Saturday, 28 May 2011

Dive 12 - Kunaavashi Kandu revisited – Felidhe Atoll

The nearest Atoll to the dive site is a Picnic Island

Picnic Atoll

so called because it is visited by picnickers and has no official residential accommodation.

This time the plan was to reef hook further out and deeper into the channel in order to see the early morning sharks.

Dive Plan-1

Depending on the current direction, we would either drift across the mouth of the channel and make for the southern wall or drift in and hook wherever it was possible.

In the event, the current was strong and swirling and we drifted into the channel rather than across it. There was a ridge line at about 32m to which we hooked on in the strong current. For me, the maximum depth became 34.1 (deeper than the dive plan but above the maximum Nitrox depth for 29%) and the hang out time at around 32m was18 mins. Avoiding turning the dive into a deco dive was difficult and most of us went into a short compulsory deco time which for me was expended by slowly ascending towards 20m towards the end of the dive and my Suunto D4 gave me its usual additional 1 minute penalty at 3m on top of the standard 3 minute stop.

White Tip 2 

We did see lots of sharks and there were numerous White Tips around which were quite interested in us

White Tip 1

but usually kept their distance.

Shoal at 30m

Shoals of fish went into line ahead formation to minimise the effects of the current and to minimise the individual chances of being eaten by a shark.

When we released our dive hooks, we were swept along by the fast current.

This video shows the speed of the drift and further evidence of the speed is given by the angle of the air bubbles which are not going straight up as they would if there was no current.

Feather Star 2  

Just to show it was not only sharks, here is a feather star


and a turtle seen some distance away.

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