From Diary 2, we
get the last experiences
20. Our first dive is at a former visit site: Pink Beach. This time we swim again the current to the left,. Here, we can enjoys a fantastic clear water, with a visibility around 60 meters, even at the shallow sand seabed. Here, I see two "new" species of fish. One long, slim, one high with huge eyes.
After a small hour of surface time, we continues down south to the Red Slave Huts. These tiny huts were actually the home for the salt harvesting slaves so many years ago. They are around one and a half times two meters with a tiny door opening and a symbolic window. Behind the huts, which are based only few meters from the sea, we find one of the best dives until now. A fantastic visibility, plenty of life, even some new. I find a giant concylie which to my surprise, actually is alive, but Morten experience a bit too much water in his camera house to his likening, and we head on land in a hurry. The camera survives this time.
Back by the supermarket, and home for lunch. After lunch, Morten and I passes the postal office on our way to the southern docks. Here, a ship is bedded, and we continues to Corporal Meiss. Nice dive which have the perfect ending: Caribbean Reef Squids. We saw quite a lot last time we visit this Divers Paradise, but this is the first time we encounter them on this tour.
Home to view the photos and prepare supper in the wild. After dark, we drive up to Oil Sleap Leap, and after a cosy meal, plunges at the ladder. We don't have to wait for long, before the "giant baracudas" emerges from the deep. As suspected, is large tarpons, and they do seem a bit intimidating, coming fast up from the dark deep. After a few bye-swims, they are less than a arms length from us, when they swim underneath us, coming from the back. They feed on the unlucky fish, caught in our lights. Especially Jesper's camera lights makes a good meal. On the other hand; it do take off the magic by fumbling in the dark on a night dive.
The corals are more active; their tentacles are out, and some emerges from the deal-looking rocks, and display fantastic coulors. After half an hour, we head back, and I enjoy the two litre of warm water I have brought. Home to see the last photos, taste Morten's American Rice Vine with Plum Supreme. Just what I needed; tastes like Plum in Madeira.
21. Starts the day with a nice dive at the airport's harbour. We have heard this should be the place to see squids, but we are not able to find them. Anyway; it is a good dive with good visibility and plenty of life. Re-load with air, and into town to find the freezing Jesper one more suit. The ones he have are either too thick or too short. He buys nothing, but I find a buckle for the tank belt, and Morten a book about the creatures in the reef.
Stops by the other dive shop, but nothing here either. Home for lunch, and then down to Pink Beach, which once again amasses with great visibility and a abundance of life. I head for the deeper parts. Here, the columns of corals erect from a bright white sand seabed.
While Jesper and Amira still are in the shallow waters, Morten and I see a small group of dolphins, just 20-30 meters out. Could have been cool to meet them in the water, but we missed them with less than five minutes.
On our way north, we passes the first dive shop, and Jesper and Amira get two new, long three millimetre suits. Back to the apartments to drop off Jesper's video and huge light setting, then up to Witch's Hut. An other great dive finishes off the day: It is a deep reef, starting at six meters and heading straight down to the white sand seabed around 50 meters down. I cruses at 30-32 meters deeps; the maximum for Nitrox diving. Here I see some new fish and some amassing coral formations.
22. Heavy showers during the late night and most of the morning. Morten and I head for a wreck we didn't find on our first visit. We have more luck this time: a small towboat is laying on the side on 25 meters deeps. We experience some strong current, but the visibility is great. In the beginning of the decent to the wreck, we meet with a hogsbilled turtle, and after we see quite a lot, rather big moray eels.
Due to the strong current, we make it a short dive, and drive around to fill up with Nitrox, milk and petrol. The petrol is only two NAf a litre, close to one Euro, but the milk is 5,25 NAf ~ 2,30 Euro. Close to the upper site of Danish prices. Home with the car to Jesper and Amira, who wants to go to the internet store.
Then we all join up to take a dive at the airport's pier: Windsock Steep. Here we find large schools of fish around the pillars and a huge hogsbilled turtle. Suddenly, Morten disappears in a furiously cloud of yellow fins. Turns up, his camera have taken more water in than usual. The weather have not improved, and after a long, cold dive, I could have used some warming sun instead of the rain and wind we emerges to. I have had it for to day, and the others seems to agree. Morten tries to bring back his camera to life, but it might been the last we have heard from it.
Dinner at the Indonesian Restaurant, where Morten "by mistake" orders their huge Rice Taffle, with eight different courses. Home to clean seeds and "shave" Opuntias. Hell of a work, but they feel more comfy in the luggage after the "trimming". I would have preferred seeds, but it is the wrong time of year. On the other hand; I get some great shoots of the Opuntia wentiana flowers.
