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A Sunday at Ninepins

Nothing to the same level as the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts’s trip reports.

It was supposed to be a dark and broody day, with the weather gurus of the observatory telling us storms on the horizon.

Couldn’t have been farther from the truth for our intrepid group of divers. Albeit right at the end of the day motoring back we got hit. For most of the day it was truly amazing with sun and fluffy clouds all around.

11 divers, 5 back mount, 4 side mount, 1 twin set and 1 CCR. motored out of Sai Kung pier. With the aim of going on an adventure. Seas were calm, so off we headed to the Nine Pin Group for a bit of One Foot Rock action. After a few min of tom foolery with a weighted line, lots of eyes on deck and cries of its here, its here. We found the pinnacle, or where we thought that it was. Cries of aghast were spoken as sitting in the middle of no where, looking to have the sea to our selves. Lo and behold another much larger boat, from another dive company that will remain nameless, arrived on the scene. A yard sale commenced with their divers throwing themselves in the water and DSMBs drifting with the current. Thankfully they ended up jumping in and descending a good distance from where the rock actually was!!!

Wave one jumped in with Tom & Julie, Andy & Chris, Cath & William. After 45min of bikini weather, they all surfaced with smiles on their faces. We were on, and had found the location. Cath not to be out done by previous members, not only surfaced with her buddy and a smile. She came up with a fantastic little stone age fishing tool made of an intricate metal bait cage. As well as an old anchor, to be introduced at a later date… me think at the Christmas party…

Second wave Paul & Maddy, Mike Simon & Stu. Jumped in and had a fantastic dive gliding through the rocky outcrop of the pinnacles. Viz was not like Socorro but pleasant after a stormy week in Hong Kong waters (varied 1m to 5m).

There was a bit of current which created a couple of things to deal with. Nothing that this crew couldn’t handle, given the level of dive experience. After all we were on a diving adventure, not your Basalt or Sharp island dives. We were after the Shackleton experience…

After arriving back at the boat post Dive 1, it was decided to way anchor and head to the dramatic rock faced pinnacle, of East Nine Pin group. So off we pottered and finally came to rest between the three islands. The channel here is called Tiger’s passage, interesting to note we couldn’t find any Tigers for love nor money. We did however feel we were inside the next Attenborough series. As right next to us was a flock of terns dive bombing the water for snacks and giving us a fantastic show of their aerobatic skills, dog fighting one another. Couldn’t resist getting the drone out again and capturing these marvellous wee beasties.

After setting anchor twice, due to currents. Laying a stern recovery line as well as lining people up to the anchor chain. We were off on dive two, first wave. Objective was the smaller island up current from the anchor, enabling us to launch the DSMB and drift back to our boat, the endurance…

First wave came back with more smiles and Chris stating point blanc that this was the best viz ever. Way better than the 2 weeks earlier. Ok so that was a blatant lie. Viz was around 5m again but the plethora of corals and wee stuff was exciting and made a fantastic dive. Second wave was much of the same with some shot line recovery thrown in for good measure.

As the divers returned to the boat safely, 2 great dive locations in the bag. We set sail for home as the weather worsened. All in all a very successful day, and for sure worthwhile heading to the outlying locations, when the sea state enables.

Getting to places that we don’t normally go. Making the effort to dive in brand new places. Making a proper day of it.

Ultimately having an adventure… till the next time the seas beckon us…

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