March 20, 2003

Conception Island

Taxi arrived again at 9AM (scheduled for 8:15AM). In the way to Beau Vallon we stopped to a guesthouse to pick up other people as well. The taxi driver was shocked not to see them and then called the Dive Center owner that asked him to leave. I talked a little bit to the taxi driver and he was angry because that's the 2nd time they are not waiting: 'At what time were they supposed to be picked up ?' I asked, 8:30' he replied. I looked at the time...9:10AM. Humm..there is obviously something he has a problem to understand... assuming you should dive at 9:30AM and a taxi must pick you at 8:30AM, what would a common sense do if the taxi is not here by 9AM ?
If you want a really accurate answer then you need a geographic location for that event. There is NO time in the Seychelles for certain things...

As we arrived in the dive center, they were were just entering as well, they probably came by public bus or did a little walk. They told Garry (the dive center owner) that the taxi was not here, but he replied instantly 'yes it was there waiting for you at 9AM, he just called me'. Amazing how people interpret differently what is 'time'. And it must be pretty difficult for them (German) who are pretty sharp on time by nature compared to French people.

We headed to a place called Shark Banks with a group of more than 16 (!) divers. It was supposedly splitted in 2: 6 for our group and the rest for the others. We jumped in the water... everybody was waiting at the anchor line, mixed by the waves... Gary asked me to engage descent first so that others could follow me. I descended slowly till the bottom (28m) with the 4 other divers behind me...No Garry...the other group arrived..still no Garry. We waited more than 5 minutes before he arrived...

For non divers, they must keep in mind that maximum no-decompression time limit is 20 minutes at 30m. The bottom was flat between 25-30m. We are supposed to be always inside the security curve which means: no decompression stops. Our group had already spent 1/4 of its allowed time doing nothing but waiting.

The rest of the dive was as chaotic as it could be with a group of 16 divers with about 6 photographers swimming after every 'nice' fish like crazy (are people stupid or what ? cannot they realize they are scaring fishes by chasing them ? do they really expect any good picture from this ?) All the cause of this mess where our 6-diver group was surrounded by the other one was apparently because their 'divemaster' was too 'fresh' and did not know the place (and to care about a group I guess).

In the afternoon, we went to Conception Island. Olivier was the guide/instructor on board, and once again he allowed Elena and I to dive in a buddy team together on our own. So we did and engage into a very nice dive that ended with turtles, white-tip shark, octopuses and a giant ray.

The meeting with the ray was pretty amusing as I was taking pictures of a small nudibranch in front of a huge rock, and I saw Elena making excited signs to me indicating an interesting thing. She was standing on the other side of the rock and when I came to the other side, it was simply amazing, a gigantic ray was lying just there !

On our way back to the boat we were chased by a small turtle that went toward us and made a full circle around us before leaving, she was probably being curious.

For the record we were told during the briefing to come back to the boat... we manage to come back at the exact same place, but of course the boat went ballistic at the other side of the island to pick up all the other divers (they apparently changed the 'pick-up' place just after we left ... ).

Once again a very nice dive with Elena, even though the crazy group managed to jump into us when we were looking at a shark resting under a cave.. the poor shark was so panicked by all the divers at the entrance of the cave that he was swimming frantically inside in order to find a way to escape. Grrrr...

Longfin batfish Beau Vallon beach, Mahe Beau Vallon beach, Mahe Road in Beau Vallon, Mahe Spotted eagle ray Green turtle Green turtle White-tip reef shark Banded boxer shrimp Varicose wart slug Blotched fantail ray Blotched fantail ray

Posted by stephane at March 20, 2003 02:47 PM