Deep Diving At Bolo Point

I recently decided to become a deep diver specialty instructor. Having taught lots of open water and advanced open water course, I needed to have a change of pace. Additionally, my husband and I have decided to pursue technical and sidemount diving, both of which will let us go deeper with extended bottom times. Deciding to become a deep diver specialty instructor seemed like a natural progression to find a new area that would reinvigorate my passion to teach.

My first deep specialty class was made up of two students, Kenderick and Kevin, and we had an awesome time together. Because Typhoon Bolovan was quickly approaching us, we made our three deep dives all in one day at Bolo Point. The water was amazingly calm so our entries and exits were a breeze. This is always a great way to introduce the site to divers experiencing it for the first time….Bolo Point is not a dive site to mess around with due to its strong current and rough waters.


Kenderick Enjoying The Deep Dive


After giving the dive brief we suited up and make the trek down to the water. By the time we had reached the entry point, we all had worked up a pretty good sweat and getting into the water felt refreshing.

Phyllidia Willani Nudibranch


For ur first dive I took Kenderick and Kevin down to a depth of 125 feet and then had them shoot an azimuth due west for 50 feet. They then shot a back azimuth and returned to the start point. Both did an excellent job of maintaining a steady depth while navigating. It can be very difficult to maintain neutral buoyancy without a visual reference but Kevin and Kenderick handled it like pros.


Reticulidia Fungia Nudibranch


Here’s a tip for anyone thinking about purchasing equipment – I strongly suggest having your console/dive computer set up so you can reference both the depth and degree heading at the same time. This will help you monitor both gauges without having to flip back and forth between them. I know some companies mount the compass on the underside of the console to save space, but I personally wouldn’t like this feature.


 Kevin On Our Safety Stop


The second major skill in our dive  involved observing the effects of the water pressure on three pressure sensitive objects.  As we descnded down to 100 feet, Kenderick and Kevin watched as the plastic bottles and bubble wrap were crushed.  After doing the navigation skill, we kneeled down and passed the objects among ourselves.  Because the objects still had air in them, they were still pretty buoyant and they kept wanting to rocket back up to the surface.

Giant Moray Eel


We then proceeded to kick around at 130 feet, watching our bottom time and air consumption.  Even though we were all diving with computers, I had us stick with with the tables for our no-decompression limits.  Extra conservatism never hurts.  We then ascended up to our safety stop depth of 15 feet and stayed put for a 3 minute safety stop.  Thankfully the water was very calm so getting out wasn’t difficult.  


Starfish With Phyllidiopsis Pipekei Nudibranch

After a nice long surfcae interval, we suited up back into our gear and started hiking down to the water over the black, razor-like volcanic rock.  This is definitely not a place to lose your footing…i imagine breaking a bone would be extremely easy if one was to slip off the rocks here.  During the final segment of the walk, one has to climb down the rock like Sylvester Stallone from “Cliffhanger.”  This is definitely a site only for hardcore divers.  Amateurs need not apply.


Chromodoris Willani Nudibranch

Nembrotha Lineolata Nudibranch


Our second dive consisted of observing the affects of depth on color.  I took my Underwater Kinetics Mini Q40 eLED light down and used it to shine on the reef wall as we made our tour.  I love this light because its so small and compact, yet it hasa very powerful bea.  It lit up the reef wall nicely and we kicked around at a depth of 100 feet for about 15 minutes.  I managed to spot several nudibranchs I’d never seen before so I really enjoyed the dive.


Phyllidiopsis Fissuratus Nudibranch 


The one species I was particularily excited to see was the Halgerda willeyi nudibranch.  It was the first one I’d ever seen before and it was fairly large too.  I would estimate it was at least 2-2.5 inches in length.  Kenderick was nearby and I pointed it out to him and then started taking massive amounts of photos.  When I felt like I had enough, I signalled to Kenderick that I was very excited by doing my “underwater happy dance”  and he gave me a few fist pumps in response.


Halgerda Willeyi Nudibranch


At the end of our dive we practiced making an 8 minute safety stop at 15 feet.  Kenderick and Kevin also breathed from each others alternate air sources for 1 minute each.  The purpose of these drills were to practice our emergency decompression measures and also an out-of-air emergency.  Kevin and Kenderick did a good job maintaining positive contact while sharing air and also hovered at 15 feet very nicely.  Sometimes it can be difficult hovering when hanging onto another person but they did a really good job.

Halgerda Willeyi Nudibranch

Halgerda Willeyi Nudibranch


Our final dive consisted of simply an underwater exploration tour.  We descended along the reef wall to a depth of 85-90 feet and then kicked to the south.  Kevin and Kenderick did a great job of monitoring their air consumption and buoyancy…this is primarily the objective of doing the underwater exploration.    I was able to snap more photos of  nudibranchs.  Halfway through our bottom time, we turned around and started to slowly ascend while kicking back to where we would make our safety stop.  This dive was a great way for Kenderick and Kevin to just enjoy going on a deep dive and practice the skills they had learned previously.

 Halgerda Willeyi Nudibranch


I had a lot of fun doing the deep diver specialty course with Kevin and Kenderick.  It provided a nice change of pace for something to teach, and I was also able to go dive a site that is a bit more challenging that the usual spots I go to. Kevin and Kenderick made it an absolute pleasure do to the fact they paid attention and acted as responsible divers.   I hope to teach more deep diver specialties in the future.  Great job Kevin and Kenderick!

Phyllidiella Pustulosa Nudibranch