When I went down to breakfast this morning, it was cloudy and overcast, and it was obvious it had rained overnight. When I looked out over the ocean, there was a cruise liner standing in to Kralendijk, all its lights glittering in the gloom.
Some of the group did a dawn dive this morning; I decided to wait until later this week since I had to pick up some stuff at the dive shop, and Paul was running a shore dive this morning.
Oil Slick Leap
The first dive this morning was at a location a couple of miles north of the resort called Oil Slick Leap; I have no idea where the “Oil Slick” came from, but it’s definitely a leap. It’s a low cliff of fossilized rock about five feet or so above the water. There’s also a platform, and ladder down to the water; the ladder is the only way out. Most of our group did a giant stride off the cliff; since I had the camera, I climbed down the ladder.
There’s a mooring a short way out; we swam down to it and went down. The mooring is at the edge of the reef, and we spent our time here moving along the wall.
The second dive of the morning was at a beach that used to be called Old Blue, and is now referred to as Tolu, to the north of Oil Slick Leap. It too has a cliff, but it’s only about three feet high, and there’s a notch in it that divers can walk down. At the base of the cliff is a narrow sandy beach. The sand extends out a short way, and then there’s a wall down to the deeper water.
As soon as we got to the wall, we found something special — another bait ball, similar to the one from yesterday, only smaller, and made up of small blue fish, rather than silver fish. We spent quite a bit of time with this bait ball; it was possible to herd it a little. After a little while, they moved away, and I decided not to chase them, and started looking at the other fish. Suddenly the bait ball was back around me again.
There was a lot to see at this site; Henri found an eel out and about, and I saw a lionfish nearby. Just as we were turning around, I saw a damselfish chase a parrotfish out of its algae farm; I actually laughed out loud underwater.
It’s been sprinkling off and on all morning, and the heavens opened up right as we were leaving Old Blue. Paul took us on a scenic tour of the hills at the northern end of the island—cactus lined roads, goats grazing along the sides of the roads, and small shanties. here and there. A very stark contrast with the main town of Kralendijk.
Once we got back to Buddy’s, I had lunch and then spent some time on this post. By 3:30, Henri and I were both ready to get back in the water, so we did a dive off the dock. Buddy’s has a very nice house reef. The southbound longshore current that we’d been experiencing the last couple of dives had abated, so she suggested that we go to the left, ie, to the south. (the resort is on the western shore). It was a very nice dive. The fish were out in droves, and it seemed to be mealtime. I saw lots of black barred sergeant fish (I think that’s the name) lots of jacks, and a moray eel. During the dive, I experimented a bit trying to balance the strobe with ambient light, with mixed results.
I realized during this dive that I’m definitely overweighted. I hit the reef a couple of times today. I think while Henri’s doing a class tomorrow, I may take a couple of pounds of lead off and work on my buoyancy.
Once I finish this post, I’ll be heading over to the place next door to see a slideshow by Dee Scarr. I think we’re scheduled to do our dives with her tomorrow.
- It hasn’t been raining all day here, but we’ve seen rain each day, and when it comes down, boy does it come down.
- I’m starting to get the hang of a standard shift, but I’m still lurching around a bit.
- There are tons of geckos around here.
- I like the breakfast buffet here.
- Internet access is very spotty here. I’m in a first floor apartment, and it’s generally unavailable. Nick and Paul are in a second floor apartment and have access. It’s generally better out by the pool.
Update: More pictures here