I suppose I've been
fortunate to enjoy many great dive trips.
When you're in the pristine wilderness that is Fiordland
on a little boat for a week with three other divers doing nothing but
diving, sleeping, refueling and gazing gob smacked at the stars on a still
clear night you know you're lucky to be there.
Butterflyfish (Chaetodon melannotus)
Sharks at the Kermadecs
probably follow you around in packs because they've never seen one of
these ungainly looking creatures before.
Diving in the tropics is cool but coral reefs do tend to have a sameness
about them. The soft coral reefs of Fiji
must be some of the most colourful and staggeringly beautiful sights on
earth and the diversity of species is a never ending source of wonder
in a place like Bunaken.
So, I guess for me, the Great Barrier Reef had a lot to measure up to.
I suspected from the beginning it would struggle to compete.
A great dive by any standard with tons of fish.
Cod Hole: It
is a famous dive site and for the record, I have been there and done that.
The fish are cute but the feed is a circus and not the thing to do in
a Marine Park?
coral (Acropora sp.)
It was blowing maybe 25kts and deemed too rough to make it out to Osprey
Reef - #### ! So, my main objective, The Coral Sea, would elude me.
Dive briefings: Ridiculous rehearsed hoopla that's supposed to enthuse
you but just made me cringe. Let's dive Hog's Breath
Permanent moorings on most dive sites should help to protect the reef
from damage by anchors. At Escape Reef we discovered it doesn't always
work that way when our dive was interrupted by a loud crunching and then
rumbling sound. Taka II is a big, heavy boat and she'd ripped the mooring
chain through a coral head and demolished a sizeable chunk of reef. Afterwards,
little damsel fish looked pathetic swimming around what had been their
home and was now just pile of silt and rubble.
Pumping out Taka II's effluent tank. I know I contributed to this muck
but when you see several hundred litres of it blast out from the the side
of the boat it does make you wonder about the environmental impact of
these human cattle trucks.
While on Taka II, itchy bites promted me to explore my bunk and what do
you know? I hadn't seen these critters since travelling through India
and Nepal in 1992 where most notably, I got viciously savaged by the bloodthirsty
little buggers in Sudder Street, Calcutta. Yes! ####ing bed bugs!
Hog's Breath: One of my most mediocre tropical dives ever with the possible
exception of No Name Bommie.
No Name Bommie: Dump your clients on a silty, dead looking reef for their
last dive of the trip. A great memory to go home with? What were they