Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shock treatment

We're ten divers plus two french guides and a polynesian boatsman on a big zodiac from The Six Passengers. It's overcast and the sea's kind of rough for our first dive at Rangiroa's famous Tiputa passage. Not what I'd call ideal conditions nor site for a check dive...

We're all supposed to jointly roll-back into the ocean at 1-2-3-GO! Standard procedure, but with empty BCDs to be able to submerge immediately upon entry. As I roll-back on GO! I can see the diver on my left still sitting on the boat. Splash! I'm about to pop back to the surface, surrounded & buoyed by bubbles, when I suddenly get knocked on the head by a tank. Shocked, I need a moment to recover my dislodged mask and my bearings as waves keep rolling over my face. Except for Petra, everybody has immediately submerged, including my hit-and-run man, and is already carelessly playing with a couple of dolphins down below. Luckily only the side of the tank made contact and chafed my hooded head, and I'm able to dive and enjoy some nice sightings too, e.g. a school of big barracudas, five mantas in a row flying by beneath us and a carpet of gray reef sharks down below around 50m. The dive's end though is again rather stressy, as we get sucked through the passage by the incoming tide.

The late afternoon sunset dive is a much more relaxing and uneventful happening, on top of a very nice reef with plenty of life, several schools of juvenile barracudas, two eagle rays flying by and various relatively close encounters with bottle-nose dolphins :o)

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