Laura, the team member at dive centre when we went along to scope it out could not have been more friendly and helpful - so marvelous that we spent the whole day prior to our scuba experience doing exactly what she said - which walks to go on, which holiday park to stay at, which beach to swim at (Woolley's Bay), how many sugars to have in our tea...okay, not that last bit! At the end of that day, how could we not go back and book for the Dive experience?
I say dive, but Robert and I chose to snorkel not to dive. Honestly I'd never even worn a wet suit so was feeling a bit like some ritual humiliation was in store. The crew however could not have been more helpful, funny, upbeat and yet very professional and serious about the safety bits and pieces. 2 dive sites were visited and despite only reaching a dive of 20 cms (otherwise known as my maiden snorkel experience) both were fun after initial nerves. The first dive was fantastic - a life changer, it actually seemed from hearing the experience of the divers that we saw a wider range of ocean dwellers if from a greater distance - carpet shark, ray, selk (deep sea beastie making a rare appearance in high waters) and others. The second dive site, in the cave due to inclement weather, was a bit disappointing for a snorkeler but seemed to have been good for the divers. A nice camaraderie developed on board between all ranges of ability, and age groups - even we relative oldies felt at ease! Conditions on return were hideous, big swell and high winds but we really felt that the crew knew what they were doing.
I'd definitely recommend this experience to other novices - even seeing the islands themselves and hearing about the history and ecology of the islands whilst sitting in a wet wet suit on a fairly crappy day on a rocky boat was interesting and added another cool dimension to the trip.
Big hands up to the gentlemen crew aboard Calyspso on Tuesday 23rd October for making our day out good fun and saving any belly laughs for the pub later that day. I fear a few were to be had - my back to front wet suit experience and the poor chap who lurched out of the toilet during a particularly rocky patch!
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