We chose to book a certified, two-tank scuba dive through Carnival, who contracted Dreamtime Dive Resort for the excursion. Our group was small, with only four divers, one divemaster, and a one trainee dive master, along with a captain to sail us out to the most beautiful reef. If you aren’t certified, you can also do an introductory dive so that you don’t miss out on the experience.
The dive centre is located about 15 minutes away from the port, and the drive gave us glimpses into the port town, away from the touristy sites. We were given a few minutes to try on our gear and lock away valuables, before being briefed on the sites we were going to visit. It was our first time diving after our open water scuba course, and it took us a little while to figure out our weight belt requirements and what constituted low air in these parts due to all the unit conversions between the metric and Imperial systems.
The boat used was much easier to work with than the rubber ducky we used in Sodwana, and getting back on board was so much easier with a ladder, compared to flailing around with ropes. Doing the backwards roll was tad more challenging for short people, but with a helpful hand from the captain, all was well.
The water was deceptively calm on the surface, and we had to contend with quite a current at our first dive site. However, the sheer abundance and variety of fish had us so distracted that we barely noticed the extra effort we were expending. The water was warm, and the coral reef itself was beautiful. Aside from tons of fish whose names I don’t know, we were also treated to the site of graceful manta ray drifting along. It was not turtle season unfortunately, and we didn’t spot any dolphins, but they are known to make appearances so always keep your eyes peeled.
The second dive site was located at a drop off, and if your buoyancy isn’t up to scratch, you may have some difficulty staying off the reef. The visibility here was also a bit lower than the first site, and the water cooler. There were fewer species of fish, but the little canyons and caverns that we got to swim through made it all the more exciting.
The divemaster was superb, allowing us extra time to descend due to equalising issues, and pointing out so many creatures that we would not have spotted without his help. They were also great at keeping extra weights and helping me get my balance right, since I had trouble getting to the bottom initially due to carrying less weights than required. They served us sweet watermelon between dives and happily answered all our questions during the boat ride, and I’d highly recommend using them to explore the wonders that lie below in this part of the world.