A days guiding is a lovely change for me, not that I don’t love the bay, but it’s nice to get out now and again. So bag packed, guests checked in and off we go.
The chaos at the jetty never fails to surprise me, especially when I am used to the relative calm at the centre! We rely heavily on the co-operation of all the other dive centres’ staff to make the process of getting through to the jetty as easy as possible, and it works well….most of the time.
It’s thanks to these friendships, and the promise of a sakara later, that we get away quickly and are off to Tiran before the rest. It’s good being the first boat out, but also means the other boats will have a slight advantage in their day as they get to observe what we do at the first dive site in terms of entry and exits, and our movements will often save them the effort of a current check (assuming we get it right!!!).
So having chosen Gordon for our first dive, we descend and realise we have no current, ideal. It means we get a lovely hour long dive, exploring the site to its fullest, and even treating ourselves to the caves round the outside of the reef. During our surface interval, I get chatting to a guest who has never seen a turtle, despite diving here every year for the last 3 years and clocking up over 50 dives. Surely this is impossible, but it appears that after checking her eyesight and consulting her boyfriend-buddy that this is indeed the case. It also transpires that she has been on many dives where there have been turtles but she has always been looking the other way.Someone looking for me??
So as we do the briefing for the second dive, I make sure to point out where the ‘native’ turtle is to be found, on the aquarium, and instruct the turtleless guest to be right behind me the whole dive. As we get in, I start hunting. And hunting, and hunting. It’s then I realise that maybe this girl is more than unlucky, maybe she wears turtle repellent. I cannot remember the last time I did this dive and didn’t see one. After a fruitless 50 minutes, and air getting low, I grudgingly head back to the boat. Disappointed does not cover it, and that’s just me. The guest is not bothered, long past the feeling of being let down.
Encouraged by the relatively good chance of a turtle on the northern coast line, they even go on the third dive. I have to give them marks for enthusiasm if nothing else. But yet, as they come back onboard, I can see that it has been yet another fruitless search.
Given this girls luck (or lack of it), as I chat with her later, I wonder whether I should suggest that maybe she should consider the house reef…….