Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My dive story (4) - Rottnest Island double-dive (II)

Date: 22/1/2010

Second dive: Little Armstrong Bay, Rottnest Island

For this second dive of the day, I was quite happy to find my buoyancy control had improved. I was still not very self-reliant and vigilant though, having forgotten to check my depth and air pressure regularly. A few times, I forgot about my buddy too (blushed). As I wrote in my last post, I had my share of problems in diving too.

For this dive, the maximum depth was 12 meters and the visibility was about 10 meters. Our bottom time was 43 minutes. When we surfaced, I still had 100 bar of air. Unfortunately, the guide decided to wrap it up early. For some reasons, two divers in the group aborted their dives early. One diver couldn’t equalize her ears and had to abort her dive. Later, another diver somehow began to rise to the surface feet first. (Note: when I check my dive log again, I realized that photo of a diver rising to the surface feet first in my last post was actually taken during this second dive, not the first dive).

When each of the divers went for the surface, the guide had to go and make sure he/she was alright. When this happened, myself and the other remaining diver were told to just stay put to wait for the guide to return. I guess probably having to go back and forth this way made the guide use up his air quicker than he would be. So he decided that we finish our dive even though I and the other remaining diver still had plenty of air.

Although there are not as many caves and swimthroughs in this dive, the marine life in this dive site are not very different from that in the first dive. In terms of fish life, I saw lots of western king wrasses (Coris auricularis), schools of blue-lined hulafish (Trachinops brauni), and some blackheaded pullers (Chromis klunzingeri). Other than that, there were the regular stuff on the reef, e.g. lots of Sargassum weed, Ecklonia kelps, hard corals, sponges, some gorgonians and a few nudibranchs (Chromodoris westraliensis).

Brain coral

Gray finger sponge

A highlight of the dive was finding two weedy seadragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) on the sandy floor. Everyone in the group was pretty excited about the find. I was too, but not as excited as I was the first time I saw one when snorkeling off South Cottesloe.

It was my buddy Lammert who spotted the first seadragon.

Later, I spotted another one near a boulder. This one looked a bit weired and had a shorter tail.

Another special moment was the sighting of hundreds and hundreds of Woodward’s pomfrets (Schuettea woodwardi) that were hovering in the shadow of our dive boat. I was there waiting for the guide to return after helping a diver surface. And then when I turned around, hundreds of Woodward’s pomfrets came into sight. I have never seen such a huge number of pomfrets in any of my snorkels or dives so far.


Denis Wilson said...

Bit scary stories of divers getting a bit out of control.
With cases from Queensland, one cannot blame the dive leaders for being cautious.
Like the finger sponge, and the Weedy Sea Dragons.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

I know. In fact, I was happy that the dive leader was being cautious. I once dived with someone who wasn't and it wasn't a good experience.