My longest dive – so far

210 minutes...almost made it to 4 hours

210 minutes…almost made it to 4 hours

Last weekend I completed my longest dive to date, 210 minutes. One of my good friends commented on the above picture, that I had posted to Facebook, asking what was I doing down there all that time. It is a good question because 3.5 hours underwater isn’t a small amount of time. It’s quite substantial.

I was out diving with The Nature Conservancy. One of the jobs that they do here in the Bahamas is to tend to a coral nursery that is situated very close to the James Bond Wrecks. Algae builds up on the PVC trees and it needs to be removed before it envelopes the staghorn coral that is growing from it.

Me cleaning the corals

Me cleaning the coral trees

There are about 100 trees down there and they need to be cleaned regularly. Unfortunately there are only 3 of us that go out and clean them frequently. Stuart Cove’s is planning on running a monthly dive where the trees are cleaned but as with everything here in the Bahamas these things take time to organise and set up. Hopefully it will become a regular occurrence and more people will come out and clean the trees.

The corals that are grown here will then be outplanted to help dying or struggling reefs recover. This is a great idea and hopefully the coral reefs in the Bahamas will start to flourish once again. However, it is a continuous struggle with over fishing, anchoring and invasive species all playing their part in the destruction.

So I donned my 8mm wetsuit, rigged up my sidemount harness and jumped in for 3.5 hour dive. It was a fantastic dive. I was in a zen like state where all I could hear was my breathing and scrubbing of the PVC. My mind could truly relax and wander, it hasn’t done that for a long time. I really enjoyed it. We stopped for lunch and then jumped back in for another 90 minutes.

I am looking forward to my next outing with The Nature Conservancy as we are planning on doing a 4 hour dive. I had enough air to do it, it was just that the other two wanted to stop for lunch.

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