Scuba diving around the Mantaray island

Today is dive day and straight after breakfast about 9am I get kitted out in the dive shop and along with about 7 others headout for a morning of diving. The area here is amazing for diving and they have 25 dive sites and do a lot of the courses here so you know you are in good hands. There is a nice German girl called Liza and a guy from Sweden called Linus who end up hanging out with a bit on the dive and after.

Along the way to the dive site which is Turtle Bay we stop to do some snorkelling with the mantarays.  It’s great to have the chance to do again as I have already done once at Korovou and know what to expect. With the camera at the ready we jump in twice to see them and today they seem to be moving faster I think as the current is stronger today. Again get to swim alongside them and get up close to them.

As we are mainly doing the diving we don’t get too long to spend with them, but some timer is better than nothing. The dive site we go to isn’t too far on the boat. Remembering all the basics of what need to do Im feeling confident for the dive, which is good as the more dives I am doing the better I can feel I am. Doing a backward roll off the boat, the dive is really cool and very beautiful. We don’t go too deep, but deep enough to see all the cool coral formations as we are at a big wall and there is so many things growing off the wall. We see a turtle swimming about and can follow it for awhile and see smaller things like sea worm, which the guide shows us in his hand. Other things we see are the usual tonnes of fish of all shapes and colours. We are under the water for about 40minutes and the one thing I need to work on is my breathing as I feel I use it too fast. But by the end we all in the group seem to have similar amounts of air left just over 50.

Back on the boat we wait for another group a more advanced dive group going very deep. as we wait the he scuba instructor tells us about a surf competition at at Cloud Break RipCurl and that at the moment there is a very unusual swell so why we can’t dive at certain places (the caves) and why we are seeing a lot more  waves about. That explains why the boat couldn’t get into Octopus the last couple of days. He tells us about even one of the biggest surfing names Arron Gold nearly drowning as the waves are just so big and took him out. Also that some have to be towed out, which isn’t allowed usually in competitions and they have to paddle.

We have the option to do another dive at a reduced cost of only $80 (35GBP), which is straight after this one, so when you are in the most amazing waters and it is such good value like that you can’t really say no. Liza does the same one as me and Llinus does an afternoon one.

So w have to go back top the island first before the dive to get new tanks and stuff so we have a mini break.  As we pull in the boat of the people leaving is heading out and can see Irish Chris on it, but we are too far to wave bye so will just catch-up with him on the way back to Nadi, as he is off to blue lagoon. Also because the boats are leaving it means we can’t get too close to shore so a couple of do a swim back to the beach that is actually far more tiring than expected as the currents are so strong. A good work out for sure.

The next dive we are going to is shark reef, but we don’t end up seeing any reef sharks. It’s not so bad for me as I have already swum with a lot of sharks, but Liza hasn’t see any and was very keen to do that so a shame. We do see another Turtle that seems to like us and hangs around for a bit. Other than that we don’t see as much as in the morning and it is mainly coral. The most fun thing about this dive was that we were able to swim through a mini cave and it makes me want to do more cave dives and am motivated to do the full open water in order to do cave, wreck and bull shark dives again in the future. More things for the bucket list to add.

The dive also feels shorter than usual and when we come up still have about 80 for air and we are all the same more or less.  Drying off in the sun on the way back from the dive, it is a nice feeling to be able to be in the complete peace of the water and have all the amazing fish swimming around you and being able to explore small caves and things deep down. It is very addictive thing to do. When I’m back later on I hear from Linus that his dive site was really good – Brown Trousers as they saw sharks there. It is just luck and depends on where the sharks decide to go as they are wild still.

After the diving it is time for lunch, as we are not back until 2 so they have to serve us specially giving a late lunch. Ordering a super nice chicken snitzel and fries that even comes served with chilli sauce decorated into the shape of a feather. You can tell here the quality of the food is so much better as you have to choose it so it made fresh and they obviously put effort into each dish, if they decorate it when serving it up. And even better with this resort is that the meal plan of $90 (35GBP) is included in my ticket and I don’t have to spend extra like I have had to do for Blue Lagoon and Octopus.

Rest of the day is spent relaxing around on the beach soaking up the sun until Kiwi Bus Chris and Ben arrive on the 4pm boat. As the sun is only on the beach until 4pm when it gets shady, when they arrive after they have checked in I take them to the beach on the other side of the island that has the sun and gets the sunset. The sand over on this other beach is far nicer too as really soft and has no pieces of coral on it like the other one does. However the beach is more happening as you can hear the music from the beach bar.

25th May 2016

 

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