23. After a cold, cloudy yesterday, this turns out to be an other great day in Diver's Paradise. We start at the northern Jeff Davi's Memorial. In the abundance of life, we spot a huge fireworm - or at least; something looking like it. It is a great dive, but we decide: Jesper and Amira are ready for the big treat: Southern part of Karpata.
A short drive up north brings us to my favourite site. There are almost no current, and it a fantastic visibility. We can see fold after fold of the 50 meters high reef, and take it into some of the canyons, which we can see all the way down to the bright, white seabed. The reef are steep, and filled with columns of several meters height. On our way back, we spot a turtle out in the free waters.
Back for lunch and down to the Nitrox central to fill up for the last two dives of to day. First is down south at Tori's Reef, just at the intake to the salt plant. Rather easy access leads to a wide sandy area, leading to a nice reef. Besides form the usual suspects, we see two octopuses. One large in complete open, another smaller in a branched coral. It imitates the coulors perfectly, and when it swims to a rock-like coral, the colour changes to an other perfect match.
Straight on to the last dive; it is almost six o'clock. Bit cold without the sun, when we changes to get in, and real cold in the water, although it still maintain 26C. After half an hour, I am so ready to get up, and home to my fleece jacket.
After supper, we look at Morten's photos. Especially the ones where Amira have attached her to Jesper with the C-Mass robe. Some of the photos reminds me of a very unwilling dog, dragging it's master around. Morten and I discuss, where ever I have to pay for them, or get paid to public them on my internet site.
Having a cosy chat, it getting late, and only at 2 pm, the silence hits the place.
24. Rather early up anyway, and out to Aquarius on the southern shore. Here are large schools of smaller fish and some real nice corals. After the dive, we spend some time, picking around in the huge mass of dead corals and other remains from the reef, left at this particular stretch of the island. Then we go north, to the second best place: Witch's Hut. An other great dive, but we finish with the beat of all: Karpata. Great formations, great sight (60 meters) and a great dive in general.
I chose to quit the diving while it is good, and drop the others off, before a drive into Yellow Sub to square my bill. Unfortunately, the manager isn't in, and I still would like my 10% discount, which only he can grand. I have spend 31,5 hours under water on this vacation, divided over 42 dives. My bill ads up to 248 US$ ~ 165 for Nitrox and 190 US$ ~125 for the octopus and fins. Additionally, I have spend 188 US$ ~125 on BCD, shoos and suit. Total on diving 42 dives: 625 US$ ~ 415 . 15 $ a dive: A bit more expensive than last year's 10$ a dive, but now I got my own gear, and I haven't paid extra for it, compared to renting it, this year.
25. After breakfast, I drive the others out to Witch's Hut, to dive. I head inland to botanises. I don't find the plants I want to bring seeds home of, but I do find some seeds. It is rather tough terrain, especially due to the Acacias! There are not many cacti on this side of the island, but I do find Melocactus and the two more common Cereus'. The third Cereus is real scars, and I have only located a few groups on the eastern side.
After one and a half hour, I drive the divers up to Karpata, and start my expedition inland. A few more seeds are picked, a few more photos, but not the most exciting stuff. For that, I have to go up to the National Park, which is a whole day tour. When the others submerges, we drive home for lunch, and then into Yellow Sub to pay our bills.
Then down to the airport's pier. No plants for me to look at, and I can't pay the car before I returns it. After they finally emerges, we drive home to start packing, then down town for a nice dinner. Back to sort out photos and do some more packing.
26. Kicked out before 12.00. Last packing, and then out along the eastern shore. Here, we find the real Cereus cacti country, flat dessert like areas, Indian cave paintings, plains of Melocactus, and we end at the entrance to the park. I still have a few plants I would love to bring back seeds from, but I don't seem to be able to find them.
Back to town to do some last shopping, and find a snack. We ends up at the first restaurant we started at, and I re-discover I meal I saw last year: Mucho Macho Nacho. The name is well chosen! It is big, comprehensive and indeed nourishing! Still some time to kill, and we drive down to the nice beach by the airport.
When we hand in the car, the bill is 890 US$. Our contract said 820$, but they always seems to find some 5% tax and 5% credit card charge -even though we pay with Visa, which isn't a credit card! I ask, if they have forgotten the discount we should have for the tiny car, we had the first day. She re-calculates, and ends up with 743 US$. Don't say it doesn't help to ask!
We leave a bit delayed in the evening, and do a short stop at Aruba. Good nights sleep, and we change plain in Amsterdam. Morten have arranged pick-up service in the airport, and his mother drives me home to some rather dried, but living plants and a hell of e-mails!
Nice tour that should be repeated much more often!
6350 kr =