Well, when we woke at 06.00 to
get ready for our dive, the weather was miserable and overcast, with a stiff
So it came as no surprise to find
out that the southern pass dive had been cancelled. Instead we were going to do
a sheltered reef dive just outside the northern pass.
Going out in the rib was an
experience. If we thought the overfalls were large from the yacht, they seem
monstrous from the rib, which was basically at sea level.
There were 4 divers and the dive
leader, Cyrile. On the count of 3 we all rolled back into the water and
descended to 5mtrs before doing our safety checks. This was due to the rough
We were diving with steel tanks
and I soon became aware that I was heavily over weighted.
As we swam along white tipped
reef sharks would come up to see what was going on and then lazily cruise
We saw huge schools of banner
fish. We had never seen so many together. We were also seeing new fish, such as
the beautiful Moorish Idols.
Unfortunately, though Roger had
brought the camera along this time, it decided it was time to shuffle off its
mortal coil and it promptly kicked the bucket!!
For the first time ever I ran out
of air and had to buddy breathe with Roger for the last part of the dive. I had
lost 200psi when my reg had gassed off on the surface, then with the extra
weight I needed more for my bcd. Which I then had to dump when we sat on the
bottom watching the fish go by, only to have to use more air to re-inflate it to
continue the dive. I was not a happy camper.
Because of the rough sea
conditions, we all had to surface together. This meant that if one of the divers
had gone into decompression time, we all had to wait until they were ready to
surface. This made it more difficult to manage your air as you had to be sure
you had enough to stay at your safety for an unknown length of time. Which in
this case was 16 minutes.
After the dive, they announced
that the afternoon dive was going to be a repeat of the drift dive Roger had
done. As I was now comfortable with getting back into the rib, I decided to do
Cyrile kept telling me I didn’t
need my gloves, but I said I was still going to wear them, as I don’t like
touching coral and rock.
Once again, we headed out in the
rib, this time though the overfalls were gone and it wasn’t quite as rough.
We went straight down and when
the shoreline appeared, we all grabbed hold to watch the parade of sharks.
There were dozens, though not as
many as there had been the previous day. There were silver tips, white tips,
Greys and several other types. Apparently, at this time of year, the male sharks
return to mate. Normally it is only female sharks on the reefs, with the males
out in the ocean. This accounts for the huge numbers.
Also, mid June and July, the big
Groupers make their way to the lagoon to mate. Apparently the sea bed is just
covered with them there are so many.
I have to say, it was impressive.
We then had to walk hand over hand along the bottom to the next part of the
But for me the most impressive
part of the dive, was the drift. We were in about 3 knots of current and there
was no fighting it, you just went with the flow. It must have looked like a
Disney cartoon as we all floated along, twisting and turning with no real
control. It made me think that this must be what floating in zero gravity would
We settled into a canyon amongst
hundreds of schools of different fish. Soldier fish, goat fish, trumpet fish all
hung side by side, facing into the current and keeping station. It was quite
surreal, being literally eye to eye with these fish and they didn’t bother.
At one point a shark swam right
up alongside me, thankfully it was only a little one, so I didn’t freak out. It
caught Roger by surprise, as he was watching a school of trumpet fish and this
shark just swam in front of him.
We saw huge napoleon wrasse with
their huge rubbery lips.
It certainly was an experience
and I was so glad I had worn my gloves.
Just a shame that we hadn’t been
able to video any of it.