Since the beginning of this trip I have looked forward to scuba diving somewhere hot and sunny, with clear waters. It has taken an age but finally we took the plunge and got our first couple of dives in the bag. These dives were at the south east corner of Sardinia, around an island called Isola dei Cavoli, and we dived with an outfit called Archeo Divers who were based out of the local port.
Now I’m normally a British diver, I dive in seas and quarries with poor visibility, but often amazing wrecks…when you can see them! As well as this I’m used to being kitted up to the max; drysuit, wing, twinset, stage (if needed), dsmb, torches, back ups of everything. By the time you are at the waters edge you look three times your size, whilst weighing a ton, all the time being thrown around by the waves and British weather, until your stomach has churned enough to allow you to projectile vomit your breakfast over anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. Honestly, I have been sat on a boat, covered in my own sick, just waiting to get in the water, it is literally that fun. Although for some reason I really enjoy it, and it is fair to say that today was a little different.
The sun was shining, the small amount of kit needed, a thin wet suit and we were ready to go. It all seemed very civilised. We left the port and you could see through the water to the bottom, just diving the port would beat a few zero visibility dives in the UK. It was a twenty minute rib ride out to the site and no sooner had we arrived we kitted up. A lot of this was new to Jess who was on her first warm water dive, first rib dive and so on, so I think she was thinking through the processes way more than me, and she admitted that the much of the first dive was spent getting comfortable, and back in the swing of diving, whereas I just kept an eye on her (she was diving well) and enjoyed the diving.
I’m predominantly a wreck diver, it’s not often I dive plants, rocks and fish. I usually find that wrecks are good artificial reefs and therefore you get the best of both worlds, so today was a change of pace, from rust to biology. The two dives were pretty similar to each other and both were 45-50 minutes long. My marine biology is terrible, so if I have named a fish one thing it might be another, I need to get better at this!!
On the dives we saw a few large grouper fish, one I managed to get pretty close to, and he seemed happy to let me be there, it’s great to be in such close vicinity to nature. We saw shoals of tunas, all I could think of was tin cans when I saw them. On the first dive we swam through a small cavern, that was a great change of pace to the boulders strewn all around, these also often give great photo opportunities, although there was a similar smaller one on the second dive that we did not go in, which was a shame as it looked interesting, I suppose this is the problem with guided diving you loose the freedom of being by yourselves and exploring where you choose. Towards the end of the first dive I saw a small group of barracudas, although again, I was way behind the group and so left them to catch up with the others.
There was a fantastic rock feature that looked like the bow of a boat, it was beautiful, and above it the rock curved upwards from the edges in strips to a centre point like a marquee, this was a fantastic natural sculpture. Towards the end of both dives I went micro and stopped looking at the massively clear views all around. I haven’t a clue what I saw, although within the plant life I could see small creatures and small fish going about normal life until my ugly mask covered face closed in and forced them to freeze, I half imagined the scene in Finding Nemo, when Nemo sees the diver for the first time and freaks. Half the time on these dives I felt like I was in a fish tank as walls of fish were everywhere.
All in all, everything was different to my normal days diving. It was a much more relaxed affair, and easier. Although in all honesty, I missed seeing a bit of rust and maybe even a bit of the technical side of diving, this all seemed to easy, maybe a little bit of suffering makes everything more worthwhile. Although once I’m back in cold waters, I’m sure I will retract these thoughts and wish life was as relaxing and nice as this! Hope you enjoy the photos!