The Rainbow Warrior!

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Centabay Lodge

Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The last two days have been gruelling! Two adventure dives on Tuesday, three today and I'm completely burned out.

However, I'm also pleased to say I've passed the advanced course! It was exhausting but well worth it.

I was able to dive the Rainbow Warrior on both days which was a bonus, and what a sight it was. The fish down there were amazing. As we navigated the wreck we were accompanied by hundreds of Jack Mackerel swimming in unison about three feet from us. Extending an outstretched hand would cause them to instantly change direction momentarily, then change back again just as quickly to continue following us. What really fascinated me though was the way they all moved so suddenly at exactly the same time as if it was only really 'one fish', but you could see three hundred images of it as it moved. They moved through the water harmoniously like finely trained soldiers on parade. Except this wasn't rehearsed. It wasn't like the one at the back was shouting 'TURN!-two-three-four-TURN!-two-three..' They were responding in that way whenever I extended an arm or made a sudden movement. They were reacting! And there were hundreds of them, and I mean hundreds. From a distance they looked like a huge dark slow moving shape like a whale or something life-threatening, but up close they glistened and beamed all around us - it was a wonderful experience. There were lots of other fish on and around the deck too like Snapper, John Dory and the loveable little 'Leatherjackets' (Debbie's friends!)

I won't waffle on about the details of the course itself, but it went very well, despite the mixed weather and visibility. There were only two of us on the course this time so it was a lot better. Though I was a bit nervous to start with, the 'deep dive' ended up being fun. We had to play a simple game with numbers that were randomly written on a slate. The idea was to point to them with a finger in numerical order from 1 to 20 in the shortest possible time, once on the surface and once at depth. This was to illustrate and feel the effects of being 'Narked' (or 'Nitrogen Narcosis') at depth. It was quite interesting really as there was quite a difference between the two attempts. Waz also brought down some eggs for us which we were supposed break in our hands at the bottom. Absolutely impossible, I couldn't beleive it! Again, quite funny. I even managed to get a few of the pics from the Underwater Photography dive uploaded, (the ones that were half-decent anyway).

Celebrations this evening consisted of a superb meal in an Israeli Restaurant called 'Cafe Jerusalem' with Wendie & Caroline - a couple of the students from last weeks Open Water Course. Caroline was due to leave for the long trip to Taupo tomorrow, so it all tied in quite nicely. The meal was out of this world though. We had opted to order three different dishes in order to try a bit of each, and they were all superb - a very pleasant evening.

I shall be heading back to Auckland in a few days as I have a few things to do there before heading South - one of them being a visit to Rangitoto Island (as well as Waiheke) and of course, the Skyjump!
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