Wavy shore dive exits

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YellowEye
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Wavy shore dive exits

Post by YellowEye » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:56 pm

Howdy Folks!

ScubaJess and I had a pretty challenging exit the other day at our dive at Keystone. The waves had picked up during our dive (which was amazingly calm under water), and there were 2-3 foot waves smashing into the beach upon exit. We both got knocked down on the exit. It was quite challenging with heavy cameras and pony bottles at hand. It definitely could have been a lot worse had we not kept our calm. ScubaJess got knocked down with 1 fin still on, and couldn't get back up at all. The loose gravel definitely didn't help. I had to get out, ditch all my stuff and come back and help. First I just ditched the camera and fins, tried helping, but that wasn't enough, I had to go back up the beach, ditch my whole kit, before I could fully help.

Anybody have any good advice for this type of situation, other than avoiding it? (it was a bit sketchy as we entered too)

It's really hard to get up off the ground in 6" of water with loose gravel and waves pounding. In retrospect, I was thinking perhaps going back a bit deeper may help?

I managed to get up by slowly first getting on my knees, arms splayed out and center of gravity low to keep my balance, and then waiting for the right waves to come by where it was manageable to get up.

My necklace reg started free flowing which was a bit unnerving.

One tip is that being able to get out of your fins super fast really helps in this type of situation. Always keep your reg in!

Thanks!
-Eric

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Penopolypants
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by Penopolypants » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:40 pm

Keep your primary reg in, stay on your hands and knees, and crawl out. Ungraceful for sure, but trying to stand up in that is asking to get hurt, knocked around, gear damaged, etc. as you found out. If you get knocked sideways it's easy to just get rolled back and forth with the surf. :eek: It happened to my sister once and she's never done a surf dive since.

I know that long hose primary/second on a necklace is not everybody's cup of tea, but this is a great example of one of the advantages....should your primary get knocked out of your mouth, your secondary is secure around your neck and easy to get to, not flapping around behind you because it got pulled out of your holder.

Surf exits are no fun...I feel bad for my SoCal friends that do them regularly.
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Jeff Pack
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by Jeff Pack » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:43 pm

Honestly, get in better shape. I do 8 flights of stairs with 160pds of lead on just as one part of training for challenging approaches and exits.

And I can manage a heavier rebreather, scooter and 2 80s. Its not fun, but doable. (although I actually make 2 trips, 1 with the scooter, another for the 80's. But those are still with my breather on.
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fmerkel
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by fmerkel » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:26 pm

I've only done a couple of those. If it looks like it could be bad I talk it over with my buddy. What has worked so far is getting in and out without fins. Enter holding hands, which is important. Stabilize one another. Get deep enough to get out of the surf zone, and take turns bracing each other to get fins on. Help as necessary. Reverse process on the way out. Turning sideways to the waves helps brace you, and provides a smaller profile for the waves, plus one diver is shielded somewhat.
I don't know if this would help with real surf but it seems to work OK with the waves we end up with around here.

Once you are down in the surf zone it's damn hard to get up unless you are really strong. If you are by yourself I'm not sure if you could get out to deeper water as the waves would keep pounding you. I have towed someone out which was way easier than getting them up but the waves were small. They had lost their footing and fell over right at the water/wave zone. I'm not strong enough to pick someone up when wearing gear, one of the issues with being small.
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Jan K
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by Jan K » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:40 pm

Happened to me while back. Start the dive with small wind chop and end up with surf hitting the beach. First indication that something isn't right was during my safety stop when I felt the surging in 15 feet. I surfaced and the exit did not look like fun, especially with large camera package in hand. Since there wasn't ferry nowhere in sight and I had enough air, I dove back down and rounded the jetty, coming out at the boat launch which is protected by a wall. It gets really shallow near the wall... I knew there were other divers in, I rushed back to my car, left gear there and just in time helped other divers as they were trying to exit through the surf. I think I remember only one fin missing, nobody got hurt ...
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YellowEye
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by YellowEye » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Thanks for the tips

Jeff Pack wrote:Honestly, get in better shape.


Maybe, that could never hurt. The stuff is freakin' heavy and clumsy though. And the ground was awfully loose and shifty. I wonder if more practicing of dumping weights and ponies when face down on the ground may help. Or practicing lifts on a person -- it was hard to get a grip.

I'll try crawling up the beach and the other tips too.

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GearHead
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by GearHead » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:12 pm

Keep your regulator in and crawl the best you can. That's really about it. Shore dives down in N California frequently end this way. It's tough to hang onto your fins sometimes.

