Fiona Rattray's Dive Log

@fiona_rattray

43 dives

Hilma Hooker on 7/19/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 19, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Great surface dive. Also, 6 or 7 tarpon lurk inside the wreck.
La Machaca on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny dive. We were staying at the Sand Dollar, and decided to check out Captain Don's house reef and swim back along the reef to Bari. Got as far as the Machacha wreck when a fairly strong current attempted to blast us north instead of south to Bari. Changed the dive plan to macro observation of the Machacha...
Angel City on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny. In my log book I have this listed as the best dive I had done to date. Fabulous double reef system lots of fish and coral was healthy. Nobody at the site! I hear that Lenny didn't do much damage here; fingers crossed that's true for my return in 2002.
Saint Marie on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Stayed at Habitat Curacao. Made 11 dives here, half of them night dives. Just like they say, home of diving freedom. Lots of macro critters, great place to learn photography. Also did Nitrox dives. A relaxing site.
Saint Marie on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Second visit. Conditions different than last year, cooler water, viz not as good and currents not doing what the locals expected...a small group of whales passed 1/4 mile off shore from Habitat one day… saw turtles and seahorses...not a bad tradeoff for the conditions
Superior Producer on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
After trying unsuccessfully to do this twice as a boat dive (once, boat too crowded, next time surface marker buoy not there) we got a dive master from Silent Immersion - great dive shop! -to take us to the wreck as a shore dive. Right choice! We did an entry from the extreme right of the aerial view; the current was pretty strong - the laidback dive master said the strongest he'd seen, and lots of surface chop - but what a dive! The wreck is everything it's advertised to be. Watch your air and depth.
Kleine Knip on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Bit of a surface haul...diversity of coral and healthy fish..
JanthielBaai on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
We did a shore dive that's not listed here, to the south of Jan theilbaai...Tugboat is usually done as a boat dive. You'll need a local map, the road twists around Caracasbaai, and you'll find yourself on a tiny road...there's a small beach past an active dock...once there, Tugboat sits in about 25 feet of photogenic water...great drop off, spur-and groove wall... if there's no dive boat around you'll have the site to yourself.
Port Marie on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Double reef system...very nice topside and below...great dive!
Bari Reef on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
This trip was made before Hurricane Lenny...we did 5 dives here, three of them night dives, and enjoyed them all. Lots of fish life, and at night the lights from the former Green Parrot made it easy to do a "stealth dive" return to the dock without lights. A great place to begin shore diving!
Airplane Wreck on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
You can dive down and drop off your gear, but you must park up the hill, than walk back down. The day we were there, the surge and viz was quite bad (for Curacao) and we had encounters with those little stinging whatsis in the shallows (you know, the kind that make your lips go numb); fish life on the wreck had decided to go elsewhere due to the currents running the opposite of normal...very macro blennies...at the end of the dive, we walked back up the hill in the aerial view to the parking lot in full gear, a bit of a workout.
JanthielBaai on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Ok, this wasn't Jan Theilbaai either...we chartered a boat to take us to Klein Curacao, a small island flat as a pancake two hours away...the island is uninhabited except for some fishermen's huts, no roads, just paths and a weird rusting shipwreck driven up on the east shore...great shore diving, turtles in caves on the north side at 80 feet lots of fish life...take lots of water with you, and sun screen!
Sweet Dreams on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny. Lots of soft coals, fire coral; saw snake eels, clouds of creaole wrasse, macro critters. A bit of current.
The Invisibles on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny. Great dive- the double reef system continues here with the second, deeper reef appearing out of the distance as islands of coral at the 80-90' mark. my dive log notes squid, sea cucumber, garden eels, and at the surface, keeltail needlefish.
Sweet Dreams on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny. Lots of soft coals, fire coral; saw snake eels, clouds of creaole wrasse, macro critters. A bit of current.
