Dive 33

Jackson Reef to 24.1 m

Spectacular dive on a coral wall. Dropped down to just over 24 m and swam along the wall for about 30 m. The place was teeming with life. Saw two Brown Speckled morays, yet more sleeping Blue spotted rays and hundreds and hundreds of fish. This dive had the highest concentration of life packed into it than any previous, and the vis was somewhat improved. Swam just past a rope Craig had told us about and then came back along the wall at about 11m. Just past the boat Tony and Clare reached 50 bar so we made our way back very slowly at 5m. Hung around near the shot line for a few minutes before swimming under the boat and surfacing just behind it. Got told off by Craig for not surfacing at the bow of the boat on the shot line. He had a point, but it was fun going under the boat just once.

The reason Craig doesn't like his divers swimming under the boat and surfacing at the back is that there can be loads of boats around and our boat could need to start the propellers to manoeuvre around at any time, turning unseen divers coming up at the back of the boat into mincemeat. At the time I thought we should have gone up the shotline to the front of the boat, but Simon, Clare and Tony were keen to save effort and just swim under the boat to surface at the back. in the end swimming under the great silhouetted looming mass of the hull was great fun and I could hardly have surfaced without my buddy anyway.

Craig was doubly angry with the group: with us for surfacing at the back and swimming under the boat, and with Will and Siobhan for going down to 35 m (the limit on this dive was 24 m and absolute limit for the whole trip was supposed to be 30 m). From that point on he refused to let us go in without him and it was a tedious case of Follow the Leader with Craig for the remaining dives of the holiday. Served us right I suppose.

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