Dive #1: Punta Maria
We dove down a mooring line for the first time since we started diving last week, and the only reason they anchored a line is because of the strong current and depth of this particular dive site. Most of the dives here at Cocos are deep dives, which I love but which is a bit problematic since my computer is still punishing me for yesterday morning’s air/nitrox mishap. According to the Suunto Stinger, I’m not supposed to be diving today so it refused to calculate my no decompression limit for this dive which means I’ve no idea if I exceeded it or not. Since I’m still alive and – hours later – am feeling no ill effects of decompression illness, I’m going to assume I’m okay.
I did, however, get my cheek stung by a jellyfish on my way down to the reef. Figures! 98% of my body is covered in neoprene but this shady little jelly found its way to the 2% that wasn’t covered.
We set ourselves up along the reef at 90 feet behind various barberfish and their cleaning stations, but the hammers weren’t feeling very friendly. Eric spotted two puffer fish doing a little spiral dance, but then we were distracted by the large shadows of approaching hammers – which of course went away.
Dive #2: Dirty Rock
Dirty Rock is named so because of all the bird doo-doo that covers it, but beneath the surface of the water is a wonderful collection of marine life – hammerheads, barber fish, schools of trevali, black tips in the sand, and huge graceful marble rays. The current was strong and the depth was deep, but it was worth every extra kick and extra breath of dense air.
As a little apres-dive treat, Warren took us on a quick tour along some of the Cocos coastline.
Buried treasure, anyone?
Needing a break, and a little concerned about how close I came to my NDL this morning, I decided to sit out Dive #3 and allow my body an extra few hours to off-gas excess nitrogen. I sat on the upper deck in the sun and reading Phillippe Gregory’s “The Constant Princess” which is absolutely riveting.
Dive #4: Night Dive at Chatham Bay (just mistakenly typed “Night Diva” – a very telling Freudian slip)
Our night dive was a “macro” dive – which means nothing big to spot but heaps of opportunities for shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. I love night dives even more than deep dives because they’re so very quiet and peaceful. The only thing you can see is what your flashlight illuminates and the various little pockets/spotlights of fellow divers that often seem so far away. I enjoy the tranquility of it all… the peacefulness… the solitude… and the freedom from the camera since my flash is less than useful.