Most of us have been out of the water a week or two (or three), and by the end of last week, we were pretty desperate for a dive. We were planning to do a night dive for the past week, but when the evening came, there was too much of a North East and the ocean was not very inviting. Especially for the launch from the main beach. After a group huddle, we decided to dive the Marina Martinique, just to see what´s really going down beneath the surface!
We entered from the slipway on the side of Paradise Beach. Jacques evaluated Tommy who did some navigation skills for his Advanced Open Water. Faure was testing his new fins, (that came with that VERY expensive T-Shirt!) We soon found out that night diving and navigating in the Marina was not very simple. The two tall guys, Paul and Bertus were buddies and they must have covered the most distance. In the Marina, there is no reference under water, with the bottom that is just brown with lots of little schrimp holes. The rest of the group also got caught up in conversations with curious inhabitants of the Marina, who enjoyed a Friday evening braai and some wine next to the water streets.
The average depth for the first bit (as we swam and waded towards the deeper parts of phase 2), was only about 2.5m. After passing the iconic little bridge, the depth went down to a maximum of 6m. There was not much life and vegitation from what we could see, with a thick layer of silt and mud, reminding somewhat of the bottom of a lagoon. At one point, Paul stood on something big that swam away, and we presume it was a ray or skate. Several box fish (puffer fish) were spotted, and Paul took some photos of them. Due to the bottom being so random with no real current lines of ridges, some members of the group found that they swam in circles. At one point we surfaced under the bridge, not entirely sure which direction we should go and got a big fright when a car passed overhead. Fortunately, the roar of the ocean guided us and we were soon on our way to make our exit.
Diving the Marina was definately an interesting experience, but we all agreed that we much prefer good old Rock cod, Kraal or Discovery Channel. Here are some happy snaps taken by Jacques and Paul