Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diving Beaufort Island

Today, I dove Beaufort Island, off Aberdeen, with SCDC. We dove the northwest side of the island, the same place that we dove in early October. We dropped in to about 15m to find 2m vis and 21C water. The temperature was just right with the Xerotherm and 200G Thinsulate. We made our way shallower, towards the island, for almost 15 min before deciding that the life was actually getting more sparse as we got shallower, and we turned around. As we passed 11m, the marine life became much more plentiful. There were lots of bright orange sponges and tons of whip coral. We saw a playful baby cuttlefish, a few baby scorpionfish, lots and lots of wire coral gobies, a huge banded coral shrimp, baby filefish, and a rocky area infested with peppermint shrimp. Some of our group saw a blue ring octopus! The marine life was very nice indeed and the only unfortunate thing, I thought, was that we only saw baby creatures as anything larger had probably already been caught.

After one dive, we stopped by Po Toi for a big seafood lunch before heading back to Aberdeen. What a beautiful day of diving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Diving Sai Kung

Today, I dove Sai Kung with SCDC. It was a joint trip with HKUC, another BSAC club. I was quite excited to dive Sai Kung as I've heard that the visibility can be up to 10m and seen impressive pictures of the area. We shared a van for the 1 hour ride to Sai Kung. The boat ride was also about an hour, to our first stop at Basalt Island. It must be a popular spot as there were 2 other dives boats there before us.

Basalt Island was nice, with lots of orange anemones with anemonefish and tiny bubble shrimp. We also saw a huge banded coral shrimp, a crab, and a baby scorpionfish. The vis, however, was quite disappointing at about 2-3m. The vis was poor enough that most of us voted to switch sites for the 2nd dive. We motored over to nearby Bluff Island. Unfortunately, the vis was not much better and the area where we dove was covered in sea urchins. The seascape was mostly rocks and hard coral, as opposed to the soft coral on the 1st dive. The highlight of the 2nd dive was a very cute baby moray eel.

I was surprised to find that the water was in the low 20s, maybe 21-22C. Much respect to those diving wet. My Xerotherm and DUI 200G Thinsulate were just right but I'm afraid that if I gets colder, I'm going to have to bring out the 300G. Apparently it goes down to 13C in the depths of winter!

Green water, 2-3m vis, freezing temperatures - what a fun day out! It was bright and sunny, the water was very calm, and the company was great. I'm hoping to join SCDC next weekend in Aberdeen - stay tuned.