We overslept and woke up with just a few minutes before we were off to our orientation dive. We rushed breakfast, then rushed to the dive center. Apparently, even if you’re an instructor from wherever you’re from, you’d still have to do an orientation dive for them to assess your skill level. Since we were doing the house reef, we had to bring all our gear to the jetty, which is a long walk to carry all your stuff. I also realized how spoiled we are back in Anilao, where we have everything done for us. Here, it’s all do it yourself. Once we assembled all our gear, we had to walk, with tank and all, to the edge of the jetty to enter the water via giant stride. I thought to myself: “Are you kidding me?!?” The jetty was a good 10-15 feet off the water! The usual giant stride I’ve done is like one foot off the water! So against all better judgement, I jumped, vetoing all survival instincts, making a giant stride of faith, much like blindly falling in love and trusting the recipient of your affections to not tear your heart into tiny shards of worthless scrap (whoa, where did that come from?). So once we entered the water, we had to do regulator retrieval, mask flooding, and buddy breathing. Once we passed that, we proceeded to the rest of the dive along the house reef.
Fine time not to bring any cameras. We saw napoleon wrasse, a 6-foot long giant moray swimming along a sunken wreck, huge groupers, a cleaning station with fish mouths agape as cleaner wrasse dart in and out accomplishing their tasks, a turtle, among other things. The one time I don’t bring any cameras, and the circus comes to town. Sigh.
Finally we were given the go-signal to join any of the many dives and so we signed up for the afternoon dive. It was a game changer for me. I decided, for the first time, to take videos instead of photos. I’ve always been a photo kind of guy, but given all the pelagics, and little of the macro stuff, taking snapshots are practically useless given my gear. So I started taking videos and decided right there and then, that at least when it comes to diving, I’ll take videos from here on. We went diving on the Kuredu express, a corner dive, where we basically dive around the drop-off, near the channel, where all the big fish porn can be experienced. I was clumsy with the camera, so most of my footage was shakey, like the home videos that your dad took. So video fail for my first time as videographer.
The big news was on the boat ride back home. DOLPHINS!!! As we rode the boat home, we were joined by pods and pods of dolphins! You could see their fins all over the boat. It was crazy, as if the ocean was boiling over with dolphins, with many of them swimming with the boat, jumping out of the water and spinning as they land! I was able to video some of them and it was exhilarating! I can’t wait to edit the footage and post it on youtube!
Exhausted, we went back to our room, ate a quick dinner, then collapsed into deep slumber. We needed to get all the rest we can get because we signed up for a two-tank dive for the following morning. Why did we wait this long to dive?
Maldives (Day 8)