Day 9 on the Road
Dive Zone Whitianga scuba diving trip to the Mercury Islands
Day 9 is here! Today on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year, where we are challenging ourselves to do 365 activities in 365 days, we are scuba diving at the Mercury Islands, Coromandel!
Guess what? Today we’re going scuba diving! Yeasssss! I am so pumped about it. I want to see like all the fish and stuff underwater. Sound cool but I don’t want to die. I don’t think I will die.
So we’re driving to Whitianga and the sun is just rising and it looks really nice. It’s a lovely drive. We’re blasting the music super high because I am pumped.
Then we suit up, which requires a wetsuit, some flippers, mask, some booties and all the other shit. Oxygen tank and BCD and all the stuff. It’s time to board the Scuba Doo, which is the name of the boat for the scuba diving trip.
So now we’re leaving the Whitianga Harbour and today is really not the best weather day, right? There is no rain there is not that many clouds but, hell, there is a lot of wind. And hell, there is a lot of waves. I can get on with it for hours. I have no issue. I actually find it fun. I’m having a blast. I’m standing forward. But Laura, on the other hand…
Oh my God. I’m holding on for dear life. These waves are huge. Get me back on a mountain. Why do people do this?
We finally get to, what we’re all here for, to dive at the Mercury Islands. The skipper, Darryl, parks the boat. I don’t really know any terminology when it comes to boats. He reverses into his parking spot in the ocean.
Our dive master, Ryan, gave us all the safety briefing, which involves all the hand signals and stuff. So I just sat there and fell backwards. And let the ocean take me.
We go down the chain and what do you know! There’s an octopus. you see its testicles curling and swirling out of its little cave that it has there. I get like really close to the octopus.
There’s actually quite a lot of fish down here. Lots of schools of fish. It’s quite cool to be amongst the kelp forest and swimming through all the green seaweed and stuff as it all floats with the current. There is a lot of seaweed and there’s a lot of wildlife. It’s very rich and it’s very fun and really cool so we start swimming around.
Ryan is pointing out a crayfish so I’m like: “Oo oo,” and Robin’s getting all up in the crayfish’s grill with his camera and scaring it away ruining it for the rest of us! But it’s all good because there’s loads of fish everywhere. Some of them surprisingly aren’t even scared of us. You just sort of sit down in the middle of the sand, have your camera in front of you and they just come up out of curiosity to the lens of the camera and swim away. And there was even a few fish, that I saw, that were all fighting over a shell right in front of my face, which was really cool.
Marine reserves attract obviously lots of fish and in marine reserves there is no fishing allowed. It’s only there to look at. You are not allowed to touch any or take any shells or take any sand.
We might be here for a while. Everyone’s got their life jackets on? Most dangerous part of the whole day.
So we get back to Whitianga, unload the boat, try to peel the wetsuits off our skin.
Another thing about Robin: he was not listening to anything Ryan was saying. I was like the number one student of the dive master that day because obviously I care about my life, so I was following all his instructions going like: “Okay, okay.” robin was like: “You alright.” “Aw, you want to go up.” “No no…. Okay.” This is what happens when people do not listen. this trip was about following Robin and making sure he doesn’t go into places he shouldn’t go.