Took the day off on Tuesday and went diving in Izu. It has been months since i went – back in mid-October, then the water was still 20ºC and comfortable in a wetsuit. Now it’s down at 13 – 14ºC, probably as cold as it’s going to get this year.
Winter diving is a special treat; the water might be cold (cold enough to make your face hurt) but it’s usually very clear, and when the sun is shining, wonderfully blue. For a misanthrope like me there is also the bonus of having the pacific to myself!
I’ve been diving with the same guide for several years now, and we’ve reached a good level of understanding about what constitutes a good dive. Up to the limits of safety, i’m not bothered by getting thrown around in the surf, don’t mind having to do long surface swims, am quite happy to make physically challenging dives, as long as there is something interesting / unusual to go and see… even if it’s just the scenery. We tend to move at a good pace, and try to cover as much ground, get as much out of a tank, as possible.
There are a few parts of the spot where i regularly dive that are too much effort for most people – consequently they are my favourite spots. Hoards of divers put a lot of pressure on the environment, and many people aren’t as careful and aware as they should be of there actions underwater… it’s basically a privilege to get to dive somewhere that is unspoilt.
Anyway, after saying all that, i didn’t do one of those dives this time, and still had a great time. It’s nudibranch season right now, and the place is crawling with the colourful little blighters. Don’t think i’ve ever seen so many species (ten!) in one days diving… except maybe in Okinawa.
Determined to get back into my previous routine of diving once a month… but need to look into getting my travel costs down. Somewhere along the line i got used to using the Shinkansen to get to Atami… lazy (and expensive).