Author: Al D.
With Tropical Cyclone NOUL moving rapidly across the South China Sea it was going to be touch and go as to whether the trip would go ahead. The associated wind and thunderstorms towards the end of the week kept us guessing but the day dawned bright and clear with light winds.
Photo credit (above): Cath C
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The terrace of the Aberdeen Boat Club was the perfect place to meet up and have a socially distanced coffee before the Island Junks boat squeezed onto the busy pontoon so we could load an eclectic mix of dive gear. Mike and Andy on rebreathers, Dan and Al with twins, Cath and Luke carrying out training and Chris, Jan and Patrick ready to squeeze as much diving out of the day as possible. With practised efficiency we were soon on our way heading down the East Lamma Channel, through the channel between Beaufort Island and Po Toi and on to our dive site for the day – Sung Kong. DM Patrick chose the bay on the northern side of the island providing protection from any residual swell from the typhoon and the V-shaped bay sheltered us from the currents.
With practised efficiency we were soon on our way heading down the East Lamma Channel, through the channel between Beaufort Island and Po Toi and on to our dive site for the day – Sung Kong.
Conditions were looking promising as Chris and Jan and Dan and Al stepped off the swim platform into the calm water and were greeted by good visibility, ranging from 5 – 8m. We dropped straight down to the seabed at around 15m, gently sloping in a north south direction and consisting of sand and broken shell. Heading south we crossed a small rocky plateau before coming across the base of the impressive boulders rising sharply upwards from 10m, marking the edge of the rocky shoreline. An easy traverse along this wall provided a good cross section of fish life with some large territorial Lion fish, anemone fish and shrimp as well as some very inquisitive Hawk fish. Soft coral gardens were on display under the overhangs. Chris and Jan also found an anchor and the remains of an old wreck.
Photo Credit: Dan Sun
An easy traverse along this wall provided a good cross section of fish life with some large territorial Lion fish, anemone fish and shrimp as well as some very inquisitive Hawk fish.
The second wave consisted of Cath, Luke and Mike and Patrick and Andy. Cath was continuing the sports diver training for Luke and Mike assisting with an impromptu lost buddy ‘refresher’ procedure. The CCR’s of Mike and Andy required a bit of rolling around at the surface to iron out some small niggles but once they were dialled in they descended silently into the blue. Cath’s group were lucky enough to find a couple of pipe fish sheltering in a patch of black coral. The Hawk fish were particularly interested in the CCR divers and were at times so close to their wide-angle lenses that it was difficult to focus on them!
Photo credit: Mike B
After the success of the first dives, it was decided that a second dive at the same location was warranted. As there were two spare cylinders aboard, Chris and Jan managed to eke out a third dive in the allotted time. With the glorious weather still holding we were able to leisurely dry out our gear while we cruised back towards Hong Kong Island enjoying a cold beverage and some great scenery.
Photo Credit: Dan Sun