Monday, 1 November 2010

Diving Grandi Island

On the 31st Saini's old course mate from his Divemaster school invited us to join him on a dive with his Customers at Grandi Island, we only needed to bring our own gear and everything else was free. It did not take us long to make up our minds and the night before we had our gear set up standby.

Grouper at Suzy's wreck

Crabs

Dada came early morning with a long boat to pick us up. It was an ordinary boat that local people use for fishing and now also for ferrying tourists around. It is equipped with a tiny 10HP outboard that gives the boat abt 10 knots of speed, quite surprising actually, comparing to the size of the boat. Anyway, making 10knots, it took us about 2 hrs to reach Grandi Island.

Moray Eel

Honeycomb Moray Eel

We anchored off the E end of the Island, inside a small bay, just on top of the wreck. The dive was not a deep dive. We started at the forecastle of the wreck where one could see an old capstan still there and from there we continued downwards the hull towards the aft. I saw some huge groupers that must've weighed around 30kg or more. At other places of the wreck I also spotted crabs, both big and small. As the visibility was quite poor, only 2-3m, it was not very enjoyable and in fact me and my divebuddy lost the group after some 15min of diving. At one point they were there and then they were gone. We swam around for awhile but as it was so poor we decided to surface, there was no point staring into murky water. I went back to the boat but my dive buddy saw the bubbles of the others and headed down again.

The cave

Scorpionfish

Soon enough the other divers finished their air tanks and surfaced. All boarded and compared sights, our dive guide Dada told us that the thermocline must be affecting the visibility (the water was quite chilly) as he had had good visibility just the day before. Anyway, we weighed anchor and continued to the NE point of the Island and planned a shallow dive along the coast.

Lobster, anyone?

Coral

We went in and started at some 5m depth. The bottom was covered with corals and round boulders, no doubt having been ground by the countless monsoons for thousands of years. There was some fish darting here and there and Dada guided us near the shore to a small cave. In the cave I spotted a stone fish. The cave had heave surge so one had to hold on to the bottom as not to be smashed against the walls or any of the sea urchins that were nearby for that matter. We swam through the cave and came out on the other side almost at the surface and from there headed towards the sea and deeper waters.

Cuttle fish

Bluespotted Stingray

After some swimming I came across a huge cuttle fish that was just vacillating in place, after awhile he was joined by his buddy and the whole dive team surrounded them and watched them for some minutes. Then a Russian diver spotted a big sting ray that lay sleeping on the sea bottom. Then there was the usual Moray Eels lurking in their crevices waiting for prey coming by.

More coral

After some 45min of swimming we reached the relocated dive boat and surfaced. The dive was not bad but would have earned more kudo's if the visibility would have been better.

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