Dive 999 brought us to Blue Holes. We were once again let off the leash by Robin, our DM, and given the opportunity to dive our dive. We don’t ask for much, just for an hour under water!
We saw the ubiquitous disco clams, a hawksbill turtle and several squarespot anthias on the dive. The exploration in the cave was unhurried and pleasant, and then we drifted down towards Blue Corner. Very, very pleasant. The only bad part was the fact that my mask kept fogging over, and I spent a good part of the dive blowing my nose. The stinging in my eyes was not fun! I may have to stop using my eye cream until the dive is over, since that may be what was causing the stinging, and for me to make faces. Making faces does not let you seal your mask!
Dive 1000 started with my primary dive computer telling me I had too much nitrogen in my blood stream. I was more than a little perplexed - my backup dive computer showed me as in the green, and I dived the same profile as Wayne (same dive computer) and both his computers read thumbs up. There was a recall notice on the Hollis before we left for Palau, I wonder if this is what caused the recall.
Anyway, we hooked in at the mouth of the channel for about an hour, and then we took off on a seven minute ride through the channel. We were going at the speed I remembered from my first trip to Palau - it was wonderful. Since it is grouper mating season, there were groupers all over the channel. Amazing. And very few titan triggerfish (yay!)
When we got to the surface, my BC wouldn’t hold air. I was glad I had dropped to six pounds. It turns out that there is a hole in the bladder of my travel wings. Dive Gear Express does not sell bladders, so I will have to contact Dive Rite when we return home. I think that the bladder was weakened on our Kona dive trip when my SS1 kept hyper inflating the BC.
On our way back to the shop, my hooded vest flew off the boat and sank to the bottom of the lagoon. :( Seems like gear failure is a theme this year. O-rings, hoses, computers, bladders, lost equipment. Oh well, they are just things. I’m glad we invest in redundant equipment.
Our final dive of the day was the Helmet Wreck. The condition of the wreck continues to deteriorate (you almost cannot recognize the helmets as being helmets), and the surveying equipment we saw last summer is still on the wreck, tripod, lines and all. We searched in vain for the crocodile scorpionfish. Maybe some other time. There was a spiny pufferfish and a batfish, so at least some life still exists on the wreck.
I always feel like I have inhaled dirt after that dive - a shower at the shop is going to be very much appreciated.
We are planning on four dives tomorrow with our British PADI instructor counterparts. It should be an interesting day - we haven’t done a four tank shore based dive schedule in years.
We headed out to WCTC for benedryl, as both Wayne and I were having difficulty sleeping thanks to the itching of our bug bites. I expect sleep to be somewhat better tonight.
The celebratory dinner was at (naturally) the Taj. I finally had the lobster curry masala - it was magnificent. The Taj really is my absolute favorite restaurant in the world. Too bad it takes such a long time to get there. Robert gave us free t-shirts at the end of our meal, plus a complimentary dessert. Oh, I think I may explode! Happy, happy girl.