Our Check out dive was in shallow water (35’), and good chance to check our weighting and any new gear before heading off to the surging currents of Wolf and Darwin. My “ebay special” wetsuit worked great, keeping me toasty warm even though I was just a wee bit heavy on my first guess for weighting. We saw lots of cool critters on this dive, including marbled rays, Panamic Horse Conch (which are bright orange with blue spots), Panamic Fanged Blennys, etc….
Most of the divers in our group were diving dry, so were experimenting with much lighter (or no) divewear. Those wearing “nothing” underneath their suit soon found out why you have to wear something… those dry suits pinch, bad! Ouch!
Friday, we did two dives at North Seymour, spotting several white-tipped sharks snoozing in a cave, spotted eagle rays, sea lions, and the amazing assortment of fish and invertebrates that proliferate among the islands. During our first dive, one of our divers (Jon) handed his dive buddy/girlfriend a wet note with a ring zip-tied to it. The wet note said, “Shannon, Will you marry me?” Once Shannon got over the shock, she turned the page and wrote back, “Hell yeah!” Definitely a memorable dive!
On the second dive, we dropped down to check out the garden eels, which are much bigger (and I might add braver) than the ones I’ve seen in the Caribbean. There were hundreds of these fascinating creatures everywhere you looked. After lunch, we headed over to shore for our first land excursion. A baby sea lion greeted us as we stepped off the tender, and you had to be careful where you stepped, as the blue-footed bobbies built their nests right on the foot path and the sea lions let loose anywhere it pleases them. The boobies and frigates were mating and nesting, consequently they were very entertaining (and somewhat comical to watch). Of course I took a lot of pictures, which are remarkably easy since you can get so close to the critters. They seem to have no fear of humans at all, basically ignoring you unless you’re blocking the sun or their route. What an amazing place.
After our land excursion we headed back to the boat, pulled the anchor and started the long journey north to Darwin Island, which would take all night.