Dive #15 and #16, diving off Mount Lavinia with Colombo Divers, Boatman Ravinda, Instructor Shaf and Divemaster Jehan.
Palagala: Bottom time – 46 minutes; Depth – 12.7 meters
This was actually my first dive with my own gear and only my third dive with Colombo Divers following my fiasco of a performance on the first two dives. I think Shaf was still a bit circumspect about my diving abilities but we headed off for the short boat ride to Palagala and hit the bottom. Truth be told I’m quite far behind on my dive logs these days and I can’t really remember much about this dive. What I do remember was that I was somewhat of a better performer during this dive though I faintly recall being pulled down by Shaf during the safety stop once.
A juvenile Golden Trevalley also made an entertaining interlude for us, swimming up off the reef and getting quite pally with us. Apparently they are quite fond of swimming up to large fish and following them for protection. Of course every now and then they miscalculate and end up getting eaten (or so the caption says for the below picture from the Discovery Channel website. Our little fellow though just swam with us for awhile, peering in our masks until he decided we were not impressive enough to provide him protection and absconded into the green waters, his yellow and black stripes fading quickly in the distance.
Shaf was really enthusiastic about Nudibranches as well and pointed out a large Phyllidia ocellata in an overhang but that’s about where my memory of this early dive fails.
Bambadahaya (Ten Fathoms): Bottom time – 34 minutes; Depth – 19.2 meters
This dive was quite similar to Palagala apart from being a bit deeper, the rocky shelves of a typical Sri Lankan reef with slightly murky conditions, 5-8 meters of visibility. Again my memory is kind of shoddy on this dive but apart from some Blue-Lined Snappers and Bannerfish the main attraction were the Nudibranchs that Shaf with his eagle eye spied for us to look at. Phyllidia ocellata, Phyllidiopsis phiphiensis and Chromodoris geminus were all in attendance and please do click through to the pictures to take a look at the superlative colours from Nudipixels.net.
I’m not entirely sure why my memory is so shoddy from these first couple of dives but I’m going to put it down to spending most of my time concentrating on surviving underwater with little time to take in the sights and sounds. I guess the fact that I’m here writing this means I did a fairly reasonable job.
What can I say except.
Live to Dive!