Dive #38 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:

28h
44m


Dive Info:

Dive Start:
9:30AM

Bottom Time:
27 minutes

Maximum Depth:
107 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3300 psi

Ending Air:
1600 psi

Weather Conditions:
Sunny 80F

Surface Conditions:
4-6' swells

Surface Water Temperature:
78F

Bottom Water Temperature:
76F

Visibility:
100+ feet
38
TITLE
* * *
Oct. 1,
1998
CORSAIR
MAUNA LUA BAY - OAHU, HAWAII
BOAT DIVE
 
Roger (divemaster), Lisa, Ken (buddies)
Dive operator unrecorded
Rich
Linda (l) and Janel (r) at the Corsair about 1 year after I dove there.
Photo by divemaster in Hawaii 1999 
Dive Journal: My dad had an interest in going to Manzanillo - he always pronounced it "mahn-za-nee-lee-oh." However, I couldn't see spending a week there with him, mostly since I generally regard it as a romantic place for couples. Topping our great 1996 fishing trip to Mazatlan would have been difficult anyway. As a compromise, we chose to spend about 9 days in Hawaii.

We stayed at a really ritzy place on Waikiki Beach, hand picked and paid for by Dad, the Moana Surfrider Hotel. My dad doesn't dive so I arranged this dive through the hotel's concierge services as a morning outing.

The Corsair F4U lies in over 100 feet of water on a sand flat at the outer reaches of Mauna Lua Bay. The story told is that it was ditched by a Japanese pilot in 1946 who probably ran out of gas. It is apparently quite a popular Oahu dive site.

The Hawaiian water visibility is quite excellent. During our descent I notice a curious crackling sound with my equipment. At about 80 feet, I hear a very loud pop from my BC, and I actually wonder if the bladder has ruptured, maybe due to damage incurred on travel. As I reach the sandy bottom, I try to inflate my BC to test its function, and find it largely unresponsive. "Damn!"

The plane lies on its belly and is quite small, sized for a single pilot only. Schools of fish call the plane home and reside under its tail sections and inside the decaying fuselage. I find the fish life delightful - many of the same players as in the Caribbean but dressed up in different costumes! Schools of goatfish and squirrelfish are visible as are quite a few long nosed butterflyfish. My favorite sighting is a pack of pennant bannerfish - very cool looking.

Except for the small wreck, there is little else of feature at this relatively deep site. On the surrounding sand flats, we discover a big stingray with a parasite fish attached. There are also areas of garden eels, popping their heads up out of the sandy bottom.

While on the bottom, I briefly try to communicate my concern with my BC to the divemaster. He operates the power inflator with apparently no success, then shrugs at me, "So what?" As we ascend I start to wonder if I will have any trouble at the surface without the use of my BC.

The swells on the surface are quite significant, the biggest swells I have dived yet. With some swells, the entire dive boat disappears from view. Despite not using my BC, I fortunately find my surface buoyancy requires little effort - just a little extra finning. Grabbing onto the boat's dive ladder is a good experience for me. It is quite a challenge to time this process and then hang on for dear life as the boat lurches you and all your gear out of the water.

I've got a headache once back on the boat. I mention this to Roger and also my experience with my BC. He reaches down and power inflates my BC, which, to my amazement, inflates normally to capacity. He explains that often a BC's interior surfaces will get stuck together, and the first dive of a trip will "pop" them apart - that is what I probably heard. He also tells me that likely I am not breathing sufficiently at depth, and the resulting CO2 buildup has caused my headache.

Despite my feeling of stupidity, I am always happy to learn new things. It reminds me of my inexperience. The BC probably seemed to function sluggishly simply due to the depth. I also notice that my regulator is adjusted for a minimal air flow, and so I adjust it further open.

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Dive
Info:
Fins:
Mares Avanti Quattro
Computer:
U S Divers Matrix
Tank:
80 ft3 Al
BCD:
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
BOAT name not recorded
Body of Water:
Pacific Ocean
Mask:
U S Divers
Protection:
3mm shorty
Regulator:
SeaQuest
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
Weight:
8 lb
Water Type:
Salt
Video Equipment:
None