Four Dives

I’m sitting here on the patio of our unit, looking at the sun set over the sea. It’s been a long day, and I’m a good kind of tired.

The day started at 5:10 this morning, when the alarm went off for our dawn dive. Paul had proposed it last night, and Joe, Chris, Brie and I had taken him up on it. Paul himself was at the dock, but skipped the dive, having had a tiring night the night before with his spaghetti supper.

A dawn dive starts out like a night dive. We went down, and it was totally dark, with only the light from our dive lights. The reef seemed snugged down and deserted, with only the random small fish flitting hurriedly from one hiding place to another. We continued north to the sunken boat. Gradually, I started to be able to distinguish shapes when I covered my lights. The outline of the boat became discernible. It continued to grow slowly brighter. Looking up, I could see the surface of the water. Then, suddenly, without it seeming to happen, the reef was populated. Small fish were everywhere, and another day had begun.

After breakfast, we headed up the coast to a shore dive called “Oil Slick Leap”. Apparently, the day Captain Don surveyed the site, there was an oil slick in the water. It’s certainly a leap. The shore is a cliff here, about 8 feet from the water surface, with a ladder and platform provided for getting back out (or chickening out when getting in). Once in the water, there’s a short sandy area, then the reef slopes steeply down.

I’d mounted the filter on the camera this morning, so I was shooting existing light. I took some shots of my fellow divers, plus some landscape type pictures of the coral formations. In the viewfinder, I was really pleased with what I was seeing; after the fact, in the computer, not so much. I also shot a little video footage of some grunts fluttering between a couple of outcrops.

After Oil Slick, we only had a short time to have lunch and clean up for our second day of boat diving. A swell had arisen, which ruled out Paul’s favorite site, “Rappel”. Instead, we headed south to a site called “Lighthouse Point”. For the first half of this dive, I still had the filter on the camera, and got a picture of a river of blue fish flowing between some coral outcrops.

River of fish

River of fish

After Lighthouse Point, Ralph requested, and got, a visit to “Something Special”. The topography here is similar, but there’s a lot of stuff to see here. The boat was parked just outside the harbor, and the reef slopes down somewhat steeply. Lots of stuff to see here.

In addition, at water’s edge, just past the mooring where we were tied up, is a rock wall which is home to tons of life. There were lots of yellow grunts here, and a pair of French Angelfish patrolling the area.

French Angelfish

French Angelfish

At one point right at the end of the dive, there was a whole school of small grey fish flowing around me. It wasn’t quite a bait ball, but it was close.

Update: More pictures here.