Photo of the Week (10/03/2012): Safety Stop

For the beginner diver this is one of the most discomfiting times of a dive, the safety stop, 3 minutes at 5 meters with the aim of eliminating microbubbles which are the cause of the dreaded decompression sickness or the ‘bends’. This can be an embarrassing time and as a beginner I used to flail around sometimes and I’ve even been dragged down by exasperated divemaster.


The pro’s make this look effortless, motionless in the water, maintaining their near constant depth sometimes even checking out their photographs from the dive. The trick to getting this perfected is to always check your depth and attune yourself to how your breathing affects your speed of ascent and descent. Being perfectly weighted especially with your empty tank in mind is also essential and with some practice being uber cool during the safety stop is well within reach.


Unwanted attention on the Medhafaru

I could almost feel the fish’s pain as it flailed along sideways, jerking spasmodically above the Medhafaru’s deck. The fusilier had perhaps been the victim of a tuna or seerfish strike into a shoal and mortally injured but still alive had drifted down to the ship.


To add insult to injury the poor fish was being pursued mercilessly by two well meaning cleaner wrasses. It is a common site to see the fusiliers taking turns at a cleaning station to get picked clean by these helpful fish but in this case the ‘client’ seemed less than happy, swimming away in stuttering, sideways spurts to try and evade the cleaner wrasses to no avail. Underwater life is tough indeed.