Pink Beach on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny. Pink beach was still there. There were lots of sea fans and soft corals...an easy, enjoyable dive.
Playa Shon Moso on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Wow, loved the drive in, like your own little park, plus you get to see lots of bird life including the local parrot. We did a long surface swim so that we could try and find the giant barrel sponge listed in the guidebook, but we never did find it. However we did see flying guernards on the surface swim, and at depth a ray and a huge lobster.
Daaibooi on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Yes, a bit of a haul on the surface but really well worth it. A fabulous wall, lots of fish dramas (defensive ball of chromis against hungry jacks; soapfish chows down on large chromis, rock hind tries to steal it and loses the tug-of-war). Great dive, but I shouldn't be telling you this!
Daaibooi on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Yes, a bit of a haul on the surface but really well worth it. A fabulous wall, lots of fish dramas (defensive ball of chromis against hungry jacks; soapfish chows down on large chromis, rock hind tries to steal it and loses the tug-of-war). Great dive, but I shouldn't be telling you this!
The Lake on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pre-Lenny. Corals healthy, lots of tangs, snappers. Double reef system means more to see. Most people seem to dive the site next door, the Hilma Hooker. It makes The Lake a great ignored location.
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Beach can be really hot for your non-diving friends- bring lots of H2O. Lots of fish life.
Playa Jeremi on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Guidebooks say this is a popular local hangout- true, you'll see lots of local Curacaoans. 2 turtles along the drop-off. Lots of sheet and mountain corals. Orange cup corals on a large rock near the shore, but also monofilament lines from the locals fishing here.
Cas Abao on 7/24/2001
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Jul 24, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Topside is great for non-divers. Lots of little critters in the shallows, blennies, spotted morays, cleaner shrimp. A nice, quiet, meditative dive.
Karpata on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Gear up before you enter the water at the old pier. Wade out to the end of the pier, hanging on to it, and put on your fins. Then just time it so that you lie down on top of a wave and you'll float out nicely over the shallow rocky bits. Fantastic shallows at the end of the dive.
Cliff on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Ridiculously easy entry down a set of stairs. When we were diving, there seemed to be some weird hot/cold vertical thermoclines I didn't notice anywhere else on Bonaire. The little wall was great, we went all the way from Cliff almost to the desalination plant, then back to Capt. Don's reef before returning to shore.
Hilma Hooker on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Did this dive as an early morning dive to avoid the "huge" crowds ;-). The ship's wheel has corroded away in places, and the hull has way more sponges and corals than in 1999. Beginners could do the wreck by staying at the upper hull at 60 ft and cruising the reef.
Alice In Wonderland on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Did this at dusk, lots of little fish and some fire coral in the shallows. A bit of surge on the way out, watch that fire coral again!
Margate Bay on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Lots of soft corals, some Elkhorn and Staghorn corals too. This was such a nice dive.
Red Slave on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Ok, we didn't dive Red Slave because of the early morning local fishing boat, but we went to a dive site between the lighthouse and Red Slave called Soft Coral Garden. This was just like the name says, lots of soft corals and a mild current to make it a semi-drift dive. I proudly wore my Shore Diving.com hat to most of the sites on this trip!
Salt Pier on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This was a great dive! If the Pink Dive Bus is at the dive site, permission to dive it that day has been given, otherwise you need to get permission to dive this working pier (I was told you can get this through your dive shop). What a great, cathedral-like dive with the light coming through the pier pilings. There were about 20 Wahoo just hanging out to catch the larger-than-usual numbers of baitfish. Neat sponges, orange cup coral on the pilings. Great place to hit 100 dives! Had a cold beverage at the Dive Bus since they saved us the effort of getting the permit.
Ol' Blue on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Lots of macro critters and fish. Easy entry, turtles in the shallows.
Bari Reef on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Saw octopus in the shallows, Sand dollar dock and facilities not yet completed.
