By ODA Advisory Board Member Marjorie Zensen
There may be some of you who follow and read Ocean Defender Alliance (ODA) reports on a regular basis and maybe you wonder why we need such cool “toys” like DPV’s (Diver Propulsion Vehicles). Is it a wise choice when using donations? Do we really need them?
Today as I tell you about our April 17th boat dive off of the coast near Spitting Cave, I’m also going to talk about safety. And right now, I thank those of you who donate to ODA so that we CAN have cool (and necessary!) pieces of equipment like DPV’s!
Divers this day were: Henry Bennett, Daniel Cody, Michael Dal Pra, Chris Denton, Mark England, Crystal Gray, Jean McAnich, Dan Okamura, Glenn Roberts, and me (Marjorie Zensen).
Yesterday, I will once again describe as “sporty.” A word I have used before and will use again! Captain Tim Hollandsworth will never drop us in waters he doesn’t think we can handle, but he knows each and every one of us as well as our diving capabilities. He knew we could handle the waters yesterday and he was correct. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t challenging though! And a good workout! (And I had one of two DPV’s).
After Dive Instructor Jake Kautz checked the currents and visibility for us, we all geared up for a quick drop in and down. And down we went!
And because the current was pretty strong, we immediately drifted to a spot we haven’t been to in a while! Perfect! Everyone got right to work, and lines and weights were carefully pulled and cut while at the same time we tried to hold our positions and not be swept away.
Since I had a DPV, I kept a close eye on the divers, especially our two new ODA divers Jean and Daniel. To aid photographer Crystal Gray, I had her grab hold of my fin so that the DPV and I could assist her in swimming against the strong current to get to another location to do some shooting. At the end of our dive, Mark needed a “lift” over to the bucket he was assisting in lifting so I ended up giving him a quick ride to speed up the process as he would have had to do some swimming against the strong current.
Having the DPV in these conditions gave me just a little extra level of comfort and being able to “chauffeur” when needed was helpful as well. It’s always a good idea to be prepared and safety equipment is so important! And yes, while a DPV is a cool toy, it’s most definitely a piece of safety equipment!
When time was up, we all headed upward slowly ascending to roughly 20 feet in order to do our three-minute safety stop.We actually captured a photo of this "safety stop"!
Upon surfacing, Captain Tim and Crewman Ed quickly made their way to us for an impressive pickup.
While we were a distance from the surge on the cliffs, pulling up buckets of lead weight in rough seas is quite challenging but it was done in no time and we were safely aboard with roughly 75 pounds of weight, 200 yards of fishing line, a half-dozen spark plugs, chandelier hooks as well as other fishing hooks, a mysterious sealed wooden box, and many other random unidentifiable objects!
Unfortunately, the meticulously sealed box was just full of rocks!
It was another good day of saving one or more ocean creatures.
Another day of saving the coral reef.
Another day of doing what we could do!
Today may be different for you. Probably no diving but maybe instead, forgoing that single use plastic or straw, ordering some items that will make your life more sustainable, or educating little ones in a more sustainable future.
What can YOU do today?
Thank you for joining us – being an Ocean Defender from wherever you are!