Diving guest Freddie Forsyth reports on his best dive ever
This is the seventh time I had dived with Emperor and the week's diving, as usual, worked like clockwork, which is down to the terrific amount of effort from everyone at Emperor. I felt that I had to write to fully recommend the "Tiran Hammerhead Overnight" trip that we went on this year.
We arrived at Jackson Reef and it looked like the first dive off of the back of Jackson was touch and go because of the swell. After much deliberation it was decided that we could jump. We were fully kitted waiting for the ok to jump and I could hardly contain my excitement, which I am sure was accelerated by the adrenaline as we were bouncing about on the swell.
The brief was short and sharp, get in get down and swim out into the blue keeping the guides in site all the time. If the Hammerheads are there one will come up and suss us out and if were interesting enough to them then the rest of the group would appear.
After about 20 minutes it happened! We were surrounded by about 30 Hammerheads! (this figure will no doubt get bigger as the years go by) They swam with us for about 20 minutes, which was the most exhilarating 20 minutes that I have enjoyed whilst diving.Sadly we had to leave them as we were getting a bit low on air. Fantastic!
By the time we jumped the second time, the swell had gone but sadly there was a bit of current which took us away from where we needed to be, so we never saw any this time!We then retired to the shelter of the Lagoon to have our night dive, where we were joined by some dolphins. This was a lovely gentle night dive that rounded off the perfect day.
After a fantastic meal onboard and a few well earned beers we retired to get ready for a 0600 jump on the back of Jackson again to find our Hammerheads. Sadly this time the swell was too big and we had to admit defeat. Still it was mission accomplished on the first dive!
All was not lost however as we jumped on the front of Jackson, and being the first boat there, it was a totally different dive than usual. This was rounded off perfectly with a Zebra shark making an appearance about 20 metres below us when we just getting ready for our safety stop. After another nice dive - this time off of Woodhouse Reef - we made our way back stopping at Ras Nasrani. Having achieved what we set out to do and dive with Hammerheads, my buddy and I nearly never jumped. A combination of "it's the last dive of the holiday" and "you never know what we might see" changed our minds. A decision that I am very glad we made.
My buddy and I were bimbling about at 5 metres on the safety stop with Dennis, when I looked behind me only to see another diver in our group going absolutely bananas and making some very unusual signs. Signs that you will never see in any PADI Manual. When I managed to follow his pointing, we were only being joined by a Whale shark!What a fantastic end to a fantastic week! Our guides for the trip, Dennis, Carol and Dav, made a good trip into an excellent one!
If anyone reads this and is in two minds to go on the Tiran Hammerhead trip, I would only say that you would be absolutely mad not to! Either that or you have seen loads of Hammerheads already!
Cheers, we will be back.
Freddie Forsyth, Keswick, England