Dive 66

Raglan Rocks Backbone to 15.7 m

I was looking forward to this dive because a Bristol diver had told me the night before in the pub that the Raglan Rocks were almost as colourful as Red Sea coral. When Eugene and I hit the bottom I was rather disappointed. The craggy landscape was waving with kelp and plastered with Dead man's fingers, but could hardly be compared with the Red Sea. We pootled around a bit, being sure to keep our depth fairly shallow. It was a rather mundane drift with pretty poor vis. The SMB jammed yet again when we came to surface, and this time I had to hang onto a stalk of kelp while Eugene took off one of his gloves to untangle the reel. When we got near the surface we found the SMB had deflated and sunk down to about 10 m. Fortunately the boat had spotted it first so knew where we were. Lesson learned: buy a delayed SMB with a one-way valve. Paul's delayed SMB is really designed for technical divers, and although very compact, is prone to jamming unless handled with care.

On the surface, the Bristol diver declared "That wasn't the Raglan Rocks!" which explained why the dive hadn't exactly brought back memories of the Red Sea. The skipper explained that he had dropped us on the backbone leading to the Raglan Rocks, rather than on the rocks themselves.

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