My friend Konstantin had an important visitor last April. His brother Aleksandr came from Russia. As both of them are scuba divers, they did not want to miss the opportunity to dive together. New Zealand is famous for its landscapes and outdoor activities, but not so for its underwater environment (we need to change that), yet it offers top temperate diving. No diver paying a visit should miss that.
Anyway, we went for a shore dive to Goat Island, the first NZ marine reserve and certainly the best shore diving spot near Auckland. You know, to ‘warm up’, adjust to the new conditions. The weather was not great on that morning, cold, grey skies and not much light. Also it was dirty underwater, especially close to the shore. We did not swim to the island, but took the direction about 30° to the left (west) from it. The plan was simple: Swim in a straight line following the compass, turn 180° when the first of us reaches 120 bars of air in the tank, swim to the shore. Observe anything interesting on your way.
Immediately after entering the water I realised how different our diving styles were. Both guys are sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts with good stamina. I am a lazy person, more an observer that a performer. Plus I was pushing my heavy camera with two strobes through the water. And of course, my plan was to make pictures. You can see from my pictures I was well behind most of the time. The pictures of divers got reduced to studying their finning technique.
It was a very pleasant dive. The water got clear when we got deeper. We could see big schools of fish chased by kingfish. We saw plenty of eagle rays, snappers and reef fish. We reached the area where the kelp and sponge countries overlap. And by the way, it was warm and the sun was shining when we got out of water. Thanks, guys, for allowing me to join you. It’s a pity I could not go diving with you to Northland. Perhaps next time. In the meantime I need to work on my speed and stamina 🙂