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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by deep diver » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:28 pm

We learned to dive in Monterey, Ca. and part of the class was at monastery beach and we had to learn in order to pass the class how to do the monastery crawl in rough waves.... where there are always heavy waves. Deflate, hug the bottom as tight as you can and crawl as fast as you can, no stopping. Tough with a big camera and tons of gear.
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60south
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by 60south » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:55 pm

I'm in the crawl camp too. It's hard on the gear, and I wouldn't want to try it with a heavy camera, but I've "surfed the gravel" quite a few times until I'm ashore.

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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by Furnari » Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:59 pm

Jan- I'm pretty sure I was at the Keystone washing machine that day in 2010 with our dive club- the guys helping the divers out of the water were some combination of me or my two brothers. You're right- a fin was lost, and I think that was about it. To this day, that's my reference point for a rough surf exit.

I would add one other bit of advice- have an exit strategy in mind in case the surf gets wild when you surface (as I recall, the entry that day wasn't too bad). Make sure your buddy is close, and when you see an opportunity to get out between waves, be decisive.

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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by ljjames » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:01 pm

I hand off all the big heavy stuff to my buddy (or vice versa) let them get out with just tank and ditch gear, come back and get the heavy stuff like scoots or delicate stuff like cameras one at a time, then crawl/flail/whatever myself out of the water without worrying about destroying the precious dome port etc...
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by H20doctor » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:22 pm

yep .... I put both fins on one arm and shove them up to my elbows .... then with your reg in your mouth bite that sucker down... the surf will pound you into the beach and you get slammed by the waves... Crawl up .. the best part is your covered in sand like a sand monster..!!!! if you have other gear on you its at the mercy of the waves .... Pensacola and I did a couple of beach dives in florida and it was a thrash session getting out ..
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:22 pm

Dump your wing, dump your suit. Get as heavy as possible to avoid getting tossed about and crawl. Don't try to stand up until you are completely past the surf zone.

Hope you don't rip a hole in your knees or dry gloves. If you do, its a patch of respect.
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by ScubaJess » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:36 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. Glad we made it out safe, it was a learning adventure for sure. Staying clam really helped.
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by mpenders » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:54 pm

ScubaJess wrote:...Staying clam really helped.


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I have to believe that Ivar would agree...




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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by sava6e » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:53 pm

Monastary Crawl!! basically swim up to the shore and end up on your hands and knees and crawl up the beach keeping regulator in until you are to the dry sand so you know your clear of any sneaker waves, then shed some gear

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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by deep diver » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:38 pm

I remember the day we were at Monastery beach there were a couple of guys diving down there from Seattle that didn't know what California waves were all about and got slammed into the beach, losing their hight end dive camera set up Nikonos v as I remember, (not giving up any hint of my age or how long I've been diving). Wanted to go and get it, but they closed the beach right after my wife and I entered the water as it became too rough for the rest of the class to enter.
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by coulterboy » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:01 pm

Ah! The Monastery crawl. I've only dove that beach once and it kicked my ass. The monastery crawl revisited me when Jeremy Freestone, Don Winslow, and I dove the South Beach in San Juan Island two years ago. We made it wading through the waves, and decided to go down right away, only to find myself not descending. After checking my hip weights, I realized I lost my 5 lb. weight on my right hip. I aborted the dive and did my monastery crawl back shore. I was tossed like a rag doll inside a tumbler, but thankfully got out safe.
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by enchantmentdivi » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:32 am

Been there, done that....NOT fun! But, that's how I met OldSalt. :) So something good came out of divers turned into dominos!

I now try to be proactive with sites prone to wind waves and check the marine forecast first. It tends to be much more reliable than the regular TV news forecast. http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/marine_report.html Keystone takes a direct hit with south winds. I just don't go on those days when winds are predicted out of the south with wind waves more than 1 ft. And now, I tend to check the marine forecast before any dive.
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by RoxnDox » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:01 am

There's also a very nice resource at windfinder.com (for surfers, kayakers, etc). Example map for the Sound: http://www.windfinder.com/weather-maps/ ... /-122.6253

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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by johndo88 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:15 pm

h20doctor wrote: .. the best part is your covered in sand like a sand monster..!!!!

The extra money I paid to have an environmental/cold water kit installed on my first stage is looking quite good after reading this thread. :)

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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by oldsalt » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:19 pm

enchantmentdivi wrote:Been there, done that....NOT fun! But, that's how I met OldSalt. :) .

A corollary to Jeff's comment about conditioning: Remember how old you are! When enchantmentdivi bailed me out, I was in good shape - for my age. Exiting in those conditions would have been no big deal had I been 40 or 50. I was in denial about how compromised my balance had become with age. I should have been smarter.
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Re: Wavy shore dive exits

Post by H20doctor » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:26 pm

Florida Surf Fort lauderDale 2011 ,,picture is red from the Gopro filter .. But it gives you an Idea of surf entry and exit .. we got punished By the waves
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sufs up.JPG
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