Andrea, a friend and dive instructor was leaving for New Zealand for a lengthy period of time, and organized a great going away barbeque and dive day at Whytecliff. When we got there, Paul and I rushed to get into the water. The first dive I took my wide angle lens with me, and we dove the islet in the hopes that the seal we’d spotted on the surface would come visit us. He didn’t. That jerk. Unfortunately the Vis wasn’t so great, so I didn’t manage to get a lot of good photos with the wide angle on the first dive. However, we did see a really cool scuplin. On the way back through the bay, I spotted an octopus hiding beneath a concrete block, though he was way too tucked in to manage a good photo. After the dive, on our swim back to shore we saw a mink hop into the water and take a quick swim. Way too cool!
On our second dive, we swam around to the plumose gardens. It was amazing how much life there was in the area. Not only were there tonnes of plumose anenomes as the name implied, but there appeared to be a large population of hermit crabs which I managed to snap a few great photos of. Part way through the dive, we hear a VERY loud boat overhead, I assumed it was the ferry. Carrying on, plenty of other fish were to be seen. It was an amazing dive, and I pulled some great photos from the camera.
I pulled close to my NDLs on this dive as I was on Air. I thought I’d save $10 and not get my usual EAN32 fill, as I had intended to do some shallower diving with these tanks on a dive day that ended up being cancelled. As a result I had a less than optimal gas for the dive, and had to ascend earlier than I would have liked to avoid going into deco. With plenty of gas left in the tank, but a nitrogen loading preventing me from staying at an interesting depth, I spent 10 or so minutes practicing holding mid-water stops at 20, 15 and 10 feet, using only my computer and the silt in the water as a visual reference.
Once we surfaced we noticed that a hovercraft had come into the bay and parked on shore for a good will visit (and for some free BBQ food!). As it ends up that loud ship we’d heard wasn’t a ferry, but the hovercraft coming in. I’ve posted photos in another post.
For Andrea’s barbeque, someone had made an incredible octopus cake, clutching a detailed scuba diver. The attention detail in the cake was so amazing, the eye even looked like an octopus eye! It was a shame to eat it in the end.
A great day with great people. And Andrea, if you’re reading this from NZ, I hope you’re enjoying your trip!
More photos are below. I’ve added notes regarding some specific images below if you view them full-sized.