[contd. from https://templeadventures.com/blog/the-pirate-surviboard-part-1/]
When planktons are excited, they emit a very distinct glow, amazingly beautiful to witness in the dark waters of a moonless night. Biologists tend to use the term bio-luminescence, pirates tend to go with glow-in-the-dark-thingies. This is generally the highlight during the safety stop of night dives, and so was ours. But, when one of our pirate mateys swear he saw exactly that when he went to clear his stomach during the middle of the night, we decided we would rather not go into the details there 😛
It was still dark when alarms clocks started ringing and an excited Jonah was trying to wake everyone up. After our first night dive in the waters of Pondicherry the previous day, it was time for another first. A dawn dive. This dive was talked about since ages. The amazing reef life, which Danny’s presented to us the night before, really had us on our fins. We descended before the first rays of the sun had hit the water’s edge. The visibility was not overly great, but the critter life did not disappoint us. For details you need to visit our scubatcave and watch the entire 30mins of footage playing there.
Next up was an awesome breakfast of grilled corn cobs, sausages and eggs. Fully stuffed, we headed to a completely unknown destination. The fishermen said it was an area with a lot of rocks and some serious fish life. Needless to say all of us were very excited about it.
It was very fun to jump off the drifting mother ship trying to use our PADI Drift diver and Boat diver specialties combined to navigate to the descent line. The visibility was a decent 15m (yes we are being very picky here :P). But the reef life- Wow!! It was the landscape of Danny’s mixed with the fish life of the Wall and it extended for miles. There were regions with huge groupers and parts with juvenile trigger fishes. Curious groupers followed us for what would have been their first encounter with the third kind. It was such an amazing site especially being at a perfect 24m depth, and an awesome critter and juvenile fish life amongst the rocks.
After this beautiful dive the trip had earned a place in everyone’s memories for sure. We were all very excited to name this site. And being the amazingly uncreative bunch of us pirates, Pirate Booty seemed so apt 🙂
We had a long surface interval of boring Nitrox Knowledge reviews and fun trying out the wakeboard. Das seemed to be trying an eskimo roll on the ‘kiteboard’, with his head under the water, half the time. Tucker decided to give him a quick intro into wakeboarding, and managed to give an awesome demonstration of it, though it did manage to take everything out of him.
Next up was another 24m site, which was in the same locality as Pirate Booty. We were excited but a tad bit less. But here in words, I cannot even start to express the beauty of this site. As we went down to a perfect 20m vertical visibility, the point where we were descending seemed to look like two rocky banks of a sandy river. And in that river a bunch of surgeon fishes were playing hide and seek with a huge white fish, all the while huge schooling sweet lips were in attendance from a balcony seat, and the juvenile groupers filling the bottom rows. All you needed to do was pick an empty seat and stare. Two of our pirate cooks/divers did not have much luck trying to cook a cabbage, the night before and decided to bring that with them underwater for a cabbage rugby match? We were very careful of not even being close to them 😛 They did try throwing the cabbage at each other before one of them missed and the cabbage decided to catch the current and swim away, flaring its leaves like an angry cuttlefish. Atleast this time the crew was creative enough and almost mutinied against the captain to name this site ‘Cabbage Patch’. P.S. Unless the dive boat has a cabbage with them, you are not allowed to dive this site 😛
A full divers report on diving Pirate Booty and Cabbage Patch would be up later!! With the last dive done, and the anchor hauled up (terrible work that is!) we head back to shore after an awesome weekend in the high seas. Rob, Akhil, Luke and Danny were there at the harbor to welcome us back into port. Everyone was land-sick by the time they got back to the Dive center, and promises and plans were soon made for another Pirate trip soon (Shore Temple, you cannot escape us!!). We would like to thank John and Jonah for the very hard work they put in to make this trip a reality. Cheers to the pirate crew of Tucker, Ishaan, Koshy, Pascal, Raul, Karthik, Bryan and Das for joining us and bringing in so much excitement, experience and energy into the trip. A very special thanks to Luke, Danny, Iyennar and everyone else in the Dive Center who chipped in to help us cast away and keep diving for two days. A special mention to Aravind for arranging all the necessary coast guard permissions and Rob, who was very instrumental in helping to plan the entire event as well as raiding our boat!!!