Dive 51

Xwieni Bay to 39.2 m

We were the last pair in and so were given a good idea of where to find a remarkable underwater geological feature known as the double arch - a formation of rock in the shape of a rounded letter 'A'. After a long hard swim on the surface found the drop off and swam down straight onto the double arch at 30 m. I've never seen vis like this before. Swam under the lower of the two arches. Swirls of fish hung in the dusky blue water all the way up to the sun splashed surface lapping far above. Thought I'd lost Simon but he must have been behind me when I circled round because all of a sudden he was right there in front of me.

As we swam round the point away from the double arch we looked back at a tall bank of fish with a red hue against the clear blue of the water and the amber tinge of the late afternoon sun glinting on the surface. Simon took a picture with a pretend camera and I agreed with him: what a shot that sight would have made. Swam on and my no-stop time steadily counted down. By the time we got to the cave my computer was telling me to ascend and stop at 3 m. I pointed this out to Simon in case he had any ideas about going into the cave. by this time my air was down to 110 bar in any case so we decided to start moving up. Swam up over the ledge which gradually got shallower from about 18 m.

Pootled along nicely and then hit some lovely gullies at around 6 m. Headed towards the shore and then got ejected onto the mossy stones at the water's edge. Slipped around a bit trying to get my fins off, but luckily Gary had walked round to lend a hand.

This was a classic dive in blue water clearer than the Red Sea with a classic drop off. The double arch in particular was spectacular. This was the only dive I did on the day, but a dive like this is worth two.

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