Having enjoyed diving earlier on our travels, we were keen to take another dip in the deep blue sea. Perhaps a little too keen though, as we soon realised the difference between on and off-season when it comes to scuba diving.
We set sail from Sihanoukaville early in the morning, passing fishing trawlers on our way. The journey out to Koh Rong Saloem was due to take a couple of hours so we relaxed under the sun, the salty breeze cooling the air. Arriving at our first-time site we could see storm clouds building on the horizon. No matter, we were going to be underwater, so rain clouds didn’t bother us.
Once under the waves however, it was obvious that bad weather above still had an effect below. The sandy seabed was being churned up by the storm above, dropping viability to less than 5m. All around was a murky mess of green and grey. The occasional glimpse of a fish here and there help us remember what we had originally come here to do.
We circled a sunken wreck a couple of times, treading a fine line between being close enough to see it and bumping in to the fragile ecosystem that now adorned it. Our instructor Jacop did his best to hunt out interesting scenery, but with viability continuing to decline he had a thankless task. On the plus side we saw a couple of lightning flashes while we were submerged, that was pretty cool.
So now we know why its important research dive conditions and if a location is on or off-season. Nothing more to do but chalk this one up to experience and move on. Still, we did get another amazing sunset!