Sunday, February 29, 2004

late nights and warm water

the end of another weekend. and i'm stuffed. another cool group of people. there were only 11 divers so the cook and i managed 3 dives on saturday, including a night dive.

as usual, we managed to have fun, see cool stuff, and still do something kooky as well.

friday night should have been early. unfortunately, there were a few locals on board, not tired from a few hours south trip to get here. i woke up at 2:30 for a potty break, and at 3:00 i heard the generator shutdown.

saturday was a lovely day. the weather forecast was crap. big winds from the wrong direction and big swell as well. great for surfing, but not so good for diving. so we head to a sheltered location. the south-easterly swell was still wrapping around. but it was the long smooth type, and most people weren't affected. and the ones that were, got used to being baby-sat.

there is no way in the wide world i can get in for the first dive. well, i'm working, gotta be there to help them back in the boat, fill their tanks and generally get them ready for dive number 2. this is the busiest part of the weekend for me. it's amazing kooky things people will try to do. this one dude has a bad back. so were going to carry his gear to him at the edge of the boat, put it on him, and let him jump in. instead he chooses to climb down our steps, with all his gear and his fins on. a disaster waiting to happen.

handy hint for beginners: don't put your fins on until you are about to jump in. and remove them before getting back on the boat. i have personally caught 3 people who's fins were stuck on something and they were coming crashing to the deck, and another time, fortunately he fell over the side, as i missed him completely!

i beat them in for the next dive ( have to fill the tanks, find all my gear, put it together and jump in) the water is warm. and the terrain is interesting. due to the big seas we've been having, the sand ripples are nearly 30 cm high. we find some interesting little cracks and crevices to explore, and octopus who doesn't want to play. lots of stingrays. we swim back a slightly different way. and my buddy finds a weightbelt dug into the bottom. as she digs it out, a very upset wobbegong shark swims out from under us and buggers off. i didn't notice until the squeal, but to be perfectly honest (no i'm not brave) if it came back, i was gonna drop the weightbelt we found on it and bugger off. so we carry the damn thing back to the boat. sheeeet, working on scuba is very unpleasant. if we knew where the damn anchor was, i'd have removed my fins and just put it over my shoulders and walked back. but we only had a vague idea where the anchor was (by JINGO next time, we will have on person hold the damn thing, and the other can go up for directions!)

another good dive later, lots of fish, interacting, which means pissing each other off and chasing all over the place. every dive is different. this stupid goatfish has got the shits with me, so he's putting up his dorsal fin at me, then a sergeant baker moves, i only realise after he/she's done it, because the school of mado that were hanging around, have hit mach 3 and speared off into the distance. the way they interact and just act by themselves is very funny/interesting.

night dive time. i talk myself out of the night dive (i really want to have a beer and chill out), and then i talk myself back into it. 2 customers are night diving, and 3 crew. HAH! usually it's the other way around. although it's rare for everyone to night dive, ok very rare, a few weeks ago they _all_ got in for the night dive. i nearly passed out. anyway, one of my mates works on another boat as well as this one. we've been hurling abuse all day, and they've come back out for a dusk and night dive. one of the crew (ok the boss) has run into him and they go pipefish hunting. find some really cool ones. (digital cameras are the best). meanwhile the cook and i are diving with two of the customers. ok, they are pretty cool guys, but they really need to work on their awareness and buoyancy. we got kicked in the head at least 10 times each as they swam over us.

i didn't find any red indian fish, which i was looking for, but heaps of feather stars, green snot monsters (dunno what they really are), two sole (like flounders, sand coloured fishes that lay on the bottom and hide). hugest friggen ray i've ever seen, only with no tail, cruised past over the sand. i'm 6 foot 3 (or 190ish cm) and i couldn't have reached across the disc. it was like a volkswagen driving by. i was sorry it didn't come back. i love watching the way they move through the water. and the cutest little cuttlefish, he/she was trying to pretend to be a rock cod. the camouflage was all like the head of one, only it was too short!

later that night the wind shifts big time. we've got to move. coincindentally 3 of the crew wake at the same time. muggins deals with the anchor then we drive to the other side of the bay. i think i actually woke up again when we stopped, the noise of the anchor is a daytime trigger for me to shut off the port motor and secure the tender, so, almost walking in my sleep, i shutdown the donk, check the tender, and get back in my bunk and pass out. the cook has asked to be told if we move the boat overnight so she can go for a before breakfast dive. i'm not going cause i'm stuffed. but she has stuffed up am and pm on her alarm clock and it didn't go off anyway. :-)

ok, here's a scooter pic. i think we're going to use it for the family calendar next year. only as soon as they see it, my nieces, nephew, and son and daughter will want to do the same. (well at least i hope so! by JING, i moved away from the sea when i was 3, they have so much opportunity to enjoy the sea. i just want them to start wanting to.) ok, i'm a scrawny unfit bugger.

just another day in the office :-)

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