Whilst there we encountered the lone dolphin that's been making the headlines on the island the last few weeks due to it's aggressive behavior. We'd just got back on the dock and it was playing around at the surface a couple of feet from us. It's quite distinctive as it has scars on its back by it's dorsal fin.
There's various theories as to why it's been acting the way it has, but the DoE is asking people to steer clear as it "poses considerable danger". Several stupid people have already ignored that advice and have been injured. However this is a story for another day.
On Sunday we decided to check out Eden Rock on the waterfront by the harbor as they boasted some good diving and we thought we'd check them out. They open at 8.30am on Sundays, so we actually had the luxury of a late start for a change compared to our usual in the water for 7am.
Everything is well laid out with benches, picnic tables, lockers and easy access. No ropes to lower camera rigs but you can get your buddy to do that if you trust them enough. Two ladders for access, the larger, wider one on the right is preferable for those not wearing boots as it has a sandy-ish bottom free of urchins. And definitely no giant stride entries unless you're very vertically challenged!
Three buoys at the surface mark the area comprising of two sites, Devils Grotto and Eden Rock. Head out for buoy three at a bearing of 330 which will take you to the middle of the main finger. Its worth getting down and under right at the start as there's so much stuff to see in the shallows, you might miss something special like the octopus, barracuda, mantis shrimps, bristle worms and tarpons. And at only a couple of metres, you use very little air.
After about a 5-6 minute swim the hard pan starts breaking up and the depth starts dropping off. If you follow the finger round with it on your left hand side eventually you'll be facing back towards shore and you'll see the entrance for the Church Window at 14.9 metres, which will provide you with some excellent photo opportunities with shoals of huge tarpons cruising around hunting for the silversides.
|Monsterous tarpons guard the entrance to the Church Window|
|Entry through the window|
|Sprightly juvenile drumfish pauses for the camera|
|Colours everywhere you look|
|Our toothy companion quietly appraises us|
|Eden Rock dive centre|
|No taking, touching, feeding, molesting, gloves or knives. You have been warned.|
Worth also keeping an eye out for the roving shoals of blue tangs that hover round the exits as they make a spectacular photo op as you come out of the tunnels.
|The blue tang clan|
|A worm, bristling with vitality|
|Posing perfectly for once|
|The eyes have it. Such a tiny little thing.|
With friendly staff, a good layout and some excellent diving, Eden Rock Dive Centre is definitely well worth a visit as long as you can time it right to avoid the mad crowds.