Harbour Village Is…

The Harbour Village dive site is one of the least, how do I say it? Picturesque? Yep that’ll do. One of the least picturesque dive sites on offer. It is also one of the most underrated dive sites around. How is that possible? I’ll try and explain.

I took Jack yesterday. First, you drop down across the other side of the marina entrance at Something Special dive site. The coral reef is to the left as you drop down – but this way, we go to the right. This way is a descending sandy bank, with a line running horizontally at about 15 metres. Follow the line and you go across the entrance to the marina, towards the shipwreck.

Shipwreck, you say? Ohhh. I’m not sure you should get too excited. It’s less ship and more a tangled, twisted expanse of metal, lying on its side in the sand. Not quite bare bones, but a gloomy frame of a ship. Here’s where the fun begins.

Not many people visit, so it’s full of fish. Plus any exposed parts are fair game for the eggs of sergeant major fish. The fathers zealously patrol their purple egg patch.

Nearby are the dug-out holes of the small, white and yellow-shimmering jawfish. They do a backwards dance while upright, landing back again neatly in their holes. The holes are surrounded with little rocks.

From here, you go up. The coral nursery trees, the ones Lu and I have gotten to know so well, hang attached to buoys on top and fixed to the ground below. Nearby is a pile of rocks. There are lots of piles of rocks in Harbour Village. They might not look the prettiest compared to living coral, but they contain jewels.

One jewel is the spotted-drum fish. When they are so tiny, Bonnie showed me they are like black and yellow crosses. So small you can’t even make out their definitive shape.

When they’re a little bigger, they lose some of the yellow in them – and become gorgeous. Wavy, black-and-white striped miniatures dance in front of you. Back and forth, back and forth. Strictly Come Dancing is suddenly amateur hour.

Turning around, we cross the marina entrance at a shallower depth. Any boats leaving or entering the marina vibrate through your system. One boat goes over us and I hunch down the sea bed. Even though we’re deep enough. I can’t help it – it’s bone-shaking.

Jack is a little deeper, but I know something he doesn’t. I call him up to the wall of the marina entrance, where there is a school of silvery, torpedo-shaped fish. Apparently, they hang here most of the time. They’re quite well hidden in the less than crystal clear waters, so when Jack sees them covering the expanse of wall, I watch his underwater eyebrow raise. Cool.

For the next few minutes, we take turns swimming into their school. With saucer eyes, they swim out around us, like streaks of mercury. Hehe. Harbour Village.

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