Archive for the “scuba diving vacations” Category

Ahhhh Shangrila!!!!!!

Heading out on the night dive - Port Vila Vanuatu

Heading out on the night dive – Port Vila Vanuatu

We arrived at our new hotel in Port Vila after a short 10 minute ride in a  minibus.What a difference a pool and aircon makes.

The Moorings Hotel in Port Vila is a small but nice  hotel a few minutes walk out of the centre of the tourist strip in Port Vila. Don’t get me wrong it’s not perfect but for the price in comparison I would happily recommend it.

The rooms are fresh and clean with daily maid sevices. Airconditioning is good and in some rooms there is a separate shower and toilet rather than the usual where it is the same room. The pool is a good size and the view from around the hotel over the bay is pretty damn nice as well.

On the negative side is the fact you need to pay for Wifi with timed cards and breakfast is only continental so no bacon and eggs unless you want to pay for it. We solved that problem by going to breakfast in town at the Nambawan Cafe. We still had to pay for our bacon and eggs but the coffee tasted alot better and they provided free Wifi.

It was now our intention to do some of Efate’s[ main island of Vanuatu ] better dive sites. I had done my research and was hoping

Shrimps seen o night dive - Port vila Vanuatu

Shrimps seen o night dive – Port vila Vanuatu

to do a tour with a double dive on Hat Island and Pauls Rock. This area was supposed to be some of the best diving Efate had to offer.

Unfortunately the company that ran the tour I read about seemed to have gone missing. It may be, that it does not run this time of year, as I found the weather was pretty much stopping any diving in that area. Just another Vanuatu mystery I guess.

Anyway it turned out Big Blue Scuba was running a night dive so we thought that could be ok for our last dive in Vanuatu. They are located on the foreshore next to Nambawan Cafe and the helicopter joy flight main office.

This was an easy dive on a site called Twin Bommies.

Beautiful Soft Coral - Night dive - Port Vila Vanuatu

Beautiful Soft Coral – Night dive – Port Vila Vanuatu

Nine of us plus dive guides headed out in a small boat for about 10 mins to get to the site. You would have thought it was a swimming pool the water was so c

alm within the protected area of the harbour at Port Vila. Giant stride entry off the boat and a nice easy descent with a maximum bottom depth around 16m.

The reason they go to this site is because they say they regularly see turtles sleeping there. Yes, it was true we actually did see turtles. Good to know they were actually telling the truth….I have lost count of how many dive sites I have been to called Shark point..etc and never see a damn thing bigger than my hand.

For me the highlight of the dive was after spotting the second turtle.

Turtle on night dive Twin Bommies Port Vila Vanuatu

Turtle on night dive Twin Bommies Port Vila Vanuatu

It was under a bit of a ledge so after taking a couple of pics I wanted to get out without silting it up before the others saw it. I took in a deep breathe and floated up while gently pushing myself along and up with the reef. I was slowly turning as I was doing this to keep site of the rock near me and just about crapped myself as I realized I was about to put my hand right next to a huge Moray eel that was right out of it’s hole in the reef looking for a meal.

Hungry Moray eel and Crab - Night dive - Port Vila Vanuatu

Hungry Moray eel and Crab – Night dive – Port Vila Vanuatu

Definate lesson to me “to look before I touch” in future.

Anyways not a bad little night dive in a nice easy location with enough to see so that most people would be happy.


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Day 3 and after a good breakfast it was time for our deep dive. Short trip out from the Hideaway Island dive shop to the dive site called Kathleen’s Mound. Backroll entry off the boat and a nice easy descent to 30 metres. Usual swarm of hungry reef fish at the upper levels of the descent.

Casual cruise around sighting a few nudibranch’s, lionfish, stone fish and a couple of large Titan triggerfish and a Clown triggerfish. Then a couple of basic exercises to recognise how we react at depth and it was time for a gradual ascent to a safety stop.At the safety stop we did another couple of exercises with an emergency tank to demonstrate low on air situations and then up to the surface and back onto the boat.

After a quick trip back to shore it was time for lunch at the Hideaway Island cafe. Lunch finished it was time for a quick bit of study so we could do our 3rd elective ” Peak Performance Bouyancy”. We decided to do this elective to help our underwater stability for photo taking.

This was an easy access shore dive at the Hideaway Island house reef called Oasis Shore. We both enjoyed the various exercises and feel it did help improve the way we move around underwater. More constant practice of what we learned should give even better results and a longer lasting air supply.

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