Guys, apologies for no song quiz. All i can think of when i scroll these pictures is the theme tune to the film of the same name (Nothing to do with bond, just the musical score)
Before i paste what i have written this morning, i have to tell you that i have only just seen the photos i took of the Zanobia. All i can say is WOW. and there are more to come in future eves when i can stop absorbing my air all in one gulp. Please enjoy this long blog with some awesome pictures.
Oh dear, last night wouldn’t have been the best time for me to get granny smith out as I would have probably tried to open her the wrong way and snapped her screen off. I was rather sqidged last night on an assortment of different flavoured mojitos. Not just your normal average lemon affaire, but we had strawberry, raspberry, apple and my favourite, banana. All innocent enough but as a combination well they just took the piss! The reason why we polished off these delicate drinks(!) was to celebrate the passing of our ‘Advanced Open Water Diver Course’ well some of did! (and that is all ill say on that Gareth)
To the morning.
I arrived early so I could procure myself a parking space not too far away from the dive centre and was immediately thrust back into soldier mode with collecting and packing essential kit for the day. Once the others started tipping up, the work load got a little heavier (I’m sure some civilians expect EVERYONE to do EVERYTHING for them) I must admit, the bus driver didn’t strike me as clever when he realised after 10 attempts that he couldn’t reverse a trailer. In typically ‘squaddie’ fashion, we unhooked and pushed it into position. After hand balling the rest of the kit we jumped on the bus and assumed the position for the next hour and a half. ……….I slept.
After buddying up and having a good old safety brief on route, we emptied the trailer at Larnaka into a big old boat that was bobbing in the harbour waiting for us. As we were the last ones to arrive it upt sticks and departed. Keeping busy on the boat took my mind of the big blue wobbly thing beneath us and I felt fine (although the fact I had troffed sea sickness tablets like MM’s may have helped. Finally we were at the wreck location. We did everything correctly and safety point s taken seriously. A map of the sunken ship was out guide, it didn’t look big at all. As soon as we ‘giant stepped’ in, we headed to the back of our boat to meet up and dive down to guide lines.my buddy, Kate the dive professional took us to the line and signalled us to wait there, then promptly buggered off back up top.
We hung around without being able to see a thing in the clear azure as the other divers were bellow us and their air bubbles were obscuring our view like a heavy snow storm when your driving at night. But when they abated, my god. The view. I think I said something before about the national geographic picture of a wreck on the seabed (it was the white star), this was something in a legume of its own. My breath was literally taken away by the size of the thing. Even at 40 meters depth, the water was clear enough to show her off. I wished I had a camera but Gareth had it. My buddy Kate came back down and I noticed that one member was missing, so I buddies up with Nikkie and we carried on the dive.
Swimming to 25 meters may not sound too deep, but when you look back up you see the expended air bubbles disappear into the bottom of the waves and you could imagine having to get up there with them if you lose air (it’s doable, but hard I would think) as it happens, I nearly ran out of air on the second dive, but more about that later. We toured the wreck down to its propeller which stood way above my height, around to the back (stern, I think) then over the car deck area. On the seabed lay an assortment of Articulated lorries that been on the boats maiden voyage. Oh dear! On our trip back around to the ascent line, the biggest fish I have ever clapped my eyes on loomed into view, it was a groupa, a HUGE groupa. I have no reason to lie when I say it was the size of a Labrador, I do hope the pics come out. Ascending after 30 minutes (it doesn’t half go fast) we got to our safety stop and I honestly thought after three minutes, Nikkie was sinking so I held her elbow. She wasn’t sinking, I was rising!!!! What a dick!
Something to eat on board, an hour air time before we dived again. I was informed why Gareth didn’t dive, and I fully acknowledge he’s a puff! No seriously, he made the right decision to stay on the boat. Anyway, this time I got the camera so it was on. The second dive for Nikkie and me was on Nitrox. A blend of 31% oxygen and 69% of nitrogen (when I am clever, I can tell you why) so we jumped in. Me and my buddie stuck to each other like glue, and close enough to Kate in case anything went tits. We found a life boat for Geraldine an Nik to sit in whilst I took pics and we roamed the rest of the bits we could. Unfortunately, my air (Nitrox) was disappearing faster than a looter in Croydon when the police turn up, (I’m sure someone was pinching it) so our dive didn’t really last as long as it should have, we didn’t get to got through the bridge windows or into the canteen, but I know I’m here for a few months longer, so I can get the chance to do it again with a bigger tank of breath.
As I said earlier, I was running REALLY low on air and we had the safety stop to do for three minutes. Luckily enough, a tank had been lowered to 5 meters for just such and occasion. Kate offered me the mouthpiece so I took mine out, (letting the bubbles stream from my mouth) and replace dig with the one proffered. The first thing I noticed was the actual mouthpiece had been bitten away, the second that no air was coming out. I physically sighed underwater, and switched back to my own thinning air supply, Kate looked at me and realised it wasn’t turned on! Once that was sorted I changed again, and counted down three minutes. Apparently the other two Herbert’s (father and on) had gone to another position and the son had just swam up and immediately surfaced without a safer stop so the dad went up and dragged him back down!!!!!!!
Monk fish and mojito time to celebrate the course. The owner of one of the restaurants had promised us that he would get his hands on the fish we wanted before the end of Gareth and Nikkies holiday, and he did. It was cooked as we ordered and filled our stomachs. So the next but one bar down, we started on the mojitos, for no other reason than we could.
So now I suffer and write this blog from the comfort of my bed.
For all my friends (wherever you are) X