October 13, 2003

Day 9: Swim Forrest, Swim !

A long endless noisy night ride to Mahengetang with the Serenade to swim on the underwater volcano. Bad news, the weather is not very inspiring with low altitude dark grey clouds, rain and choppy water. We got the ride of our life with the Kennedy that decides to bring us straight down to about 40m to avoid drifting too much with the current.

The water has the most beautiful blue I have ever seen and the coral is stunning but impossible to stop for a picture ! Being down there he probably thinks it might be a good idea to check every corner of the reef swimming against the current to check for big schools of trevallys, sharks, barracudas, snapper or frogfish riding manta rays followed by whale sharks (one of this is not true). I breath like crazy and looking at the pressure gauge I feel that if I continue like this, the dive will end after less than 30 mins ! After a serie of up-and-down I decide to hang to a rock a few seconds to catch my breath. Everybody does the same except Kennedy that make a sign to continue follow him. Apparently we had all in mind a 'F* YOUUUUU !'. During this time Vince said that the underwater volcano was booming from time to time but due to my heavy breathing I apparently did not hear anything. He was wise to not follow us as he saw us going down and kicking like mad...(btw we saw nothing during this run)
The second dive is a little more cool though we have to play with current. After a while I have no idea where I am as the current obviouslly switched side, but I think that I'm swimming back in the direction of the boat, no big deal though as the reef is very shallow. After a while I seem to recognize a piece of rock that I have seen before. I decide to deploy my safety sausage to make it easier to locate me while I do a safety stop behind the rock to avoid drifting too much. As it happened I was about 20 meters from the Serenade anchor line !

#33: Location: Mahangetang UW Volcano, SI: 16h29min, Max. Depth: 38.3m, Time: 43min
#34: Location: Mahangetang Reef, SI: 1h37min, Max. Depth: 16.2m, Time: 66min
#35: Location: Tanjung Lia, SI: 4h48min, Max. Depth: 30.3m, Time: 60min

The only picture that I managed to take during this run Underwater volcano with bubbles escaping Kennedy hanging to a rock. There's current here, right ? Underwater volcano with bubbles escaping Underwater volcano with bubbles escaping Underwater volcano with bubbles escaping Coral, coral, coral and.. coral Good catch !

Posted by stephane at October 13, 2003 06:01 AM