Yesterday was another waiting day, hanging around Bay of Island, trying not to blow any more money, a habit I am far from proficient in, resulting in my current predicament: being skint. Not rly, but I'm getting there. That didn't stop me from spending even more dosh. Here's the deal: entry to the place they signed the Waitangi treaty - 25$, a full day cruise around the bay - 80ish $. But that was too expansive, so instead... I book a tour to Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace old flagship, sent to New Zealand to protest against the frenchs raping the environment around the atolls.
So what would a French response to a situation like this be? Why le sink zer ship, of courze. Because we're French... So in 1985.. I think. The French send in agents of the secret service, burn of two explosions on the ship when it's lying in the harbour, cracking the hull open and killing one of the crew. Of course no one know who did it, until two of them came to return a rental car they had hired... -.-'
Anyways, Greenpeace dragged the boat out a lot further, effectively donating it to divers as it forms a wonderful reef, one that I have visited today. Between 18 and 25 meters she lays, lightly tipped to starboard, covered in a gently waving forest of kelp with the local residents eagerly popping out to curiously inspect the newcome visitors who go down all that way. Absolutely stunning, and in a sense, I was a lot more nervous about this than I ever was about the bungy and the skydive, or the caves for that matter, or anything I have done so far. The reason for that is because all the other activities I've done, you've been far removed from any sort of responsibility. There is always a kindergarten teacher to hold you hand and say nice things about you, but with this... It's me setting up my gear, I'm the one who has to take care of myself and if I don't, I WILL die down there.
God have I missed that! I hate just following a guide around, who does exactly what we do, but carry a s*** load of stuff and takes care of everyone. Just feels infuriatingly ridiculous and childish being led around like that, so this was a very welcome venture.
That being said, I was going to go down with gear I had never tried, some quite different from what I had in Oz, I had only done six dives, all very shallow (about 6-8 meters), all starting from a beach entry.
Now I had new gear, new dive buddys, a new set of rules, new water, more than three times deeper than I have ever done and I still felt a bit insecure about all the procedures, not sure if I missed something. A whole lot could go wrong, but no guts, no glory.
And it was really cool, the visibility was terrific, over 20 meters of clear water, heaps of fishes and everything sprawling over the carcass of an old ship. After that dive, we surfaced and had lunch and that had another dive on one of the real coral reefs nearby, also beautiful. It's hard to understand how much lies beneath the waves when just looking out from a boat. I saw tones of fish, dozens of sea urchin and even an eel hiding in a cave.
Definitely the greatest sense of accomplishment and the feat I'm the most proud of so far on this trip.