Due to the unfortunate demise of SCDC‘s scheduled boat in a recent typhoon, it looked as though the weekend’s diving was going to be scrapped. But the Hong Kong Underwater Club (HKUC) very kindly invited us out on their boat instead.
After a bit of excitement in the morning, involving Catheryn hijacking our van, changing the departure time and completely failing to tell us, we got to the boat fashionably on-time. We set off from Tso Wo Hang and headed to Tai Long Wan, which has long been an HKUC favourite. Anchoring near the channel between the 2 islands that make up Tsim Chau, we had 3 other dive boats in close attendance. Fortunately they were doing training and despite their tenders racing around dropping people off and picking them up, they weren’t a problem.
Rita and I headed through the channel between the 2 islands before heading left towards the mouth of the cave. This cave runs through the island and on the seaward side where we were heading, the floor starts in around 10 metres. It’s also quite a large entrance on that side. There is an air space all the way through apparently, but the surge can often be a problem. We headed into it with 2 very small torches and after about 20 metres, decided to come back another day. If there had been no surge, or if we’d had better torches, we might have pressed on, but we decided that discretion was the better part of valour. There was quite a lot to see, but it did involve quite a long swim. A better way to do it may be to surface swim part of the distance to the entrance, or better still, get a tender to drop you off on that side of the island.
After lunch we headed to the cement wreck, but after a short debate as to exactly which part of the headland it was on, I was able to persuade them to go to the Dollos instead. These are the bizarrely shaped concrete monstrosities that are intended to protect the shoreline in front of one of the dams of High Island reservoir from wave damage. Although I like the site, I’ve not actually dived here for several years and Rita had never dived here, so we were looking forward to it. I do remember that there used to be a school of maybe 200 juvenile barracuda, so I was hoping we’d see them. Well, things have changed. The school of barracuda has turned into something of Sipadan proportions. We were swimming among them for the entire hour of the dive. There were also some big butterfly fish and a large cornet fish. The concrete blocks were good to swim through and around too, with a variety of more shy creatures hiding among them. Without a doubt the best dive I’ve done this year for fish life.
I would like to thank HKUC for their hospitality and for a very enjoyable day out. It was a lot of fun, great diving and yet very relaxing.