Sung Kong – No Pong
Following some wind the previous weekend, we set out from the South side in search of some blue water. Apart from the stir caused by Manghut there was the additional treats of bum nuggets and @rseturnips from the range of sewage outlets that were discharging directly into the sea. Which reminds me, I was given some Sudoku toilet paper. It didn't work. You could only fill it in with number 1s and number 2s. After a hearty breakfast we loaded up and set out at a low chug. You have to be prepared.
The sea was calm and we were treated to a sunny day and clear visibility, one of the rare days. Sung Kong lies east of Po Toi and was a new site for most. We chose a bay on the NE end which has a small gap between the main island and a smaller island. There was a bit of tidal current running so dive one was a check out dive to see if we could see anything and if it was possible to do some training. Right shoulder to the land it was possible to swim 120o, 210o and back to the start on a 330o bearing with some dead reckoning and timed swimming. The visibility was rough at time, in patches there were 1-2 metres. So averaging around 8-10 metres deep there were boulders and cobbles with fingers of rock adjacent to the shore. Across the middle of the bay there were ridges of sand and broken rock. However across the sand got down to around 15-16 metres deep and viz less than 15 cm. It’s about perception and perspective. But it depends how you look at it... Gauge reading and using a compass was a challenge.
The site was a bit sparse on fish life. Rabbit fish, cardinals, clown fish and plenty of urchin, including the flower urchin. There is a lot of broken crockery and an odd lost anchor closer to the rocks. The Typhoon had unearthed a few things, but nothing intact. Not much to see and an experience of low viz for our novice divers. This is why a torch is a good idea.
After some sandwiches and comparing notes we decided staying put was the better option. There were no signs of nets and snags, so although a bland site, it was at least safer. Dive two and several people did their SMB practical, towing around a buoy. For variety we went anti-clockwise on dive 2 and changed depth and found boulders and gaps to annoy the SMB trainees. Viz was still an issue with dark water in places and down to zero. The water still hadn’t settled. There was no sign of unmentionables making it to the dive area. The limited training went well and everyone coped with the dark. It also allowed a bit of practice DSMB deployment from the bottom. The tide had also began to pick up, but navigation was spot on for everyone, mostly.
We were all packed drinking by 1530. But it was a long trip on the Colonsay chugger. A good day all in all. A big thanks to our DM for the day, Jo and our instructors. Always leave them wanting more, unless you work in disaster relief, then that’s a bad idea. There is more with Alex on the weekend. He will leave you wanting. Thanks to everyone on board for making it a good day.
Finally a small ad. if anyone is interested , I've decided to sell my Hoover... it was just collecting dust.