It’s Sunday morning and most of the local islanders have a day of rest and family meals – but not us.
We had organised the day before to do three dives today – 2 day dives and a night dive. We rock into the restaurant at 6:30am for breaky. Rowan and Rod order banana pancakes which come in a stack about a foot tall and they don’t even get half way thru them – well we are on American soil...
The Blue Lagoon Dive Shop Is pumping this morning and we rock in to find rows of Nitrox tanks labelled with “Team Adreno”. These guys are good and super organised. We have 2 different mixes – one for the dive and a few washout tanks with a high percentage for deco.
We head out to our morning dive the Shinkoku Maru which is a 500ft long tanker sitting upright. This is one of the premier dives and it did not disappoint. The boat is deeper and in a channel where there are currents so the coral and fish life is amazing. We saw Mangrove Jacks and towards the stern huge schools of Big Eye Trevally (Jacks), massive Dog Tooth Tuna big Sharks. The Corals were stunning and there were tons of amazing artefacts to see on the decks and inside the wreck. We went deep into the bridge and accommodation area to find a surgeons table with human bones on it. There is so much to see that we could not do it all and have vowed to return later in the week. It is also rated in the top 10 night dives in the world so that may be on the cards too. So far our best dive yet. On the way home we stop at a Sub Chaser Wreck lying upside down in only 6 – 15m and decide to free dive it which was a blast. The props are still there and live depth charges cover the stern.
For the afternoon dive we go to the Heian Maru – the lagoons largest shipwreck which was a submarine supply ship. Its lying on its side in 38m of water. In the holds we see live torpedos stacked up, loads of supplies for the subs and periscopes lining the decks. The 2 propes were massive with each blade being bigger than me! We did a lot of penetration and swum along way during our 75 minutes dive. This was Nathans favourite dive yet.
That arvo we decide to go to the general store to have a look. Prices are sooo cheap!! Cartoons of Ciggies and $20 (not that we smoke...) spirits are $20 a litre, coke $1, Chips and snacks are 70c, etc...
We have been told that tipping is not encouraged, however at can be pretty beneficial to “Bribe” the Boat Driver and Dive Guide now and then the keep them happy so we by Ciggies and Beers for Rio and Gladwin and will ration them out over the week. Rod also brought from home colouring in books, crayons, etc. for the kids and Rio has 3 young daughters so we give them to him and he is stoked. Lisa’s hair has gone super blonde in the sun and salt and is a stark contrast to the jet black hair of the locals. The ladies in the store are lovely and after all us boys left, fussed over her hair which was pretty funny.
Late in the arvo we head back to the shop for a night dive on the Fujikawa Maru. We are the only group doing a night dive today. The dive is superb with all the soft corals making excellent photography opportunities. Our new Innobeam U9 torches which 3 of us got from Adreno last week are amazing and super powerful. We see Turtles also do some penetration thru the holds, bridge area and into the accommodation and engine room. It was an awesome experience and we have vowed to do another before the trip is over – maybe the Shinkoku Maru!!
Lisa runs into the restaurant foyer at 8:30 (it closes at 9pm...) with Probe Insulator pants and top on with Blue and Pink shorts over the top and a tech dive rubber necklace around her neck. The local girls think its hilarious and she orders 8 meals for us will the boys strip the boat and get changed. 8 plates of Sashimi and 8 pastas – simple. The Sashimi is the best we have ever had and we get about 15 large pieces per serve with all the trimmings for $4.50 per plate. We have been having this every day and will continue to do so for the time we are here.
Tomorrow (Monday) we are taking the diving to the next level and are swapping to twin tanks – one air, one nitrox and washout bottles on deco for two deeper dives – The Nippo Maru in the morning and a Submarine I-169 in the arvo. Can’t wait!!!
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