My buddy's thousandth dive

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PortoMarie_20111030_002_smallOn October 30, 2011 the day has come that my buddy and I were able to celebrate his thousandth dive. It took some planning because on October 11 his dive counter showed 994 when he started a Search and Recovery specialty which would take 4 dives and he had 2 dives planned for a coral spawning study. I had to work. He completed his specialty but he decided to skip the second of the two coral spawning dives so the counter stopped at 999 on October 17. It took almost 2 weeks before we were able to plan the celebration dive together. We went to Porto Marie for this dive.

The dive was relaxed as usual. Rob didn't have his camera with him because of a mechanical problem with the battery door. I had mine with me to take some pictures of this dive. I also needed some pictures of damaged and bleached coral for an upcoming presentation. We crossed the valley between the first and second reef and went to the right along the second reef. No special encounters during this dive except for a large lobster which was hiding under the coral. He was quite large and had his tail under him. Apparently he was afraid of us. After taking a photo we went on. I was able to get some pictures of coral bleaching although the effects are not widespread at the moment. Also a large brain coral which was heavily damaged. Only a small patch of the coral was still alive. Reason unknown. The corals next to it looked healthy.

After 30 minutes we reached half tank so we went back on top of the reef till we reached the starting point. There we crossed the valley again and made our safety stop at the reef balls.

After the dive we celebrated this important milestone with a small dinner (Rob's treat). I had made a small plaquette with a san dollar on it and some text to celebrate this event.

Now we go up for the next milestone, the 2000th dive.