Thursday diving with The Dive Guys (25th November 2010)

We’re going diving, ON A THURSDAY!! Jono suggested we join The Dive Guys for their Thursday dive this week so we left work early and headed to the dive shop to meet Steve at 5.30pm to sort out our gear hire. Clear skies and no wind – it’s gonna be AWESOME! 

Cost us $50 each for gear hire and tank (1 dive only), this time sharing the large plastic box instead of having our own. As usual, we had to check to make sure we had everything and pack them in the right order back in the box. Steve was all laid-back and not in a rush to go diving, talking away with us and 2 fellow divers who were also at the dive shop. Oh look at those stubby tanks – they are SO cute and would work perfect for me! Sadly, they are a rare find and very unlikely that dive shops would have one for hire (the two Steve ordered in were bought by 2 female divers). Hmm, a bit pointless to buy one unless diving regularly in Wellington…can’t exactly pack it up on trips overseas, can I?

As previously mentioned, the dive site changes from week to week subject to weather conditions and divers only find out the confirmed dive site on Wednesday or the morning of the dive. Around 6pm, we headed to Island Bay – cool, a new dive site for us! Jono and I zipped off ahead of Steve and arrived in Island Bay only to find no one at the car park. Turned out they were in the car park next to where we were but we couldn’t see them as they were hidden behind the hedge separating the two parks. “Thought you kids were a bit over confident, shooting off without me,” teased Steve. Next time we’ll follow you, just in case…

There were 13 of us ranging from new to experienced divers with a few in dry suits. The fish are going to get a shock of their lives having 13 ninjas trespassing haha! Everyone was busy getting kitted up, going through their buddy checks (Jono and I buddied up this time) and headed towards the water. Though the water temperature was 16 degrees Celsius today, I still wore my thermals ;)

It was much easier to get into the water from this car park as it was close to shore – yes, I don’t have to work so hard to get in and out of the water! In pairs, the experienced divers swam out and began their dive while the rest of us waited for Steve and descended in a group. The weather had turned cloudy and visibility was about 6 metres in the slightly murky water. Still clearer than our dives on Sunday which was only a mere 1.5 metres!

Personally, I couldn’t fully enjoy my dive this time and was having issues in the water – upon descending, I very quickly realised that part of my regulator mouthpiece had been chewed off, a small bit dangling on its end (I was fearful that it might snap and I would end up swallowing the rubber) and I had a hard time securing the regulator in my mouth so had to prop it with one hand all throughout the dive. “You idiot – you should always check the mouthpiece!” went a little voice in my head. Argh! I’ve heard stories from other divers that this is common with rental gear and it always pays to check the mouthpiece BEFORE getting into the water. Never thought it would ever happen to me – a good experience and lesson for my oversight. To some extent, I was glad that it was me who got the broken mouthpiece than Jono so that his first diving experience after his course is a good one (of course, no broken mouthpiece would be even better). ALWAYS check the mouthpiece in the future!

I couldn’t quite keep up with the group and was somehow draining my tank very quickly today – it felt hard to breathe, as if I was low on air. I wondered if it had anything to do with the mouthpiece, air leaking each time I took in a breath. Hmm…Oh-o, my right fin had just come off…Gah, why do I always get into so much trouble?? “There, now you won’t be going anywhere…,” I thought to myself, fastening the strap real tight. Hey, where did Jono go? I looked around for Jono and he was nowhere to be seen (though there were other divers around). He must have followed the group and I’ve no idea which direction they went! I waited for a bit and thankfully he came back looking for me – yay! We lost each other a few times but still managed to find one another. For our first buddy dive, we did pretty well (still have a few things to work through but we’ll learn of each other’s dive styles in due course) and with the challenges I encountered today, I thought I did well not freaking out underwater and managed to get through the dive.

Jono was picking up rubbish from the seabed as he comes across them, showing me his ‘collection’ as he went. Cute :) Our dive today was 37 minutes long going down to a depth of 11.5 metres, swimming through the kelp forest and some pebbly patches at the bottom. Saw several red moki, a few sea urchins, and strange yet colourful sea creatures on the odd blade of kelp. I would have to agree with Jono that the dive at Princess Bay last Saturday was much better – more colourful and lots more fish.

Time to head home for a hot shower and dinner!


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