Friday, July 19, 2013

Freediving in Mauritius in the Grand Baie Area

I just had a 10 day family holiday in Mauritius (early July). It was excellent for myself and the family. It was my first visit. Sea temp was at the lowest annual average of 23-24 deg C which was just great for me and air temp was nice with warm sun but not harsh UV conditions.
I stayed at hotel Merville Beach  just north of Grand Bay.
I had great viz deeper out and quite close in - typically 15-25 m  and max viz was 60 m. I dived by boat at Coin de Mire (an island about 10 km NW of Grand Bay)

Coin de Mire:

On Steve's boat - you can hire it, contact him on (230) 7607719

Robert Marie, Steve's brother was a great host on one day when we rented his water taxi for the day and he took us to dive with dolphins (the whole family was in with the spinner and bottlenose dolphins - Griffin on dad's back with a mask and no other attire!.)
Roberts rates were very reasonable  contact him on (230) 2637961 or 9325590.

Robert and Steve would come to the beach at teh hotel after breakfast to pick us up for whatever activity.

Zephyr and Ateya diving:

There was a nice shallow dive against the island and not far off was the wreck of Jabeda in 34m which made for a great dive with 30 m viz. It is close to the island. There I saw kakaap(green jobfish), dogtooth tuna, greater baracuda, ignobilis and some big rock salmon snappers on the wreck.

Freediving the wreck with short fins was a bit harder but I got used to them and slower descents - probably improved my dive response anyway. I filmed fishes there - got them close by using spearfishing hunting techniques(with no gun of course as spearfishing is not allowed in Mauritius).

I also dived with dolphins - whole family in the water and they loved that - I got pcis of them - we also dived shallow coral gardens which amazed the kids and even me too. Many of the boats will supply snorkelling gear (mask and fins).

A few days later when I had build up some fitness I dived the wreck of the Silver Star ( a convenient 15 minute boat ride from Grand Bay) It is a small ship lying almost perpendicular to the coast bow resting on reef and the stern on sand in 39m. I had one visit to the sand using shortfins - took me down slow 1:30 to get there but I was diving very light as well.
Currents were weak tidal movement and I was there on high tide in no current and a super 60 m viz - I could see the whole wreck from above.
Being solo I took it easy with long rests and good prep. There were a few rock salmon snappers which I filmed - footage was poor as the camera was "autozoomed" by the water pressure below 28 m - pity!

I did a no-fins dive to the wreck at 31m. Further out is a reef and it drops quickly to 60 m - this would be nice for freediving the area. I would love to stay for a month to focus on freediving only with competent back-up of course.

Watch my son Zephyr dive 11 meters  -  he did not look challenged if you ask me!

A great holiday and nice diving - next time I will take my monofin along for sure.

1 comment:

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Mauritius is the place which I want to travel and experience sea life over there. Have seen the beauty of it in photos, worth visiting place. Thanks for sharing it