• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Fog / navigation - when spearing from shore

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
I had a unusual and unsettling experience while spearfishing in Devon this Summer. While out at sea a sort of hazy fog formed late in the dive and, with the light chop, it caused me to completely lose sight of the shore line. Quite unsettling and potentially scary.

Fortunately I was diving over the large tidal reef at South Milton beach, so I knew I wasn't far from shore. Also, I had just dived through the prominent rock arch from the back, so knew that I should be facing shore - but then it occurred to me that I didn't really know at what angle the arch was to the shore. I started to swim slowly towards where I thought the shore was. Fortunately I bumped into a SIT kayaker and, being higher up, he could see the shore and pointed me to my entry point. Had I continued I would likely have reached shore but a bit further down, as long as I didn't get any further disorientated.

So, no harm done but I decided to cut my dive short at that point and call it a day.

I wondered if anyone else had a similar experience? Or had any tips?
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
Fyi I had an emergency whistle on my float but no compass. I used to wear my small Sunnto mountaineering compass clipped on my watch strap (a very useful tool when accurate navigation is essential, as it allows fast, frequent checking) but had got out of the habit of wearing it. Found it very useful in the Tetons and Cascade mountains.

A compass would have been reassuring in the case above. I will probably add one to my float now. Wearing a compass would be safer though, if you become separated from your float (fairly unlikely for me, as I always keep my speargun clipped to my float).
 
Last edited:

Brochman

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
154
Reaction score
69
Points
43
As you said a Compass would have got you out of the situation. I wear one all the time as it is very partial to fog here in the north with the cold air hitting the warm air from the south but i also use it under water for navigation whilst snorkeling from area to area rather than surfacing to look where I am so spooking the fish.

A Jotron divers strobe light on your float might be an idea so showing where you are to other watercraft, they often come up on Fleabay cheap rather than buying new and use one C cell battery so it lasts a long while. You can also use them as a marker beacon on the shore for night time spearfishing and on the bow and stern of a Kayak so you can be seen by other vessels.
 
Last edited:

bobandsausage

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
214
Reaction score
32
Points
68
I had a unusual and unsettling experience while spearfishing in Devon this Summer. While out at sea a sort of hazy fog formed late in the dive and, with the light chop, it caused me to completely lose sight of the shore line. Quite unsettling and potentially scary.

Fortunately I was diving over the large tidal reef at South Milton beach, so I knew I wasn't far from shore. Also, I had just dived through the prominent rock arch from the back, so knew that I should be facing shore - but then it occurred to me that I didn't really know at what angle the arch was to the shore. I started to swim slowly towards where I thought the shore was. Fortunately I bumped into a SIT kayaker and, being higher up, he could see the shore and pointed me to my entry point. Had I continued I would likely have reached shore but a bit further down, as long as I didn't get any further disorientated.

So, no harm done but I decided to cut my dive short at that point and call it a day.

I wondered if anyone else had a similar experience? Or had any tips?
Fortunately never been in that situation... But I try to keep my bearings by noting wind/ wave/ current direction (even if it's just keeping track of which direction my float is being pulled, though that's going to change over the tidal cycle)
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
Yes, good point about float pull. There is a headland I swim around and back. It's useful to know which way the current is pulling before committing to the most exposed section. Unfortunately it does change during the dive occasionally.
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
As you said a Compass would have got you out of the situation. I wear one all the time as it is very partial to fog here in the north with the cold air hitting the warm air from the south but i also use it under water for navigation whilst snorkeling from area to area rather than surfacing to look where I am so spooking the fish.

A Jotron divers strobe light on your float might be an idea so showing where you are to other watercraft, they often come up on Fleabay cheap rather than buying new and use one C cell battery so it lasts a long while. You can also use them as a marker beacon on the shore for night time spearfishing and on the bow and stern of a Kayak so you can be seen by other vessels.
Thanks. Several interesting ideas. Yes the strobe might also be useful if washed out to sea and/or needing helicopter rescue.
 

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
539
Reaction score
142
Points
83
strobe idea is interesting for marking the shore. So far I used lantern to mark the trailhead and where my backpack is, but lantern can be easily mistaken for some other lights on shore.

I have been nearly lost once, when BC was raging with wildfires and there was to much smoke in the air. But that was different, I knew there was smoke and turned back, scared shitless, when shore was just barely visible. Thank you Mr.X for bringing this up. I spearfish from shore, much like you, and we do get a fair share of "arctic smoke" here in British Columbia. In retrospect, I really should have geared up for navigation long time ago.
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2021 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT