A very full day today.
The first dive of the day was a shore dive in the morning to a site called “Weber’s Joy”, or “Witch’s Hut” (a lot of the sites have two names). It’s a beach full of dead coral sloping down to a sandy bottom, which slopes down to the reef, right by the main road to the north. We had a little trepidation about getting in, especially for one of the divers who was recovering from a broken leg, but we decided to go in.
I discovered while getting ready that while I had carefully prepped the camera the night before, and diligently filled the rinse bag and gotten it down to the truck, I had carefully and diligently forgotten to put the camera in the rinse bag. So this was a no-camera dive.
It was rough getting in. While we were prepping, it had gotten surge-y. Deb lost a fin in the surge, and it was hard getting in. Once in, I lost Ralph for a while and wasted some time looking for him.
Being a no-camera dive, of course, I saw stuff. At the beginning of the dive we saw a sea turtle; during the course of the dive I saw a cleaner shrimp and a spotted drum, which I pointed out to Ralph.
Meanwhile, back at the entrance, the surge had gotten very rough. Ralph got knocked over getting out, and I’d chosen to body surf out, and that didn’t work so well; it was hard to crawl up the coral cobbles on the beach. For the rest of the group, Paul got things organized – he sent the other divers in one by one; as they came in, I grabbed their tank to prevent them from being dragged back out, and Chris got their fins off and between us, we got them back on their feet and out of the water.
After this exit, there wasn’t much enthusiasm among the group for another dive on the northern coast, so Paul led us on a tour of the northern section of the island, past the flamingo preserve of Gotomeer and through Rincon, up to the overlook at Seru Largo and back to the resort.
For the afternoon, Ralph, Joe and I chose to do another dive off the resort reef. For this dive, I decided to go deeper; I’ve been staying at around 40 – 50 feet because that’s where Ralph is more comfortable, but I wanted to go a little deeper. So for this dive, I went down to 78 feet (briefly) while Ralph and Joe stayed shallower. So I was moving along the reef wall, while they were on a more gently sloping section of the reef. I like being on the wall better – it’s easier to photograph without bumping into things.
With all the bumping around his housing had gotten in the morning, Ralph wanted to test his housing empty before trusting it again, so of course, he saw a manta ray. I was too busy with something to see it, but he was able to point out a cleaner shrimp to me.
I decided I wanted to do one more dive today, and because Paul was having his dinner tonight, I wanted to be sure of getting cleaned up early. So I decided to do a short solo dive of about 30 minutes, with a maximum depth of 55 feet. It was getting close to sunset, so there was a lot of activity on the reef.
Not only was tonight Paul’s steak/chicken/fish dinner, but it was also a wedding reception. Jack’s Hinz’s daughter got married today at sunset, at a ceremony officiated by an old family friend, and then they came back to the resort for the dinner, which became their wedding dinner. Paul got a really good guitarist/singer to play for the evening. Everyone had a great time.
We have a boat dive tomorrow at 8; I should get to bed.
Update: More pictures here.