Exceptional diving cruise to Alphonse
The Seychelles Islands give you the ultimate diving experience both with flora and fauna.
Enjoy exciting, unique and exceptional diving near Outer Islands located between the Seychelles and Madagascar such as Astove Cosmolédo, Adabra, or Alphonse. These drop-offs around the islands are near a sheer underwater wall and extremely well-preserved and far from Mahé. Even though Astove Cosmolédo and Aldabra, near the cyclone path may be difficult to reach, with 5 days of sailing and uncertain plane timetables, with the Turquoise we are only one day's sailing from Alphonse, located 220 miles from Mahé, making this Island easy to reach. Its beautiful blue lagoon provides inlets and outlets, just like a lake. Alphonse is near two other islands called Bijoutier and Saint Francois, well-known by fly-fishing enthusiasts worldwide. The Alphonse and Bijoutier Arcades have dive sites with an extremely rich reef.
14 meters to the Abyss Dive: breathtaking! An impressive amount of underwater scenery and marine life at all levels, even the possibility of spotting a few whales coming by; different levels for beginning to advanced divers. Of course, an experienced diver will be able to see more. It is extremely rare to meet another boat, and the hotel which is currently being refurbished has no diving activity, just a bit of fly fishing. You'll be able to enjoy dive sites such as Abbys, Canal la Mort, Eagle Nest, Tokos, Napoleon Point, Bijoutier East, Rainbow Reef, and Turtle Paradise, each one with something different and special for the week with one or two dives per day. Don't forget your lamp for nighttime diving.
This is what memories are made of : Turquoise is anchored at the edge of the sheer wall, and the 18 aluminum blocks on the sides of the boat are calling out to you. You can get into the water easily off the sides or the back skirts. Here come our friends: we can start our dive, the first plateau is swarming with multicolored fish, but that's not what we're out to see. The sheer wall is visible right in back of the catamaran. A few schools of brassy trevally fish rush out, seemingly concerned about what they'll be having for lunch. Red carps helped by a Napoleon fish seem to be on guard duty. Our friends are here too with an irresistible desire to keep on diving farther down. The overhang now disappears and we can see the wall that is full of fan corals, tree corals, and black corals, as far as the eye can see. Schools of fish are surrounding us, a few big pelagic fish attracted by this unusual activity show up before quickly making their way back to deeper waters, now that they've seen us. We keep on going down, it's still OK for our friends, whatever happened to the photographer?
At 35m we're stopped by an overhang, a nurse shark seems to have made it his home - finally there's the photographer! He just took a few shots of an enormous turtle swimming by, more interesting than the nurse shark.
I move away from all this activity to take a glimpse of the second part of this sheer wall that goes down to about 50 meters.
Oops, I mean as far as the eye can see.
Speaking of eyes, I'm looking right into one of a not too shy clown loach I didn't see before, here come its friends; holding my breath I push myself away from the wall towards the one coming towards me, I'm able to touch it. I let a few bubbles go to put a barrier between us that our mutual curiosity would tend to reduce.
Here come my friends again.
Except for the photographer and his assistant, still shooting pictures of the second clown loach.
If there is someone who isn't happy with this dive it's my computer, displaying a decompression level of 1' at 3m: we make our way back up, anyway my pressure gage is at 1/2 pressure.
We pick up the buoy attached to the photographer’s camera, he’s only got 1/2 bottle left too, expect that he forgot to tell us - guess who's paying for drinks tonight!
We go back up, skimming through the fan corals. One last look down at the sheer wall. Then we swim back to the boat. The napoleon fish invited a few family friends, then the computer said "no more decompression," but we were not in a hurry anyway. Look at that turtle over there munching on something between two fan corals under the eye of a Babone grouper. Where the heck is the photographer?
Right behind my back?? All right, his battery wasn't working! Hahaha! And there they are again, butterfly fish, angel fish, red carp, ludjan fish... 45 minutes and most of the arrows are in the red, the ladder seems to be calling to us, and it's time to go back, no choice this time. And what do you think we will be talking about? Make an educated guess.
This is just a short description of an ordinary dive, where nothing special happened. We have a dozen like this, each more beautiful than the other, and each one is different. I didn't add the wings of the Manta rays or the song of the whales, but that does happen, like when you come across a shark in the Outer Island sea, you understand, even though there is an airport nearby, you can't do everything and you have to keep your common sense: I think this is one of the hardest things to do, separate dreams from reality, one builds the other and it's easy to get carried away!!!
Fred, your skipper on Turquoise.