Two dives on the Navy Pier
Exmouth Travel Blog› entry 55 of 59 › view all entries
Today was the long anticipated Navy Pier double dive. Despite not being able to book with the company the day before, I had no choice but to dive with Ningaloo Reef Dreaming because they are the only company allowed to operate at the pier. Ah well. This morning they arrived on time with their bright orange coloured bus.
Once they had picked us all up, we drove to their dive centre which is outside of the town area. After filling out a bunch of disclaimer type forms and a dive briefing of the site, we checked our gear, loaded it off the bus and drove to the pier. Since it is a US (I think) Navy pier, we had to first check in at the check point and the police officer came on the bus and checked all of our IDs. Then we drove to the first locked gate and then another locked gate.
The pier makes a giant "T", which is probably 30 metres across. The pier is constructed with a bunch of metal beams, which lots of stuff had learned to grow on over the past 50 years. Besides all the barnacles, there's a bunch of fish too :) The pier itself is only used twice a year, so the rest of the time, everything is untouched, except when there are dives looking around.
Our first dive was to a depth of about 12 metres (the ocean floor) and our group's dive lasted about 40 minutes. On the first dive we saw a bunch of white tipped reef sharks, a few different nudiebranches, a wobbiegong shark, a few rock cod (one was about 5 feet long) a bunch of lionfish (something I'd always wanted to see and saw heaps of them today!), moray eels, a giant school of trevally (about 1.
The site isn't particularily big so we did see the main tower and the two "dolphin" towers to the side in 40 minutes. The benefit of the double dive is that we got to do it all over again a second time!
We saw pretty much the same things on dive #2, but I saw the octopus that I missed the first time around. We were having fun swimming through the large schools of fish that would move out of your way, but just barely so you're pretty much touching these 2 foot long fish.
All in all, it was a really great dive but a bit pricey at $230. I could have gone out with a different company and did two boat dives on the reef for $160. I'm guessing the extra fees are for the government or because they are the only operators so they can charge as much as they want.
I spoke with a couple who did the night dive last night. They said they saw less on the night dive but did see one of the giant cod fish eat a fish the dive master had shone her light on!
After we packed up our stuff, we were on our way. The company has a "no peeing in the wetsuits" policy, so I was patiently waiting until we got back to use the toilet. Well, about 10 minutes from my hostel, our bus got a flat tire. It had been about 4 hours since the last toilet stop, so me and a few others (taking our turn) walked behind a giant termite mound and "relieved" ourselves there. I've peed in worse places before but next to a termite mound is very, hmmm what's the word, icky ... although thankfully I couldn't actually see any of the bugs.
I just got back from the hostel from a shopping trip in the main centre. At 4pm on Saturday, the only things open were the dive shops, the newsagency, one women's clothing shop and the two IGAs. If you're looking for a bumpin', happenin' town, look elsewhere!I met up with Max after dinner and took him up on his offer of whiskey and coke. Seeing as I had nothing to wake up early for in the morning, one whiskey and coke turned into several, which then turned into beer. There was a new Western Xposure tour bus that had arrived that day, which was the tour that started a few days after mine. They were having fun dressing up in garbage bags, playing drinking games and seemed to be having a lot of fun. Max had to get up early to go diving so I joined their little party. Once the bar closed and the area we were in closed, they told us to leave and that there was a beach party. Me and this guy from England went to a party across the road to try to find this random guy who was chatting to us earlier and had his shirt ripped open "in a fight". We couldn't find him but found a party with a bunch of guys and a chick dancing on the counter in the kitchen. We found the rest of our group who were still looking for the beach. At last we gave up and sat at a visitor centre picnic area and might as well been high school kids looking for a place to drink haha A very random night but a lot of fun.
The hangover I have today .... not so fun!