Well I really did need a good nights sleep after yesterday, I was knackered!
After a hearty breakfast we were picked up by Downbelow Divers and taken to the jetty for a boat ride over to The dive shop at Gaya Island for equipment fit and dive briefing. Having only finished my Open Water Certification 11 days ago and the fact that the area we were diving in had been the very area a Whale Shark had been seen only a week previous I thin to say I was a little nervous is an understatement! We did all the paperwork stuff we needed to do, so basically waiving any responsibility of the dive company, we hopped on the boat to our first dive spot, donned our BCD, etc and stepped in. Buoyancy is my enemy at the minute, so even with 6kg of weights around my waist even as I let the air out of my BCD I didn’t go under but with a few tugs on my legs I was down! It takes only a few moments for the fear to pass and the awe to set in, you’re under the ocean and very soon down at 18 meters.
We swam along the amazing coral, the color is phenomenal and the marine life beautiful. Within only minutes I spotted one thing I really wanted to see, a clown fish playing in the soft coral, on pictures they are cute and colorful, but in the ocean up close an personal it is even more amazing. Not too much further on I spotted a lion fish another amazing looking creature, then a flute fish. There were so many different species I could only name a few. As you swim your eyes flit everywhere to see what is going on, there really is a whole new world down there and for a change it is us that are the visitors. Because of being a little bit hungry on air our first dive ended after 25 mins, but that was OK we knew we had two more to go! Within only 10 mins the remainder of the team was up and we headed back for a surface interval and refreshments.
Drive briefing two, we were heading to the Pyramid, a reef that at the top is only 5 meters deep but then widens out as it goes down! So it was descend time and we were off once more. First thing I spotted, yep you got it nemo, not just one clown fish bit a whole heap of them frolicking among the coral you can’t help but stop and watch them, we saw huge sea cucumbers, again so many species of fish, so much beautiful coral and once more color abounds. After 35 minutes it was time for our next surface interval and lunch so it was back to base at Gaya.
Gaya is a beautiful I spoilt place with huts built to be the home of the dive and equipment shop. All the divers, dive masters, instructors and other staff gathered together to eat, the air is abuzz with chatter as people share their experiences so far, then it is ready for dive briefing for the final dive of the day which for all of us was the coral gardens.
So on the boat once more for the journey to the dive spot and here I did my first backward roll off the boat into the water, felt a little bit like James Bond, ready for action! Once more there is a definite difference in the surrounds, more clown fish, lion fish, stone fish, angel fish and the funniest little thing a damselfish. This little fish is not happy with divers invading their space, one little fella or girl was chasing the dive master and having a little peck as if to say “oy you get out my pond!” By the time we had finished and the high subsided somewhat after dinner it really was time for bed – because we are off again to visit the deepmblue