Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Coki and a smile

My second day of diving was out of Coki Beach.
It was somewhat unplanned and I called the day before to see about a trip.
They are a smaller operation and have a smaller boat. They max out at six divers per trip.
I got the last spot.


This place also was $15 to $25 cheaper than other places.
Once I got to Coki Beach I saw why, but in a good way.

They don't have a dive shop. Not in the traditional way. Not in the we have a building with doors and windows.

It was more in the way of we have a van with doors and windows.

It was super low-key.
Cool. I like low-key. I also like saving a little money.

I would recommend Coki Beach Dive Club to anyone going to St. Thomas to dive.

I was there first and got all my gear picked out and on the boat.

Then I took a little look around Coki.

I think this would be a much more fun place to spend the day than Magen's Bay.
It still had a beautiful beach with that gorgeous warm water.
But there was some funkiness to it.
Nothing was open when I got there, but I could tell it would be a fun place.

There were daiquiri booths. There were chairs for rent.
There was a bar and grill right on the sand.
There were "freelance" waiters to bring you anything you might need, just working for tips.

There were chickens roaming the sand.

And when I got back later, my impression was confirmed. The place was packed and there was a fun and funky vibe.

And that bar and grill? Excellent jerk chicken with beans, rice and plantains. I don't think it was that little bird above though.

But I digress. Back to the diving...

Once they got us all set up with gear we headed to their boat. No dock here. Just walk out into the water and get on the boat.

Hey, no big deal. We are going to get wet anyway on the ride out to the site.
And then again when we jump in the water.

So we headed out.

The first sight was called the Mounds at Grassy Cay.

Date: 7/30/08
Max. depth: 61 feet
Bottom time: 46 minutes

This is the dive where the camera batteries went dead about two-thirds of the way through.
So I have some nice photos of sea fans that were taller than me, coral, etc. But none of the big ol' barracuda who swam by at the end.

Oh well. My own fault for mixing up the batteries.

The second dive, no pictures, was even better.

This was on the Atlantic side at a site called Bull Point off of Thatch Cay.

Date: 7/30/08
Max. depth: 77 feet
Bottom time: 51 minutes

There was a little more surge here and a little more current to work against, especially at shallower depth. But not bad, not a lot of work. I could feel myself having to swim a little more than on the other dives, but nothing too strenuous.

After we dropped down, we swam along a large sea wall for a while.

At one point, coming over a large rocky area I was the first diver behind the dive master.
As we came over the rocks, I started scanning the area below. I like the sandy areas. That is where rays tend to rest. So I was looking for rays.

Instead I saw a shark. This was not a huge shark, but it was my first. So very exciting, indeed.

Its nose was tucked into some rocks and it was just resting at the bottom.

It looked to be about 4-5 feet long. I was so excited. I started trying to get the dive master's attention. I was making the shark hand signal like crazy.
But he did not see me.

Hmm... go after him or stay and see the shark and signal to the other divers behind me that it was there?

Yeah. I stayed to look at the shark.

It was only about 30 seconds before the dive master figured out no one was following him anymore. He came back around to see what was up and I gave him the shark signal.

Ahhh... A proud moment for me. My first shark and I was the one who saw it. So exciting.

The rest of the dive was pretty routine. More beautiful fish, more beautiful sea fans... No sharks, but still amazing.

1 comment:

ReesePie said...

Awesome coral pics!