Diving Wild Media in Mozambique
Where the hot dry African land meets the cool blue sea of the Indian Ocean, lies a little town called Ponta Do Ouro. This place exists in Mozambique but sits right on the border of South Africa. Getting here is not for the faint at heart and requires a lengthy border crossing process and a long off-road drive through sand dunes. Once there, visitors are rewarded with a bunch of restaurants and souvenir shops. The Running Wild Crew visited for something else entirely, diving the coral reefs.
One of the most prevalent organisms, perhaps more prevalent then on other Running Wild trips, were the green sea turtles that continuously approached us as we were diving around the reefs. Other organisms were common as well such as stingrays, big grouper, schools of fish and dolphins. The deepest dive, which was completed by co-founder Justin Grubb, was 135 feet on the reef wall and had about 15 minutes of bottom time. On this dive, Justin encountered a hammerhead, which was the first time he has ever seen one in the wild.
Perhaps wilder then the reefs around Ponta Do Ouro, was the way the divers got to them. There were no docks in Ponta Do Ouro, so boats had to be pulled to the beach by tractors, the pushed into the water by the team of divers. In most cases, the boats were huge rubber zodiacs that held around 20 divers and had twin engines so pushing them in was no easy feat. Once the boat was pushed around to face the water, all 20 divers had to cooperate to push it into the surf as waves pushed the boat back to shore. Once overcoming the tide, the divers had to jump in, one by one and clamor around until they found their seat. Putting gear on while on these boats seemed even more difficult, with 20 people all moving around trying to get their gear on, finding any space to do so was nearly impossible. Once the dive was completed and the divers pulled themselves up nearly 4 feet out of the water back onto the boat, the next stage of the adventure just began. Once again, since there are no docks along the beach, the only way to get the boat were it needs to go, is to ride a wave coming in, then gun the engine to ramp off the wave and on to the beach with a boat full of people and divers. Instructions were clear, hold onto something, you didn't want to be the one flying off the boat as it was midair hurdling towards sand.