Posted in News on Monday, December 15, 2014 by The Beachcomber News Correspondent
“Mauritian pe sites are in a far better state than 20 years ago.”
After 25 years as a ping professional, François no longer has any idea how many hours he’s spent underwater. It’s just as well his wife, Christelle, is also a ping
instructor. She started out 17 years ago and now runs the pe centre at Le Mauricia. Indeed, it was at Le Mauricia that François quickly ended up when he first
came to Mauritius in 1993, with a background as an army per in South Africa. He set up Diving World and soon became an expert on the pe sites in the surrounding region. In fact, the northern pe sites are still his favourites, especially Stella Maru at a depth of just over fifty feet off the coast of Trou aux Biches and
the Aquarium off Grand Bay, particularly its coral garden. “It’s so much better ping in sites some 30 to 65 feet down,” says François. “There’s more colour, more life.” Off the North Coast, he adds, water quality is better as there are few watercourses running into the sea.
He also enjoys the pe community, taking and guiding them around some of the island’s most beautiful pe sites. His own team, experienced pers who have
been working with him since the beginning, understand people’s expectations, not least that “Many pers are also underwater photography buffs.” One such is Manuela Kirschner, a photographer for the German magazine, Silent World. She was recently in Mauritius and stayed at Le Mauricia whilst working on an article on ping. She went on a dozen or so pes with Christelle, who is herself something of an underwater photography specialist. “She was amazed by the quality
and variety of underwater flora and fauna in the seas off Mauritius,” François told us. “With her husband, a marine biologist, she identified more than 15 species new to her.” François has grown use to the ocean’s changes of mood and can detect the slightest difference. And there is some good news. Mauritian pe sites are in a far better state than 20 years ago as a stop has been put to certain fishing practices.
The future looks bright for ping in Mauritius!