Safety Stops when Diving
My current dive computer (Sunto D4) seems to be more conservative in its safety stop requirements than the Gecko I used to use and punishes me for the occasional slightly fast rate of ascent with an extra 1 minute stop. Hence the safety stop usually becomes 3 minutes at 5 metres and 1 minute at 3 metres.
The longest minutes in any dive seem to be those hanging around on a safety stop. Some dive guides like you to put up your SMB whilst you are on the safety stop, our guides on this trip tell us to do it after the safety stop.
I find maintaining a steady depth whilst doing a safety stop at night very difficult. Unless you can see the screen of your dive computer in the dark (some will light up for extended periods or glow), it requires holding a torch in one hand pointed onto the screen whilst maintaining a steady depth and also being able to signal the passing of time to your buddy – for me, this is definitely a three handed job. Some dive boats encourage you to hold on to a line dropped from the stern, this is not the practice on the GSS because they like the line to be kept clear for anyone who needs to use the spare air tank hanging there.
The plan is to head to the North West of the reef, rib entry down to 15m explore the coral gardens, see juvenile parrot
fish or whatever else there is and enjoy a lovely long dive in little current. And that is what we did!
As we descended, there was a large table coral
and above to the side, were shoals of Antheas in the sunlight.
The shoal of Mirror Fish to the side was the densest I have ever seen anywhere.
Zebra fish were living in coral clumps
and the Sea Cucumber were nicely lit up in the sunlight
enabling close inspection
A shoal of this fish were determined to get very close and
friendly and we came across this Puffer Fish taking a rest on the sea bed. This is a great place to dive.