As a PADI diver we are always reminded to protect the ocean, do your part! PADI even has Project Aware which encourages divers and snorkelers to look after the ocean and coral reefs.
So today I got to do my bit!
My group and I arrived at 9am at Fal Beach, Jeddah on a beautiful sunny day (which is normal for Saudi!) with a smashingly cool breeze. Despite being so early in the morning almost all the gear was gone, I got the last set!
Then I headed for the dive area. Fal beach is a private beach resort housing vacation style chalets which a mega pool area, a small pristine beach and a dive site. Clearly well looked after and as I was there to take part in an ocean cleanup something the management takes seriously.
I don’t usually dive at Fal beach so todaywas a double bonus – a new dive site and helping the environment. So with gear sorted we received our welcome orientation and advice on removing rubbish from the ocean – don’t touch anything that the coral has started to inhabit and don’t try to lift anything too heavy! Common sense really!
Excitedly I collected the gloves and net bags for my group. I had never done anything like this before unless you count high school organised litter collection along the highways of my hometown.
I was surprised at how little rubbish we found despite there being quite a lot – I know it makes no sense. But I guess as the resort does an annual cleanup it would be kept reasonably clean.
The dive itself was fun I saw a new type of jellyfish – new to me – a Cassiopeia Andromeda, aka upside down jellyfish which squatted on the sand in the shallows waving it’s flowerlike stalks in the current. It looked like it was breathing. I could have happily stayed and watched the fronds rippling in the sea.
Later on in the dive I spotted to my delight and that of my buddy some garden eels (Heterocongrinae). Trying to explain what you are looking at underwater is problematic as not all the underwater signs are the same but with a bit of floating close so the eels slithered back into their holes. My buddy had never seen them before. An awesome spot for me!
It was a great day and I feel great! The certificate doesn’t hurt either.