Diving in heavy neoprene
Trip Start Mar 06, 2013
30Trip End Apr 04, 2013
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What I did
The Wreck of the Canturbury
The first dive for the day was the Canterbury, a wrecked ship about 40 minutes boat ride off of Paihia. There was a good swell today so everyone was pretty much nailed to their seats on the way out. The Queen Mary 2 was in the bay for the day so we got to see it close at hand on the way out. After diving the Canterbury we were thinking what an awesome dive the Queen Mary would be... Maybe later.
The Canterbury, we were told, was 'a man's dive' as compared to the other local wreck, the Rainbow Warrior. Upon seeing the Canterbury, I didn't see why this would be manly. Small patches of the ship are now covered in brilliantly pastel jewel anemones in purple, blue, pink and peach that would make any teenage girl a lovely prom dress. Perhaps because the Rainbow Warrior has been down 15 years longer it may, indeed, look like a fallen prom queen.
The wreck of the Canterbury ( http://www.divethecanterburywreck.com/gallery/ ) is now home to a few thousand fish in festive colors and at least one 15 pound scorpion fish lolling on the side of the boat. We got to swim through the upper decks, entering through the gaping maw of the helicopter hangar. The top decks are at 30 meters so novice divers do not get to go deeper.
After lunch and a surface interval we got to try a 'reef' dive Paihia style. We descended into a sunny jungle of South Pacific kelp which is short and looks a bit like miniature palm trees. From the top you feel like you are swimming through the lettuce aisle in the grocery store but under the palms was a shady grove for fish and lots of large, black sea urchins. An unlucky day for sea urchins as they were being turned into fish food and/or brought back to the boat to be turned into a second lunch for some of the divers on the ride back
There was one small cave to explore and then we moved in to the shore wall. This move triggered a bit of an unexpected adventure when Gail got caught up in a swell and was taken directly to meet the shore--happily well cushioned with seaweed. That and a bit of miscommunication diverted our entire group of divers into doing some white water diving followed by a good bit more swimming than was originally planned. By the time we all made it back to the dive boat the dive master was very concerned that we had not had a good enough dive and urged everyone to grab a new tank and go back down. All invited divers were worn out enough to decline the offer.
We retreated to our room at the B&B for the remainder of the afternoon to process pictures and video while doing laundry. Seems to be a common thing here to have a washer and dryer in hotel rooms. I'm guessing that not all of the dryers are mounted upside down, hanging from the ceiling as ours is here. This variation does not apparently affect the function. Who knew.
Doedo is getting better at driving here. He only turned on the windshield wipers once when trying to indicate a turn.