15 May, 2008

Bottom Dwellers

I lived and dived in Hong Kong for about three years and, whenever I mentioned that to people I met on dive trips outside of Hong Kong they always asked me with a hint of irony :"Diving in Hong Kong??".

Ok, I will admit, diving in Hong Kong is not like diving in the Red Sea, Andaman Sea or in the Maldives! Shallow waters, mostly poor visibility is what most people would tend to say... but wait!!! That is not entirely fair!

Hong Kong has some hidden treasures and some diving thrills to offer. A dive in near zero visibility at 23m is far more challenging and exciting to me, from a pure technique perspective, than a dive to 40m in crystal-clear waters. In spite of relentless drag-net fishing there are hidden corners in Hong Kong waters with much to offer in terms of marine creatures action. To date Hong Kong is the only place where I have ever come across a Cow Fish, free divers have also had some very close encounters with pods of dolphins while at depth.

But diving in Hong Kong, to me, is not just about the dive sites. It is also about the people as every diving outing never failed to turn into a social event permeated by good humor, well meaning banter all followed by good food and drinks.

I was able to catch up over dinner with part of the Sandy Bottom Divers gang during a quick visit to Hong Kong in the first week of May. Unfortunately for me not long enough to go out diving again!

So the next time you are passing by Hong Kong consider going out for a dive or two. You won't regret it!

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