There are those moments, in life, when you do things for love. This diving trip was one of them. The idea of doing 14 dives over 4 days sounded a little too hectic for me. I’m a two dives a day kind of girl. I like fresh air. But then again, I LOVE nature. And when I get underwater I genuinely believe I am a mermaid, gliding along with the fish, willing them to talk to me and show me their little hiding spots. It’s also half the reason why I use my air so much faster than everyone else. I’m trying to keep up with the fish.
So when we got on to our boat (Deep Andaman Queen), shown to our cabin, and immediately taken into a dive meeting, I knew one thing, this trip was all about diving. The beach trips that Bryce had sold to me were most definitely secondary. Clever Bryce.
And then, Bryce and my diving instructor ganged up on me and somehow convinced me to do my advanced dive ticket. I NEVER thought I would do that either. But, between you and me, I am so happy I did it. All my little weird fears of diving slowly subsided with each dive I did and eventually instead of waiting to get to my 50 bar, I was trying so hard to extend my breath for as long as possible.
My dive instructor was really good and actually was “running” the trip. He had a great sense of calm and leadership about him. The first night we left the dock, we had all met in Phukhet. The various booking companies had arranged transfers for us to be taken to the dock. We met the rest of the divers and the crew and hopped on board. It did look like a fun group of people.
The days and the program were explained to us. It would be four dives a day, with a night dive thrown in. Our days would start at six am and our dives would be beautiful! Those two things were exciting for me! I was put in the group that were all potentially doing their advanced divers. And…what do you know? We all landed up doing it 🙂 Bryce was our supporting act…helping us along the way.
I cannot, for time sake, sit and write about every dive that we did- there were, after all, 14. But I really do believe that we were absolutely spoilt. It was a great system, where the twenty divers were split into 5 groups, each with their own instructor. This group and instructor was yours for the whole trip. The groups would get ready together and depending on whether you were first or second to jump in for the day, you would get ready and wait for the Ship’s horn. The Captain’s sign that it was safe to disembark. We would have had the dive briefing before explaining how we would be getting down to the site- negative entry, down a buoyline or swimming for a little before our descent. It was all very well organised and well explained.
Once we had made our entry and swum down to our required distance, the marine world just opened up to us and the most amazing displays of hard and soft coral gardens, fish, eels & crustaceans were everywhere. I have never seen so many fish. It felt like we were swimming in a windows desktop picture. I had to ignore some fish in order to take in others. We were surrounded by schools of bat fish, barracuda, wrasse, yellowtail. I have also never seen so many moray eels, of which the Honeycomb eel was my absolute favourite. It has a giraffe-like pattern all over its body and inside its mouth. I love it. And for once, I was quite good at spotting them.
It was so great, because after every dive, myself and my group would sit and chat about all the fish we had seen. We would go through the fish books and identify the ones we had found. Eager! But we loved it. It made our dive logs read like a Indian Ocean fish list! It truly was beautiful. The visibility was amazing and every dive site had something different to offer.
And then, as promised, we managed to do two beautiful beach stops. And they really were worth it! The second one, Donald Duck Bay, absolutely blew my mind! The water was the bluest blue I have ever seen. There was a rocky path that wound around the granite boulders and took us up to a beautiful view point, overlooking the crystal bays and around towards the others. While we waited around for the others to come down from the boulders, we jumped into the warm blue water and floundered around there for a bit. It’s the kind of water that you just do NOT want to get out of. So flounder away.
By the end of the trip, I was feeling very confident as a diver and very happy that Bryceness had convinced me to do my advanced. Sometimes, I just need a push. And he knows that. But, it was an incredible, action packed four days! Of which I highly reccomend.
This is the company we went through, for those whose fancies have been tickled!
PS I will post some underwater pictures and videos once I have had the time to trawl through our hours of footage 🙂