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Diving for Sissies

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by JohnL, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Forget cold deep water, drysuits and lots of lead, Barbados offers tropical waters, coral reefs, turtles and flat seas.

    Day 1. Asta reef off Brown beach, old 3mm shorty with 18lbs lead. We dropped to the bottom at about 15m into an unexpected current of around two knots, which turned it into a drift dive and we saw four dive sites. Approaching the bow of the Friars Crag wreck, I realised that I was going to hit it, so some energetic finning was needed. Two hawksbill turtles, puffer fish, ray, yellow-tailed snapper, corals and much more.

    The second dive was in Carlisle Bay a favourite venue for the catamaran tours for snorkelling as there are six shallow wrecks to peer down at and, often, turtles. We saw the six wrecks that had shoals of fish sheltering underneath.

    Day 2. SS Stavronika, a Greek wreck on the West Coast, the deck in about 100ft. I’d changed to diving in swim shorts and top that let me reduce the lead to 14lbs and not require any bcd adjustment for depth, just for air used. Lots of fish and a well-preserved wreck with a swim through a companionway.

    Dive two was on a nearby reef with varieties of soft and hard corals and my first sighting of a Lion fish and lots of other small reef fish. As we were close to our hotel, we were dropped onto the beach there.

    Day 3. Back to the Asta reef, this time with my newly qualified son-in-law as a buddy. A bit flappy arms but generally good and well disciplined, keeping good station. I started wondering what was happening when I kept having to vent my bcd, eventually working out that the inflator was stuck. I worked out that I should detach the hose, told the guide what was wrong and she did just that. Coming to the surface, I reattached it and rapidly became the Michelin man, realised later that I could have orally inflated.

    Second dive in Carlisle Bay, I ignored forum advice and tried out my new video camera. Got some decent shots, both of son-in-law and fish around the wrecks. Found later that I also had shots of the inside of my bag – have to be careful not to press the button as you cannot turn the camera off when it is in the waterproof case.

    Day 4 After a late pickup from the hotel, we went to Shallow Draft dock and hung around there while the boat was loaded – two employees hadn’t shown. Eventually set off to a nearby reef and after kitting up, with me sitting on the side waiting to backward roll in, they decided the current was too strong so we were off again to another reef. Finally, a descent to a pleasant reef. This time, both son-in-law and daughter were diving – initially she was quite tentative but settled down. One game was opening up a fish trap and lifting the other end to let out the fish – they seemed to like it inside; hopefully they will leave when we’ve gone.

    Second dive, you guessed it, Carlisle Bay. Nice dive around the wrecks including a green turtle eating solidly and taking no notice of us.

    The reefs could be more colourful with bigger fish – the dive centre boss was saying that they need more laws to help this but I wonder whether the Bajans would take much notice. The equipment was looking tired – the lugs on a mouthpiece came off as I started one dive and I used the alternate. The divers we were with were out of practice but allowed to dive without a refresher (two on an OW course turned up seriously hung over and were not allowed to dive that day, another lost his regulator and surfaced coughing blood after holding his breath). Would I come back? Yes, given the chance – easy diving, wonderful people and the reggae buses are an experience at a fare of $2 Barbadan (US $1) however far you go.

    A few videos will follow, once I can edit out the bottom of my bag and bcd pocket sequences. As all things in diving, practice, practice, practice.
    Vanny, splinter and Wibble like this.

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