I have just returned from Grenada where I had a week of great diving and some firsts for me. I took my 16 year old son and we did some speciality courses. Wreck, deep, drift and photography ,all Padi and with Aquanauts in True Blue resort. I was also overseeing the purchase of my apartment on Mourne Rouge beach, I only have to wait for the licence to come through. Again we had a fantastic time, both in and out of the water. My son was treated like a local and went to "chill" (or roast) on the beach with his new friends and we "hung"quite happily like we had always been there. Fish friday again a great favourite with its local music and fish dishes. I visited more sights such as the Grand Etang Park and lake up in the mountains and of course the waterfalls. But to the serious stuff of diving!
We started off the weeks dives with the catamaran on Windmill Shallows, no not shallow and no windmills.The rum runner is about 32 metres down with lovely growths and abundance of fish and life. On to my first dive here in the Caribbean and most memorable, Purple Rain with its purple rain of wrasse and corals a drift dive. The next day we dived the neighbouring reef Kohanee and saw, very close up, a stingray, rough spined variety. The wreck Shakem gave us a great opportunity to see a turtle again close up, even though it was retreating, I hoped it would not be the last one we saw on this trip. We dived Veronica again, where we did our wreck penetration but when this was finished we were rewarded with the unusual sighting of a pregnant octopus and its eggs [any photos of that ?] , as well as the aggressive sergeant majors feeding. Bianca C The highlight as always, was the Bianca C, the massive cruise liner, which lies at between 55 and 30 metres. We dropped down into the ships swimming pool, but with only a line and not a rope to descend, this was more difficult in the current and I used alot of air before I even started the dive properly. Bruce, as always was quietly watching! And right behind to guide me! You need several dives to Bianca C to appreciate it, not only because of the depth, (the pool is 40 metres exactly) and you do not get too much bottom time here, but also because you notice something new each time you go down there. There are 2 methods of ascent here, when you reach the bow if low on air you can ascend and do 2 safety stops at 10 and 5 metres, or swim a few metres to the reef ahead, Whibbles reef, and rise slowly as you do so, thus off gassing and necessitating only one safety stop at 5 metres. King Mitch The piece de resistance was the dive on King Mitch, some 6 miles out in the Atlantic and challenging because of its depth and currents. It can only be dived at certain times, we dived with the moon half and as it was just rising at 2pm, to lessen the effects of the tides and currents. Even so you had to be quick with the entry, so as not to be left behind and more to the point, to be able to get on the line, once there you do not let go regardless! As soon as we reached the wreck, which lies on her side after being moved by Ivan, we were rewarded by not one but two turtles, leather backs, swimming around, fantastic. I must admit I took little notice of the wreck itself after this and could not tell you too much about it :) Then we descended to the sand at 36 metres and saw a nurse shark. This time I got closer to take one good shot, but did not get too much opportunity as he then swam away. This was a great dive, exhilarating and challenging, but rewarding and I saw what ! I wanted to see. I love the place and the people, the most friendly and helpful anywhere and I will return time and time again. It becomes harder and harder to leave this island and I wonder what the future has in store for me as it is like a drug, I have to keep going back for more and get serious withdrawal symptoms when I come back to blighty ! My thanks again to all at Aquanauts, Paul, Jane, Bugsy, Glenroy and last but not least Bruce, not forgetting Gerlinde and Peter.My son is keen to return to do his divemaster and I may even join him in that challenge. My next trip is in 2 weeks when I am going to Guadalupe with www.singledivers.com for a few days on the liveaboard, Nautilus Explorer and to (cage) dive with the great whites. Watch this space!