Friday, April 2, 2010

My dive story (3) - Rottnest Island double-dive (I)

Date: 22/1/2010

First dive: Roe Reef, Rottnest Island

This was my first dive at Rottnest Island. Lying in the north east of the island, this dive site has a maximum depth of 15 meters and offers many limestone caves and swimthroughs.

Among all divers on the dive charter, I had the least number of dives under my (weight) belt - only 8 (then)! It was difficult for the dive master to find me a suitable buddy and in the end they told me to just go with the guide. I found out afterward there were also a few others who had requested for a guide. So, there were five of us including the guide. We checked out the reef, ledges, caves, etc. I didn't see many marine fishes that I haven't before, except for a western blue devil, and some unknown small fishes.

Two divers descending to the dive site at the beginning of the dive

A huge sea urchin hiding in a hole in the reef. It must be about one foot across. It had thin spines and looked different from ones I often see when I go snorkeling or beachcombing.

A zoanthid colony on the reef

Possibly a many-pored star (Fromia polypora). It was about 8-10 cm across. I don't remember seeing this species when I went snorkeling, probably because it lives in deeper water. It seemed common on the reef.

A small many-pored star sitting next to a colony of bryozoan Adeona grisea (the dark brown plates with many holes in them)

Everything went well except for this "incident":

When we were swimming over the seaweed-covered floor, I saw the girl in front of me trying to reach back to the rear dump valve of her BC (buoyancy compensator). I assumed she wanted to release air from her BC so I just gave her a hand.

Almost immediately afterward, I noticed that her tank was slipping off. Luckily I managed to put the tank back in place before it came completely loose and tightened the tank strap (the best I could). Then the guide and others saw us and came over to help. The guide got her to kneel down on the floor and tightened the tank strap for her again. But the girl was slowly rising. So, without being asked, the rest of us tried our best to weigh her down, holding on to her forearms and calves. The whole situation was just so funny and it’s a shame I couldn't take a photo of it!

Anyway, I realized then I would need to be negatively buoyant in that situation in order to hold the girl down. Otherwise, I would probably rise to the surface together with her. So, I just tried my best to use my breathing to make myself more negatively buoyant. I also realized how important it was to be calm underwater. Ever since the first time I set up my scuba gear, I always had this question "What will happen if my tank slip off underwater?" Now that I have seen it happen, I knew that although the tank is heavy, it won't just come off right away. You or your buddy will likely notice something isn’t right before it’s too late.

The highlight of this dive was checking out a large cave where there were numerous footballer sweeps and rough bullseyes hovering in the dark. I managed to get a few shots of the fishes hovering inside the cave, with bright back light.

The best part of the dive was checking out this cave with many fishes in it.

Footballer sweeps

Rough bullseyes hovering near the roof of the cave

Finally, this was a curious sight. I took a shot of a diver who was rising to the surface, feet first. Must have been a nervous moment for the diver. I have my problems in my diving too, just that this isn't one of them : )

1 comment:


a good story...
i like it :D