Graham and I have done four dives since we arrived in the BVIs. We did two dives right after we arrived in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. The dive shop was part of the Bitter End Yacht Club complex. However, it is a separate business. The first dive location was Rhino Hole, named for the eerie sounds made by the waves in a blowhole nearby. The dive site had an underwater mooring, which allows the dive company to keep the site a secret and to offer an exclusive dive. The underwater mooring means that one of the dive guides has to dive off the boat and find the mooring in order to secure the dive boat. A task made easier by an accurate GPS.
It was a great dive. We descended to 70 feet for the first part of the dive and then we gradually worked our way around the cove and ending at about 35 feet. We saw a really cool turtle as well as fish like Black Durgin, Barracuda, Blue Tang, and lots of Yellowtail Snapper.
Our second dive was the invisibles which were two coral towers just below the surface. Rhino Hole and the Invisibles are at the North End of Virgin Gorda in open water, so entering and exiting the water is made more difficult by the rolly conditions . I was very proud of the way Graham handled these two dives. He handled the rolly conditions just fine and he stuck close to the divemaster throughout both dives. Graham was so anxious to get started on his second dive that he forgot we had to have a one hour surface interval so that we can dive safely. He was starting to put on his gear when the divemaster reminded him we still had more than a half an hour to go. This dive had some beautiful Angelfish as well as Grouper and more Black Durgin.
Ben and Kay of Sunchaser Scuba really did a great job of guiding these two trips. They are excellent Divemasters and Instructors and they really pamper you. We dropped off our gear on the dive dock and went to tie up to the dinghy dock. By the time we got back to the dive dock about 5 minutes later our gear was already all set up for us. These folks are really some of the best in the business.
At the beginning of January we dove the Wreck of the Rhone, a really brilliant dive site just south and west of Salt Island. It has a really interesting historical background which Wikipedia does a good job of explaining at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Rhone . Suffice it to say she was deemed “unsinkable”, which of course meant she was doomed!
Here are Graham’s comments on the dive:
Yesterday we dove the Wreck of the Rhone which sunk in 1867. I was just telling my mom something really cool which is that when you attain neutral buoyancy, if you take your regulator out of your mouth (no, you can’t breathe underwater without it) then if you blow bubbles in a certain way, they float up to the surface in a ring shape like Bilbo Baggins’s smoke ring in Lord of the Rings. I saw a lot of different kind of fish like angelfish and a turtle and an octopus. On the second dive my dad ran through his air quickly so I was with the guide a lot of the time. There is a sign that tells about the wreck and it is underwater which is very cool. This was the deepest dive I have done so far with a maximum depth of 83.2 feet. I have now done 14 dives.
We saw an octopus on our first dive as well as some Porcupine Puffer Fish. The wreck is really brilliant and most Dive Companies do two dives on the site because the wreck is large and spread out. On our first dive we penetrated the wreck for a short time. It was spooky when you consider that 123 souls met their fate in this ship. As Graham mentioned I had some trouble on the second dive and really burned through my air quickly. I missed a couple of the interesting parts of the wreck. That’s how it goes sometimes.