Dongee.It is the water craft that we are riding in towards our first dive site. It is not for the faint of heart! Andaman Bubbles is so far a good operation. The only slightly sketchy aspect is the boat. It is a traditional type craft with a few modifications. Like the installation of a diesel tractor motor, which is exposed, loud, and smelly. The fact that we can dive out of a traditional craft is cool, I just didn’t expect it to be one of the originals. This ancient craft needs a lot of work. The floor boards are loose the gunnels are missing at the area where you sit to back roll,overall it could use a coat of paint and a whole lot of tlc. In the boat’s defense it has got us out and back 2 days, we still have 3 to go, hope things work out.
The fish are HUGE here. Like the ancient trees in Bhutan, there are some ancient fish in the ocean. Angelfish 3 times the size of what we have seen in the Caribbean. Sea cucumbers the size of small dogs.
Today we traveled 1 ½ hrs., in our dongee, out to the middle of the ocean to dive Jonny’s Gorge. The current was strong, entering and exiting the water was a challenge. Once down, we swam against a very strong current towards the gorge where all the behemoths were hanging out. Large schools of fish just hanging in the shelter of the cliff. We saw another huge eel. It isn’t a green moray but an undulated eel and looked to be a grandfather of an eel. Just a little bit scary. He could eat me in one bite!
Our second dive was just minutes away from the first and was called Minerva Ledge. Only 30 feet deep, so we stayed down for an hour. I love these shallow dives. The surge was fun – we just lay in the water and the surge moved us forward and back or side to side. I could get close to the fish to photograph them by just letting the surge move me closer to them. Most of the fish are different for us and we do not know their names. So far, they are called the black and white striped with white and yellow polka dots fish. Or the bright blue tailed fish. Or the bright yellow body with a long nose fish. We have to go borrow the dive shop’s fish book so we can get the proper names. We did see a couple of black and white ringed sea snakes. Don’t know their proper name yet but sea snake is enough to know that we did not want to get too close.
As I am sitting here typing my body still thinks it is in the dongee and it is moving side to side. I wonder where we will go tomorrow in our funny little craft?