I went to Nags Head on the last weekend of May/June to be part of a wreck identification project with our good friends at Outer Banks Dive Center. We did a practice run on the USS Jackson on Friday May 31 for the team to get up to speed on their assignments. My job was to film them in action. The visibility was poor, less than ten foot but still productive. Unfortunately we didn’t get to the target wreck on Saturday and Sunday due to changing weather conditions and currents. We plan to go back August 9 of this year to continue on with the project. This is a short video put together by John Bright the lead archeologist on the project.
The TransPac was born from my expeditions to various parts of the world. The proving ground was an expedition to the remote karst region of Japan in the Iwate prefecture to the small mountain town of Akka. The Akka river flows thru the center of town and there was a cave at each end Akkado and Shigawatarido (-do means cave). There was also another nearby a cave called Rysendo.
These caves Japan required not only diving, but also dry caving and climbing out of tedious sumps. To push the exploration thru the sumps in 38 degree F ( 4 degree C) I had to develop a harness that we could swim, climb and walk a mile thru virgin cave with our cylinders. The last push was over eight hours and the TransPac was born. This also brought about the TransPac promise of ‘If you think there is a dive that the TransPac can’t do, I’ll either tell you how to do it, or if it’s interesting enough I’ll show you myself’.
I recently found the mini DV tapes from the 1998 expedition with the Japan Cavers Club and had them digitized. I put together a short piece to give you an idea of what I do to prove gear will do the job.
I recently spent a great week diving in DR. I stayed in Santo Domingo, which proved to be a good location for ocean diving and cave diving. Both the ocean and caves sites were between the city and airport only a 25 minute ride with traffic.
Unlike our caves in Florida, the DR caves are beautifully decorated. Ocean dives consist of wall dives with a few wrecks. This is not a place to venture out on your own. The ocean diving requires a boat charter and the caves are on private property in housing areas. Denis Bourret at Golden Arrow can take care of all your diving needs and help you find a place to stay. I wouldn’t recommend renting a car, the traffic laws are non existent, so I don’t think a week is long enough to get comfortable with the traffic.
On this trip I had to carry 4 rebreather heads, my rebreather and personal gear, plus 3 regulators. I also had to take a Jetsam booster pump for the oxygen fills on the rebreather. I packed it all in two 50 pound bags, a small carry on and my backpack that had my laptop, IPad and clothes. Good thing Dominican Republic is a warm place, I didn’t need much in the way of clothes.
I just got back from Bonaire where Pete and I taught an O/W Sidemount course and TDI O/W sidemount instructor program at Buddy Dive. During this we tested the Nomad on single sidemount applications, more to come on this. Don’t be surprised when you see people shore diving the Hilma Hooker on sidemount.
I was also testing the dive functions on the Nitek Q. After a few setbacks on the compass chip, we now in the final stages getting our Workbench software updated. This is one of the final steps before we can release. I know it’s late but it will be worth it.
Aside from teaching and a little down time, we were scoping out Bonaire for a Tech Tour site for next year. It will be a great spot for one. Bonaire has some excellent tech diving and we’re ready to return.