Below the waves at Kung Chau and Port Island
Like all dive trips it is important to have an element of trepidation, jeopardy and excitement. Our DM for the day was Mr Ali G. We set off early from Sam Mun Tsai on a calm and misty morning. The Observatory, or ministry of misinformation had promised NE 4-5, but the sea was flat, with a low swell from the south. We loaded up with Mr Tsui and headed to the fish-farm to get changed. The challenge for the day was holding out in a dry-suit without using the gunwale as a rest or hurdle to ease oneself. Jeopardy was covered straight away. Last minute ablutions were performed and we kitted up and zipped up.
The first site was Kung Chau Island. Wikipedia describes the island as uninhabited. There are no other amazing facts worth a mention, but not to let the lack of interest put us off, we jumped in anyway. It wasn’t really slack water at 1030 as advertised, but not too bad, although it did blow you along. The island is rocky and drops into the water with gullies and boulders close in, with coarse sand and shell on the sea floor. We got to 15 metres, but averaged around 10 metres for the most part, with the relatively huge 11 litre tanks. No-one managed to drain them, even after an hour. The rocks had a few bits of coral, hard and soft, with a notably big green bit at one spot. Everything had barnacles and oysters welded on it and pink stuff. We saw some black nudibranchs, a few large shoals of rabbit fish, cardinal fish, some stripey’s , an odd puffer and an odd butterfly fish. Jo saw a large flat fish, but I was oblivious to the signaling. The site was a bit sterile to be brutal, but the viz was around 3-4 metres. The water has also warmed up, it was 18 degrees.
Post dive appraisal after dive one confirmed the low excitement factor and we decided to move. This was not before some tales and explanations from the divers on the day. Alex recently visited the Chiropodist to have part of his anatomy looked at. One wouldn’t like to pry (or generally examine) at the delicate part he exposed, but lets just say the Chiropodist said that’s not a foot. Nearly.., but more like 11 inches apparently. However it wasn’t clear which bicep Alex was talking about, one is probably bigger than the other as the dominant brachium appendage.
Apparently he has taken to measuring his anatomy at work. We can look forward to further interesting measurements in the year I’m sure, but we were left thinking “Why Us”? Also on the boat there was great wafts of tabby tinkles. The Ordure was apparently Rob, who’s feline house guest had decided that the dry-suit was too dry and discharged on it. The boat is only small, so once the wind turned, there was no mistaking the essence of pussy emanating from Mr C.
We headed over to Port Island and the “Dragons teeth”. This is perhaps over selling the sight but there are some rocks that need a dentist. Luckily our DM was on hand to point out that this is the only place in Hong Kong where the rock is red. Great balls of f ire, Dragons teeth, red rocks… The only solution to information overload was to get in the water for an hour. Bladder o’ clock was still holding out and we were in the water for 12 ish. The site is relatively shallow. Again broken shell and coarse sand. There are rocks and boulders with oysters and barnacles, but also the odd scallop. There were a few cone shells and other shellfish knocking about, more than normal. The fish life was similar to Kung Chau, but marginally more of it. Again the same nudibranch. The site is shallow 10-3 metres with the remains of an old barge at 4.5 metres. Only a flat plate and few bits of rusty metal remain.
We were all done by 2 and headed back for a pit stop and change on the fish farm and collective sighs of relief for those holding a days diving worth of water. We had four out for the day and a great day all round. Rob has promised to cleanse his dive gear for his next outing. A good day and all finished and carriages by 3pm.