Dive 237: Rocky Point, Utila (Honduras)

Dive time: 00:40:00
Max depth: 19 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Peter
Surface interval: 01:00:00

We had an AMAZING surface interval – I swam with a baby whale shark!!! It was probably about 5m and it was only after two unsuccessful sightings (jumping in the water, madly finning, then nothing and having to fin back to the boat) that on the third try, we pretty much jumped on top of it! It was so graceful, a spotted dusky grey colour. Magnificent!!

The dive was a nice chilled out “drift dive” with no current. The site was a gently sloping reef, which was a garden of soft corals. Saw a green moray swimming about and a big cowfish floating about in midwater.

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Dive 224: Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef (Belize)

Dive time: 00:29:00
Max depth: 42.1 metres
Temperature: 25 C
Visibility: 30 metres
Buddy: Steve

It was a long & rough motor out from Caye Caulker to the Blue Hole and there were quite a few seasickness casualties. Luckily I had taken a tablet and felt fine!

The Blue Hole is an enormous, deep blue envelopes you as you parachute down. At around 35m, we saw an overhang with ENORMOUS stalactites hanging down, some with girths like oak trees! It just made my mind boggle thinking about how old they were.

I saw two large Caribbean reef sharks swimming ahead of the group, about 6-8 feet long before they disappeared into the shadows.

A slow, angled ascent up although I still had 2/3 tank of air left.

Amazing dive!

Dive 209: Little Brother, Red Sea (Egypt)

Dive time: 01:02:00
Max depth: 39.3 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Leena
Surface interval 02:46:00
Mix: EAN 28 (MOD 38.6 metres – 1.4ppO2)

After struggling the last two days with donning my semi-wet 5mm suit, I decided to try a lighter outfit that wouldn’t take all the skin off my knuckles. I put on my long sleeved thermo layer over my bikini and donned my hood, and was set to go.

The Zodiacs dropped us off again on top of the cleaning station plateau and I felt a little chilly on my naked legs as soon as I hit the water but soon got used to the water temperature. I dropped down to the cleaning station, although mindful that my MOD was 38 metres. We saw a grey reef shark at about 30 metres swimming around to the northern side of Little Brother, and then I saw a thresher shark down on the plateau, beautiful with a big black eye and magnificent tail.

I could feel myself sinking a little deeper and was a bit worried when I suddenly looked down on my computer I was at 39 metres, over my MOD at 1.4 ppO2. Eek! I turned back to the reef and ascended a little, and then started finning back along the southern side of the Little Brother back towards the boat.

I ended up doing most of the dive solo, since Leena was hella slow taking photos, and even when I would wait for her, a few minutes later I would turn around and she was way behind me again. Really frustrating. I spent most of the dive at around 10 metres, after chewing through my air at depth earlier in the dive. The reef was beautiful – so colourful and so full of life – and I even saw a large green moray eel swimming out and hunting.

Dive 208: Little Brother, Red Sea (Egypt)

Dive time: 01:03:00
Max depth: 38.4 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Leena
Surface interval 02:32:00
Mix: EAN 28 (MOD 38.6 metres – 1.4ppO2)

Out on the Zodiacs again, and this time they dropped us on the north eastern side of Little Brother where there is the highest concentration of gorgonian fans in the Red Sea. The fans are down around 30-40 metres and they were just everywhere, some of them just enormous sizes. I spent a fair bit of time around 35 metres just admiring the beauty of the fans.

We swam back along the eastern wall of the island back towards the boat, admiring the corals, and colourful reef fish. There were two Titan trigger fish courting or dancing or something, which looked very cool. At one point, I had a grey reef shark swim right below me, and we also saw a grey reef shark swimming below the boat as we were doing our safety stop. Very cool!

Dive 207: Little Brother, Red Sea (Egypt)

Dive time: 00:58:00
Max depth: 39.6 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Leena
Surface interval 14:36:00
Mix: EAN 26 (MOD 42.2 metres – 1.4ppO2)

The Zodiacs dropped us at the south western tip of the island where there is a cleaning station plateau at around 35-40 metres. Apparently this is a good site to see big things, and as soon as we descended we spotted a broad grey reef shark (when we got back, another group apparently saw a massive manta ray and a couple of hammerheads – damn!).

The rest of the dive was pretty easy, cruising along the wall on the northern side of Little Brother back up to around 10 metres and checking out all the beautiful corals and fans, lots of colourful reef fish, predatory cornet fish, schools of large black and white snapper, a few lone barracuda, and then back onto the boat.