give the diver the right of way.

    As a side note - you don't need landing lights to night dive.
     
  6. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    4,208
    518
    Sometimes when standing on land it looks like a circus of lights under the water.
    I prefer to use a single small back up light to dive with.
    Carry an extra for safety but seldom use it.

    Also like to dive without light once my eyes have become somewhat accustomed to the dark.
    Ask Herman about one of his no lite night dive experiences on Bonaire.
     
  7. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    4,208
    518
    Same way with us.
     
  8. boat sju

    boat sju Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Haslett, Michigan
    1,516
    403
    Isn't the bioluminescence cool? I like to turn my light off and try to act like a washing machine.
     
  9. Maule

    Maule Contributor

    243
    14
    I have wallowed around a few times in the surf. Don't think it won't happen to you.

    Last time, at Bonaire, I was with 2 other guys and we all fell. A young lady came right over and got all 3 of us back on our feet. Then told us she was used to having to help poor old men up. Ouch, that one left a mark.
     
  10. Blue Sparkle

    Blue Sparkle Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    1,405
    249
    Just noticed this thread because of Maule's post. What a lot of great tips! Now I want to go to Bonaire to use them :)
     

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