A Few Odds and Ends Diving Tidbits (Part 4) 27 June 2008

squidMonday evening (Day 3), Lester and I and his frequent dive buddy Jack went diving off Buddy Dock and swam about 200 feet down the shoreline over the sand to just hang in about 10’ of water watching a beautiful pod of 30+ squid! They are so cool – they just gently motor forward and reverse, waving their lovely gossamer skirts. I didn’t see them change color, but felt like maybe they were checking me out in my bright-colored top, to see if I might be food.

Tuesday afternoon I finally noticed these tiny fascinating creatures called ‘sand blennies’ (related to Ellie’s favorites, the yellow-headed jawfish) in the shallows darting around just above the sand…what I suddenly realized is that when you get too close, they just disappear…into the sand!

I think my favorite fish is the trunkfish (photo up there in Part 1) – a cute, small boxy creature white with black spots, a long snout, and whirring side rudder fins. They do a ‘reverse hoovering’ maneuver, blowing sand to look for food. Later in the week I finally saw a juvenile trunkfish – it was a black ball about ¼ inch in diameter, with yellow spots. So tiny and so cute!

Here is a link to download Lester’s really cool video of a leatherback turtle that played with our group for about 20 minutes on the surface at the end of a dive. turtleIt was so curious that Ellie was convinced he has been fed by people – it is common for boat divers to throw finished-snack watermelon rinds into the water between dives; the fish love them. Ellie and I were first to the surface at the end of the dive, and the turtle played with the two of us for at least 10 minutes even before Lester started filming (see it here between us?). After the turtle swam away and then came back up to me 3 times, Danielo, the captain, finally said “Linda, I think you’d better get out – I am afraid he is going to try to bite your arm!” (thinking I was watermelon in my bright diveskin…) So Ellie and I are not in this video, but Greg is the first person you see gently reaching to touch his shell!

Diving at the Salt Pier was one of my three top favorites – swimming around and between the tall, angled pylons (most about 2 feet in diameter) that were covered with coral and swarming with fish (below). salt pier More even than most sites, it feels like an other-worldly environment.

Ellie and I also did a night dive as part of my Advanced Open Water series – it was weird! Unnerving, because you can’t see as easily where you are in the water, but when you shine your [required] light on the coral, it is beautiful, and so many different things are out at night, the colors so vivid in the beam of bright light.