Angel City on 8/21/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 21, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This was a fantastic early morning dive. The bottom just at the entry had a few more holes than I remember. Lots of fish life and coral is healthy.
Bachelor's Beach on 11/28/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Nov 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This dive is not actually Bachelor's Beach, but about 100m further south at BelMar, their house reef. Gradually sloping reef after a 2 min swim though coral rubble. Since not many dive this reef, things are IMHO in pretty good shape. Bottom of reef at 110ft, hard corals, free swimming gold spotted eel at dusk in the shallows.
Karpata on 11/28/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Nov 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This dive site - BOPEC - is north of Karpata, past the marine reserve "No Dive" area. Squid, eels, lots of soft and hard corals, but the entry was _SO_ difficult you really shouldn't go there.:-)
Tori's Reef on 11/28/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Nov 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
You enter through the water channel for the Solar Salt works, so the water in the channel is way saltier and warmer than the surrounding sea. A minor surface swim IMHO, and the soft corals were healthy on the reef. Salt channel is protected against surge (if it happens).
Sweet Dreams on 11/28/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Nov 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Did an unmarked site (Yellow Hut) between red Slave and Sweet Dreams. The surge was not too problematic, and saw lots of soft corals, some staghorn and elkhorn corals in the shallows. Nice relaxing dive.
Town Pier on 11/28/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Nov 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Finally after 4 years we get to do this dive. Go later in the evening, less crowded. Wonderful colours, sponges, corals, fish. Good buoyancy control is really important on this site.
Aquarius on 11/28/2002
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Nov 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
On the advice of a local, we did this as a drift dive, starting at Aquarius (still double reef system, but 2nd reef is at 60-80ft and the sand channel is a bit wider than at the Lake). We drifted up to Angel City, meeting friends who started out on Hilma Hooker and drifted south to AC. What a great dive! Coronet fish at 80ft, and a free-swimming green moray somewhere around Alice in Wonderland. Surface and walk back to Hilux, drive back to dive buddies and load up gear. What could be easier and more relaxing?
Chippawa Creek on 8/30/2004
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 30, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
Viz is limited, the attractions are the drift and the possibility of finding antiques from the War of 1812; all I've found is beer bottles, golf balls and shotgun shells, but it's a heck of a drift!
Telegraph Bay on 8/30/2004
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 30, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a review of Henderson Point, a shore dive site in Saanich Inlet, a bit north and west across the Saanich Peninsula from Telegraph. Park your car in the parking lot at the end of Senainus Drive, at the west end of Mount Newton Cross Road. A bit of a hike down a few rocky steps to the entrance, go in off the rock ledges, and out on a 255 degree heading to the reef. Lots of crabs, gunnard eels, urchins, shrimp, sea stars and rockfish. There are sightings of sixgill sharks here; I saw a dogfish at 85 feet. Great dive!!!
Ogden Breakwater on 8/30/2004
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 30, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
Fun dive, although the huge blocks of granite that make up the Ogden Point Breakwater, descending like giant stairs, can be a challenge when exiting the water for those of us who are short. (Crawl on hands and knees.) Tons of life, sea stars, urchins, crabs, jellies. If you walk along the top of the breakwater which goes out forever into the sea, you can pick your site. There are six dive flags about 100 yards apart, painted on the top of the wall. They correspond with increasing depths, the farther you get from the shore. At flag five we were told there are wolf eels, though it's quite a hike out there...good night dive.
Telegraph Bay on 8/30/2004
Fiona Rattray
Fiona Rattray
Aug 30, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
This review is for Maple Bay, Cowichan Valley, the northwest side of Saanich Inlet, northwest of Telegraph. Drive northwest from Victoria towards Nanaimo, turn off just before the town of Duncan. Maple Bay is east on the coast. This is a sandy entry to the left of the government wharf. A rope leads off the dock to the north, taking you out to a reef at 60-80 feet. Lots of small critters, octopus dens, nudibranchs. A fun prowl and muck dive.