Author: Cath W
It was an early start for our dedicated driver divers as they wrestled for the few parking spots at Sam Mun Tsai Pier early Saturday morning. Successful parking was rewarded with time for a sneaky coffee/ tea while we waited for the van people; our diligent DM, Dan had reminded us of the importance of hydration and the following sweaty tank loading in the burning heat reinforced this.
Photo credits (above): Mike B
It had been suggested, by Stu, that the dramatic departure of our 3 speed boat fleet should be accompanied by the majestic and rather fitting “Ride of the Valkyries.” That didn’t happen. Instead, our magnificent departure was accompanied by the usual faffing, random banter, some reverent admiration of Stu’s hair and something about tiger penises which I can’t quite recall. Sorry Stu, that will have to do.
Photo credits: Mike B
Our first dive was at Breaker’s Reef. A 20 metre drop down from the boat revealed a lot of dark murkiness, but some finning due East and a gradual ascent to around 9m revealed excellent viz and a stunning life-filled reef. Notable, were the countless shoals of little fish, which we couldn’t agree on the name of. Some people decided to call them sardines, possibly in honour of Andy N.
Photo credits (above): Andy N
Some people decided to call them sardines, possibly in honour of Andy N.
With the imposing coastline of Shenzhen in the distance, our second dive took place at Round Island, or fondly renamed by our club, “Rob’s Knob”. As we kitted up for a second time, we were regaled with the tales of how this historic renaming happened. However, the epic tale of the “caught-short castaway” was not repeated and it only took a few circles of the island to pick everyone up. This dive was shallow - averaging around 5m, but everyone ( well, I can’t completely account for our Diving Officer) kept to the 1 hour time limit.
Overall, two very successful dives. On the ‘spotted’ list, we had an octopus; a huge jellyfish and friends; lionfish; a shoal of whiskery catfish and a variety of colourful crabs. The weather was gorgeous, and despite a very distinct chilly thermocline at around 5 metres (the possible reason for some divers wussing out of their wetsuits and dry-suiting it), the overall temperature was rather refreshingly pleasant.
Photos credits: 1,2,3 - Dan S; 4 - Andy E; 5,6 - Jordi L; 7,8 - Mike B, 9 - Tai
Our two side-mounters deserve a mention for their lack of faff, as do all the huge camera toting divers. Mike and Andy E’s attempted pork pie throwing/ catching shenanigan could have ended in disaster, but we had some people handy with a net to fish it back out of the sea. Whether Andy E actually ate it after its salty dunking, remains a mystery .
Our return to Sam Mun Tsai pier was heralded with beers; a ‘nice cuppa tea’ for one poor designated driver; sausages and fish balls. We drank the restaurant dry of all its Tsing Tao beer, but by that time, people were jovial enough to drink any beer like substance, with minimal sulking - proving, once again, our dedication to post-dive hydration.
Photo credits: Mike B