My first dive after getting an Open Water certified was at Amedee Island in New Caledonia. I was nervous and excited. I was nervous because the expectation is that I would remember all the basic skills that I learned from my certification. This is a good expectation but the reality is a little different. Since scuba is something that I do not do on a regular basis, I had forgotten some of the skills. I did not sleep the previous night of the dive thinking about all these.
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Where is Amedee Island?
Amedee Island is about 24 kilometres from Noumea, New Caledonia’s capital city. The island is famous for its blue clear waters and the sea snakes. The island also has an iron lighthouse ‘The Amedee Lighthouse’, which is quite famous.
Even if you are not into diving, Amedee island is absolutely great for spending a day by the beach and snorkeling.
Note: Beware of the sea snakes. The island has plenty of them everywhere.
The dive site Passe Bouparis is about 20 minutes from Amedee Island. The visibility of the dive site when I dived was about 17 metres and the temperature was 24 degrees centigrade.
Note: Ensure to take seasickness tablets. The water is very rough and the boat ride is not pleasant.
- Dive type: Boat dive
- Ocean: Rough
- Wet suit required: Yes
- Water temperature: Cold
- Visibility: 15 to 20 metres
I booked the scuba dive at Amedee as soon as I got back from Samoa. I searched for the diving schools and I decided to go with Amedee Diving Club. Honestly, I did not understand most of the websites as they were in French, and even after translation to English, I found it difficult to understand the website. So, I picked one randomly.
- Dive centre: Amedee Diving Club
- Address: Quartier Latin Rue d’Austerlitz Face au ponton K2 Nouméa NC, 98800, Rue D Austerlitz, Nouméa, New Caledonia
- Telephone : +687 26.40.29
- Telephone mobile : +687 75.45.54
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The marine life was divine and abundant. The cold temperatures attract large fishes such as sharks. The site also has small fishes such as clownfish. I saw so many fishes – so lively and so colourful. The sites are also famous for its big marine life such as the grey nurse sharks and the manta rays.
Best time to visit and cost
The water temperature is cold and the diver does need a wet suit. The visibility is absolutely brilliant and can range from 15 metres to 30 metres. The best time to dive at this site is from October to April as the temperature of the water is relatively warm. However, one can also dive in the remaining months May to September with a thicker wet suit.
The dives are pricey when compared to other parts of the World. For 2 exploration dives including the equipment and oxygen tanks, they charged me 138,27 Euros. This cost is for people who have PADI Open Water certification.
My experience of the dive
On the day of the dive
I did not expect so many people that day. It was overcrowded and many were getting level 2 certified (which is I think is the advanced level in PADI terms). The boat ride to Amedee is about 30 minutes from Noumea. The sea was very rough.
As we landed in the island, we were all escorted to the local shop that diving guys had. We were given our wet suits, fins, masks and BCD.
My diving buddy was a French and her name was Christina. She did not know a single word in English. I explained her my situation and I told her that I was not very confident about the skills I had learned from Joe (my diving instructor in Samoa).
We headed into the ocean (5-10 minutes from the island). I started getting sea sick as the ocean was very rough. After few minutes of briefing, we jumped into the ocean (with the gear). It took me sometime to neutralise as the water was cold.
The diving was amazing. It is something that I can never forget. It was an experience. I have so many memorable moments, to name a few:
- I saw a grey nurse shark. Before diving into the ocean, Christina had asked me which was the one marine life I was looking forward to see. I had told her I would be excited to see a shark, as they are pretty cool. And this was my dream come true.
- Christina made me sit in front of a reef and watch a clown fish family (in other words Nemo 😍). I saw mommy and papa Nemos and their cute tiny children Nemos. This was adorable and cute.
- I saw a huge (bigger than the shark) brown with spots fish. It was massive and it was stagnant next to a rock.
- And then came the highlight of my dive. Christina was ahead of me. I suddenly saw her stop and do down on the floor. It was something she had seen and it looked like she went down on the floor with a mark of respect to the thing she had seen. It took me a while to realise what that was. Oh my god! I was awestruck. There they were the two Manta Rays, gently swimming towards us. It was a spectacular moment. I was overwhelmed, to an extent that I didn’t realise I had stopped breathing through my regulator. I thought I was dreaming. Christina had to give me a nudge to get me back to reality. It was beautiful to witness them.
- We dived to 17 metres and stayed under the water for 47 minutes.
Unfortunately, I could not do the second dive on that day as I had to fly out next day and generally you need minimum of 18 hours between the dive and flight.
I have dived for more than 10 times now and undoubtedly this has been my best dive ever. I would totally recommend diving at Amedee Island for all the dive lovers.