District diving having good season so far

Divers at the Kittiwake, off the coast of West Bay. – PHOTO: NINA BAXA
Divers at the Kittiwake, off the coast of West Bay. – PHOTO: NINA BAXA

The rough weather in recent days has brought some heavy seas and cool breezes to the waters of West Bay, making for some wild vistas.

So far the season has been a good one in general for diving in West Bay, local operators said.

Reef Divers at Cobalt Coast were reporting that the location has been lucky with wind, in that the seas have been calmer than usual allowing for plenty of winter shore diving.

At Divetech at Lighthouse Point on Northwest Point Road, manager Jo Mikutowicz noted that coral around the shore dive sites has bounced back from bleaching that took place over the summer due to high water temperatures.

The business has recently constructed a sea pool, a swimming pool connected to the ocean, which has unexpectedly become popular with all sorts of sea creatures.

“It’s turned into a haven for juveniles, and has been attracting octopus, which normally are quite hard to spot,” said Ms. Mikutowicz, noting that the rough weather means shore diving was closed Monday.

The Kittiwake wreck, one of West Bay’s most popular underwater attractions, is coming up on its fifth anniversary and is reportedly progressing well as a dive destination as well.

Red Sail Sports dive boat captain John Starbuck said the former submarine recovery vessel is attracting all sorts of coral growth, particularly flat corals, and hosting a variety of marine life this season.

“Right now, we have a big school of horse-eye jacks in the area, and there are quite a lot of silversides attracting bar jacks and groupers inside the hull,” he said.

“We are still seeing quite a lot of turtles, and this year there are two very friendly nurse sharks which frequent the wreck, which is just terrific.”