Rappel and Something Special

This morning was our first day of boat diving.

Paul asked for “Rappel” as the first site. Like most of the sites here, it was named by Captain Don Stewart way back when. He did it as a shore dive, dropping a rope off the cliff and then rappelling down and back up again. For us, it was a boat dive.

Rappel is a tricky site; it’s very pretty, which means it’s popular, but the mooring is close by the cliffs. The boat captains can’t moor there if the wind is going to swing the boat into the cliffs.

It took me a while to figure out it was the plan, but this morning we dove it as a drift dive. We had the dive planned for an hour; the guide headed us in into the current, and then turned around and started heading with the current. Around the 30 minute mark, I realized he wasn’t going to head back for the boat. Because I’ve been so sedentary lately, my air consumption sucks; so I started shallowing as the dive got longer to conserve air.

Near the end, the guide pointed out a turtle heading into the shallows.

Turtle at Rappel

Turtle at Rappel

Shortly thereafter, we came upon a second mooring, and the boat was nearby. The seas were choppy enough that they had us surface out away from shore, and boat captain picked us up.


Along the way to the second site, I saw a couple of schools of flying fish. Very neat. Ken remarked, “I wonder what they look like underwater,” and he was right; neither of us could recall seeing them underwater, but then he pointed out that perhaps they prefer to stay in the blue water.

For the second dive, we headed south again, just outside the marina, to “Something Special”. There were a couple of different stories about how it got its name, but most of them boil down to a brand of rum called Something Special. This was a nice dive too; I spent more of the time in spectator mode; I’ve learned the limitations of this camera now, so now, for example, rather than trying to capture a school of gray chromises coming up along the wall, I’ll just float there and enjoy it.

Anemones at Something Special

Anemones at Something Special

The plan for the rest of the day is to do another dive off the dock around 2:30, and then I’m going on a guided bioluminescence night dive, while the rest of the group has Paul’s spaghetti supper. Paul’s promised to save me some.

Update: More pictures here.