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Restarting the 2020 Dive Season

Author: Chris D.

Things didn’t look good for the South China Diving Club’s first official outing in three months, after COVID-19 restrictions scuppered our diving and social schedules. The week before the September 13th dive, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a steady stream of thunderstorm and amber rainstorm warnings. The night of the 12th saw a tumultuous lightning storm.

Photo credit (above): Cath C

(To see more photos of Cath C, follow her on Instagram.)

But Sunday morning arrived with light overcast, smooth seas and a gentle breeze–perfect weather for Mike to supervise Luke’s work on his Sports Diver qualification. Buddy pairs Andy E. and Andy N.; Abel and Jan (who demonstrated a heretofore unknown ability to speak French); Chris and Tam; and Cath C. and Gu rounded-out the divers. Chris’s bride Laurel joined for the sunshine and fresh air.

While the weather cooperated, two buddy pairs faced bitter disappointment when latecomer Tai had to choose a dive group. Chris and Tam (looking dapper in a new wet suit from Danny Kwok) got the nod, and enjoyed Tai’s renowned critter-spotting abilities. Meanwhile, Tai’s non-diving friends Doris and Sharman joined Laurel on the sun deck.

Our first stop was a new site identified by DM Mike as “the rock”. No further coordinates were provided, though reliable sources confirmed the rock in question wasn’t Newfoundland or Alcatraz. While the water was a comfortable 26-29 Celsius, visibility was a disappointing 1-2 meters. The first wave ended their dive in a surface current and were glad Mike had deployed a mermaid line. Luke successfully completed his DSMB drill before we moved to our second site.

Photo credit (above): Chris D

(To see more photos of Chris, visit his personal website.)

Combining the allure of Atlantis with the mystery of Area 51, this top-secret location is home to anchors, cannon and other artefacts. These attractions are often hidden by poor visibility, but we had no trouble finding them–as well as nudibranchs, a photogenic hermit crab and more–on our second dive. The Andys (one carrying a camera that has swollen to Belshawesque proportions) catalogued the site, while Gu benefited from Cath’s extensive knowledge of the underwater topography.

Photo credit (above): Andy E

Photo credit (above): Andy N

By 17:00, we were docked and unloaded, and the 2020 dive season had resumed to smiles all around.

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