Day 5 – Stare into the abyss and hammerheads stare back

Part 5 of Liveaboard Series –  – Aug 15, 2016 – Daedelus

Ok well maybe calling it the abyss is a bit of a stretch but today included the deepest dive I have ever done and it didn’t even reach bottom. “Three….two….one….GO!” cried our zodiac skipper and we all flipped off the boat. Due to swell and current, it was a negative entry, which means no looking for our buddies, no tapping of the head to tell the skipper that we’re ok…it was just a straight dive down, down, down along the steep wall of the table reef. We look for our buddy at the bottom. As we got down to 35 meters…37 meters….40 meters depth…we looked below us in the dim blue light and there are about 14 hammerhead sharks circling. Absolutely amazing.

DCIM100GOPRO

Hammerhead sharks

On my second dive, I dropped down to 47.2m, the deepest I have ever been, and hammerheads were circling all around me. With their sinuous bodies and distinctive heads with a scalloped face, it really felt out of this world. It was definitely not my world as soon, my dive computer was beeping at me to tell me to ascend. Today was like two brief visits to outer space, with the dim light all around us as the deep water filters out a lot of the sunlight and just blue all around. We multi-leveled our dive upwards along the reef wall, with one last old and grizzled lone scalloped hammerhead shark visiting us at about 35m. Multi-level dive means that we slowly ascend, spending time at less and less depths until we are up around 5-10 meters. We saw an hawkbill sea turtle, which looked like it was determined to get a piece of coral off the reef as well as huge napoleon wrass fish that was probably bigger than I am. There were clouds of small fish in the coral while travelis and jacks swam in the blue. At the top of our first dive, we were joined by two manta rays, flying through the water. Amazing!

Both dives required decompression stops as we were quite deep for a relatively long time. On the second dive, my dive computer kept beeping at me and was convinced I had died; it was still on nitrox setting where divers with specific certification can get oxygen enriched air. This allows them to stay at regular depths for longer, feel less tired at the end, and get nitrogen narcosis less but they cannot do really deep dives on nitrox or else they get oxygen toxicity. I didn’t realize my rental dive computer on nitrox setting so it was very confusing when it kept giving me such dire messages when I felt fine.

Daedelus lighthouse on top of a little speck of sand in the middle of a huge shallow table reef

Daedelus lighthouse on top of a little speck of sand in the middle of a huge shallow table reef

 

There is a really neat lighthouse on a little bit of sand on top a huge table reef that is Daedelus. We went “onshore” to walk up to the top of the lighthouse and then it was a long and bumpy 8 hour boat ride from Daedalus to Elphinstone.

View of Daedelus table reef from the top of the lighthouse. The hammerhead shark dive area is right up near the top of the picture

View of Daedelus table reef from the top of the lighthouse. The hammerhead shark dive area is right up near the top of the picture

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