Today I Visited Heaven

Another diving day with glorious sunshine,  the mountains rising up out of the Tufi fjord and an air of excitement in the dive center, for today we introduce our latest intrepid travelers to 3 of the best dive sites I have ever seen right on our doorstep.  

Our guests this week have all forged a career on or in the world’s oceans.  All 6 retirees hail from America, 3 of which have captained their own commercial fishing boats off the coast of Alaska.  Needless to say,  this lot are fitter than their years depict and are extremely excited to be heading to our hammerhead hotspots.  

We dived on 3 separate reefs, all where spectacular but the latter half of our second dive was, in my opinion,  sensational. Ascending from 20m we approached the cusp of the reef at 6m where the sun truly awakened all the colors of the Coral,  with a slow headlong current moving from the blue over the summit the soft corals danced in rhythm with one another,  a rippling effect which increased the vibrance on display.  With the current comes the food for the plethora of fish surrounding us.  I’ve heard phrases much akin to diving in an aquarium before now,  I have indeed dived on many sites with an inordinate amount of species on display;  but this was beyond anything I have ever experienced.  Looking deep down the wall,  the tops of white tip sharks,  rainbow runners and golden travelley hunting in a wolf pack like fashion.  Their bait darting back into the shelter of the corals only to slowly reappear and risking life for the chance to catch their own meal.  I would not be condemned for putting the count of fish in the ten’s of thousands and the variety of species closing on 200, all busying in their own hectic fashion.  

The element that makes this a truly unique dive and one I will never forget…. To my right,  a 72 year old man,  in love with the sea, to my left a 65 year old man with eyes lit up like a 10 year old at Christmas, behind me a 35 year veteran of diving education in an American university soaking up the atmosphere.  The irony being that all these guys had made a substantial living at catching fish for as long as anyone cares to remember,  yet you could feel the happiness they had at the spectacle surrounding them. 

20 minutes passed and one of my dive masters appeared to signal that it’s time to go.  The guys didn’t even see him.  “it’s ok” I signalled,  “I’ll stay and watch them,  see you at the boat.” sometimes you just have to recognize someone’s happy moment and let it be. 

Eventually and reluctantly I drew the guys back,  like a dog not wanting to walk, they dragged their asses and slowly followed me back to the boat.  

On surfacing there was a delay,  I expected cheers,  excitement,  chatter,  but received nothing.  We clambered aboard,  I instantly started to think they where pissed at being dragged away after 74 minutes under water.  Then it hit,  the delay was merely thought collection.  

Fancy seeing it?  Just give me a shout,  you won’t regret it. 


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