Bikini Atoll Safe Diving

Bikini Atoll is without a shadow of a doubt the best wreck diving you will do in your diving career. All the hoopla ever spoken about the sunken nuclear fleet at Bikini Atoll is all true! But you'll be a long, long way from help, so safe diving procedures are essential.

Dive Frequency and Times

At Bikini Atoll you'll typically be doing mostly deep, long decompression dives ranging from 30 metres (100 feet) to 55 metres (180 feet) in depth. For most, the dive program includes two dives per day (morning and afternoon), for a total of 17 dives. Each dive ranges from 60 to 120 minutes in duration. Plenty of bottom time on the magnificent wrecks in bathtub-like conditions — warm water all the time, no current, no surf and very clear.

However, the MV Windward will be typically moored over the wreck of the USS Saratoga during the surface interval between the morning and afternoon dives so you can get into the water when ever you want. Most places would say "Unlimited Diving", but in reality the majority of the diving is deep and long stuff, so realistically you will only probably manage a max of two dives a day. Remember absolute care must be taken to ensure your health and safety at all times in such a remote place.

Dive planning is up to you, so if you want to do a 3 hour runtime, then we will plan for it. Again, taking safety into consideration, conservative diving is essential!

Dive Operations

Before each dive the dive masters give a full briefing about the history of the vessel being dived, its unique characteristics and a comprehensive dive plan. For the morning dive the briefing is typically at 08:00 am. For the afternoon dive it's typically at 14:00 pm.

Typically MV Windward will be moored to a buoy on the wreck when you are diving on the USS Saratoga. You'll enter the water using a giant stride from the side doors, or from the rear dive platform. You'll make your way to the buoy line at the bow and descend down to the wreck. At the end of your bottom time you'll come up the buoy line and at about 12 metres, make your way to the deco bars that will be hanging at the stern of MV Windward. When you've completed your deco and safety stop obligations you'll make your way to the stern dive ladder of MV Windward, pass up any stage cylinders, pass up your fins, and exit the water.

When diving on the other wrecks at Bikini Atoll, MV Windward will typically run live. It will pass by the marker buoy for the wreck being dived. You'll enter the water when instructed to do so via a giant stride from the side doors, or from the rear dive platform, and descend down to the wreck using the buoy line. At the end of your bottom time you'll come up the buoy line. The MV Windward's tender will be moored to the buoy line with the deco bars hanging below it. At about 12 metres, you'll make your way to the deco bars. When you've completed your deco and safety stop obligations you'll make your way to the starboard side of the tender and pass up your stage cylinders. You'll then make your way to the line at the stern of the tender. MV Windward will come in close, and when you're told to do so, you'll swim on the surface to the stern dive ladder of MV Windward, pass up your fins and exit the water.

Gas Management

The Scuba Doctor recommends open circuit divers plan on having dual steel 12 litre cylinders, typically filled with 250–260 bar of air. Then a carry stage aluminium 11 litre (80 cu.ft.) cylinder typically filled with 200–220 bar of EAN50. Finally, a second stage steel 7 litre cylinder typically filled with EAN95 and hung on the deco bar.

There will be an aluminium cylinder with EAN50 hung on a line from the support vessel at 15 metres, plus a second aluminium cylinder with EAN95 hung at 6 metres. These are for use by all divers in an emergency.

Dive planning

The Scuba Doctor recommends very conservative dive planning. If you plan to simply dive your mixed gas dive computer, then we recommend a conservative setting. We also suggest that after your dive computer has cleared all deco obligations and your safety stop, you still spend an additional 10 minutes in the water at 3–6 metres.

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