Tonight over supper of Chicken Pesto Pasta for Murray and Garlic Shrimp for me, we discuss the benefits of going on a scuba diving trip that is longer than one week. Our usual time frame for a dive trip is about 10 days. Due to Westjet’s flight timetable, we are staying on Bonaire for two weeks, so we get 13 days to scuba dive.
The longer we are here, the longer our dives become. We are more relaxed in the water so our breathing is calmer and we use less air, therefore we get to stay down longer. Also, we adjust our weights so we are not overweight, thus using less air and we get to stay down longer.
Our dive routine, swim to buoy, descend, use compass to swim over reef, find a marker, etc is getting perfected. We are diligent about picking out good markers, whether it is a large coral head, odd shaped brain coral or unusual tube sponge grouping, as this is how we find our way back to shore. Murray is becoming an expert at using the compass to navigate back to shore.
Our under water communication is getting better and better. We are making up hand signals for things like “buoy”, “turn around”, that crab is “hiding” and let’s go in that “direction”. We cannot have long conversations while diving but we get the point across and keep trying until the message is understood.
We get better at spotting small or unusual wildlife the longer we dive. It takes a few days to get used to the terrain and who hides where. Our eyes need to become accustomed to where to look, and that takes time.
Finally, my camera skills are improving the longer we stay on Bonaire. The first few days, my photos are all blue, or washed out by too much flash or out of focus. Today I took some pretty good photos, in focus and perfect lighting and colours! If we only dove for 6 days, I would never reach this level, and that would be frustrating.
We would recommend to everyone to book dive trips of about 10 days (or splurge for 2 weeks!) to make sure your diving has a chance to improve.