I’m writing this in the UK in February, sitting in front of an open fire, dreaming of my perfect dive day…
It was October last year, not so long ago and not exactly high summer. The weather though was a glorious sun, the sea calm and welcoming, a warm 24c and for me, it was a dive of an emotional return. Not so long before I had had an operation on my foot and I had done a couple of easy dives with one fin only, kindly watched over by my minders, Jack and Edu, to make sure I didn’t go round in one big circle! Today was my big test, a dive with two fins.
My entry options limited
After a perfect 15 minute voyage, we anchored off the Coral Galleries, kitted up and entered the water, for me it was a gentle down the steps entry as I didn’t want to put too much stress on my foot but for everyone else, it was the normal giant stride. As soon as we dropped down and went to the drop off I just knew it was going to be a great dive, there to welcome us were the barracuda, my favourite fish.
We dropped down to around 15 metres and swam across the small bay. Most people go straight into the Galleries but today we decided to go around the outside of the point to see how many barracuda there were hundreds. A couple of us nipped into stalagmite cave, it’s quite small and there is no need to go in to enjoy the Galleries but if you do, at the end is a stalagmite/stalactite which has joined up to make a little underwater roundabout. Then it’s along the wall to a swim through where you go up through a hole and then into a big overhang with another swim through at the top. Finally, then it’s back along the wall to go through the Galleries, the highlight of the dive.
The Galleries are an enormous cavern/swim through which goes through the end of the point. Inside there are different levels, separated by natural “floors” and coral everywhere. To say it is beautiful in no way does it credit, it is simply stunning. You can explore at all the levels, it is extremely spacious so no need to go into anywhere tight unless you really must, you should see at least some morays and then you emerge the other side almost under the boat. If like me you enjoy something a bit tighter, there is a chimney where you go along for several metres horizontally and then up, emerging on the reef at 5 metres, almost right under the boat. We then go back to the wall to end the dive, and there to welcome us back was the barracuda, still hundreds of them and never losing their ability to mesmerise me. Finally, it’s a safety stop and then up and out, foot showing no ill effects from the dive.
We settle down, enjoy the 15-minute return voyage back to the Dive Centre, happily reliving and reflecting on a perfect dive with each other, who could ask for more, and for me the joy of knowing I was back diving!