Friday, 5 August 2016

OTNTourLA - Before we started

First stop on the tour was Panama, and I took the opportunity to go a few days earlier and mix business with pleasure and go diving.

I wanted to dive in two oceans in one day, however their rainy seasons has over run and that means rivers are running into the ocean and bringing lots of mud with it. This creates poorer visibility but I don't care, I live in N Ireland and seeing my fingers means good visibility sometimes.

This poorer visibility meant that the Caribbean side of Panama was the only side worth diving in. I found an amazing PADI dive shop online (Panama Divers) who came and collected me, took me on two dives on Friday, I stayed in their on site hotel, did two more dives the next day, despite the lack of sleep from the constant rain on the tin roof, and then took me back to Panama City.

The first two dives were all about the number of lobsters on the reef, both dives were about 50 feet not nothing too taxing, only a gentle current and for me very acceptable viz. I wore a 2mm wetsuit, much better than the previous weekend in N Ireland when I wore 2 (yes TWO) 7mm wetsuits. The water was for me a great temperature.

My favourite sponge of the day

What I loved best about these two dives was the amazing ocean structures, especially the sponges, every one is unique and these are living creatures.

That rain I mentioned, well I honestly thought it was going to stop the diving on say two, but no we still did.

I found a Moray eel, there was a sting ray a few feet away from us, and some amazing fish, including the biggest Parrot fish I have ever seen.

I also went to see a wreck of a twin engined aircraft close to Drake's Island, the resting place of Sir Frances Drake, although the locals call him a Pirate. 

Between dives we sailed past the remains of the old fort, that protected them from these pirates.

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