Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Diving: 1

Cousteau-cub picked us up at 0700 and we headed up to Saladan to join the dive boat Maya. This is a lovely boat adapted for diver with wet ares, dry areas, racks for the tanks, weights, BCDs, wet suits and so forth. We were first on the boat and Cousteau-cub introduced Urban-cub and the Gorse Fox to the crew and the other dive masters and dive instructors.

Eventually, everyone was on board and the Maya headed out into the Sound between Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai and west towards the Phi Phi Islands.

It was a good 90 minute ride during which we grabbed some coffee and croissants and the Coventry Hobbit came to brief us. He took Urban-cub through the basic safety briefing again, then showed us where we would be diving, and what we were likely to see.

As we approached the dive site we went down to the wet area where we donned our equipment and shuffled to the stern, dropping into the water in shallow bay. Urban-cub seemed to take to it well and despite a slight wobble where we re-surfaced after a couple of minutes, she was as right as rain as we dived the site.

There was so much to see - beautiful coral, dory, barracuda, clown fish, angel fish - the list seemed to be endless. At one point we rose over a slight mound and into a large shoal of beautiful golden yellow fish that just parted to let us through.

The highlight of the dive was probably coming across a 2 meter leopard shark, just towards the end of the dive. We had to drop down a couple of extra metres (but were still well within the permitted depth). The shark seemed oblivious to our presence and we were able to approach very close to it. After we had watched it and Cousteau-cub had photographed it, it obviously got bored with the attention and with a flick of its tail it swum away.

Meanwhile, Cousteau-cub was taking photos of all of the divers and many of the sights that they were seeing. (Gorse Fox has the photos and may put them up in the future - at the moment he doesn't have a means of accessing them from the iPad)

As always, time seemed to whistle by, and 45 minutes later we were back at the surface.

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