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Thread: Very Strong Current at Red Slave June 5

  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    Default Very Strong Current at Red Slave June 5

    On Sunday June 5 at 9:00 Red Slave was calm with light winds. I have dove RS a few times before and one time I encountered a current on the way back. To the south, the water was very rough and choppy. Though the surface was fairly calm, we were unable to swim out to the marker buoy against the current and we were being swept south. When we went under about 15 feet, we kicked as hard as we could but the current was pushing us backward at a considerable rate. We resurfaced and got to shore before we were swept along and out into the very choppy water south of the island.
    With the surface calm, the strength of the current was a big surprise to us. In hindsight it would have been better not to try and swim out to the marker buoy and to have dropped down in 10 feet of water and not been so far from shore when we realized how strong the current was. Also if you dive out to the reef you can pick out coral and rock markers that will help you navigate back to the same spot on shore for an easier exit.
    Last edited by jackdempsey; 06-06-2011 at 11:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    It's usually a difficult dive is time of year, due to the wind. While we were there in May, there was NO wind and there wasn't hardly any current below. I know there are several seasons to diving that side of the island that are better than others. Glad you made it out OK
    Blow bubbles, and be at peace.

  3. #3
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    Outville USA
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    Jack - good point. Currents can be tricky near the south of the island. Got in a bad one at White Slave a few years back. Always remember currents are least on the bottom. Good suggestion to go out on the bottom and easier to assess the current.

  4. #4
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    I've done a few dives at Red Slave and the conditions have been different each time.

    My first dive there we were having trouble swimming against the current on the surface swim (which should have been a clue), finally dropped on the reef and had a very hard 30 min dive swimming from "valley" to valley, hiding behind structure to catch our breath. Not worth it in my opinion.

    Next dive there was very little current and we had a relaxing 60 minute dive.

    My last time there was a bit of current but not at all unmanageable.

    I would recommend doing it early AM, and definitely checking the conditions before you go in. I actually threw a piece of driftwood in and if it motored on down the beach we'd go dive someplace else. Too many nice sites very close by to fight the current - especially when it will likely change when you came back the next day.

  5. #5
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    kob is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Same thing can happen up in Slagbaai park. We had a dive similar to what nicintime describes at Boca Slagbaai. Had to swim between coral "fingers" in order to make any progress.
    KOB
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