Waglan at Last!
Its Sunday morning and its dive time! After 3 weeks holidaying in Europe my eyes have enjoyed some wide angle focusing on objects more than 20m away. Some good HK diving visibility will help reset my close focus for sure. With calm conditions forecast DM Alex has been promising a trip to Waglan Island, a destination that has been tried several times but never reached by this author so I was happy.
As gear and tanks were gathered on the dock a 90ft Sunseeker muscled in allowing the team a close evaluation of its suitability as a dive boat and praising the DM on this excellent choice. Sadly it was not to be, and having picked up it’s guests, “how the other half dive” departed to reveal our trusty Island Junk waiting behind. With gear loaded and confirmation from the captain the course was set for Waglan Island.
Conditions were smooth as we headed out and the team geared at a relaxed pace. Things were looking good as we passed Beaufort Island. This has previously always been the point where dreams of Waglan evaporate with increasing swell, sea sick ship mates and Chris R turning up the music whilst trying to persuade the captain to push on regardless. Reaching Waglan the anchor was quickly set, level with the jetty on the north side under the lighthouse and it was time to dive.
It was very hot and breezeless on the boat as the first wave quickly kitted up. With a queue on the ladder and standing around kitted up in a wetsuit, some were definitely starting to look like they were training for a sauna competition. In the water, most groups headed south west towards the point. 40-50 minutes later groups were surfacing and with a little current most came up behind the boat, pulling back along the drift line. Reports were of limited visibility but good dives. Several teams saw a large ray, a big octopus was well photographed and a good number of nudibranchs.
In went the second wave and detecting current running south west I decided to head north east with my buddy; in the opposite direction to the first wave teams. As such, I saw none of the above; just a lot of crabs hanging out under rocks, a lone nudibranch and a side-mount diver from another group faffing with his camera (it would not be the same without some faffing and we’ll accept underwater entries as well). Coming across some metal objects I thought I might have discovered a long-lost shipwreck (you’ve got to be optimistic diving in HK). As more came in to view it was impossible to claim it was any more than a large collection of dumped metal bars, sheets and a large truck battery. Slightly overshooting the boat in the current on the way back, we surfaced on the drift line as well; but others had gone further still, with a long drag back.
Back on the boat votes were being taken for the site of the second dive; choices being between the point on Waglan or the famous and secret “anchors”. The anchors won and so off we went.
Anchored up there was a quick memory refreshing discussion as to where the treasures of the site are located and the first wave jumped. Reports on surfacing where again of limited visibility and with limited treasures located. One group found a cuttlefish and some more nudibranchs in the shallows which were the highlights.
Jumping in the second wave I was confident of finding at least one anchor but the visibility was down to 1m at best so we shallowed up. Heading back and forth along the rock wall there was not much to see and so a quick surface interval was called for to discuss a plan or abort. We decided to make a bearing back for the boat and if we hit some of the underwater highlights, great. As it turned out we found some of the chains and my buddy got to see the big anchor as I put up the dsmb to end the dive.
Back on board a quick spray down of the gear and time to head for home. It was a hot day for sure, we made it to Waglan Island and saw some artefacts at “The Anchors”, so all in all another great day. Thanks to DM Alex and the photographers for some great output. Looking forward to the next outing already.