11-26: Misool

On the walkway from the dive hut to the eating area is a particular tree that swoops down from the rocks and back up again. It’s fine if you’re the average Indonesian height, but if you’re an average Westerner you have to duck to avoid it. Unless you’re Julian. Then you bonk yourself right in the head with it. He used my camera to take pictures of his minor injury which I was going to paste here, but I later realized he’d deleted them. Darn him.

Dive #1: Nudi Rock
We revisited Nudi Rock for the frog fish, the gorgeous neighborhood of anemones, and another all-around great dive. Eric dove with us but was shooting wide-angle so we dropped him off in the current so he could get pictures of massive amounts of fish.

Dive briefing


Dive #2: Tank Rock
We were supposed to go to “The Egg”, which we have nicknamed “Julian’s Head” since it’s oblong and egg-like, but when we arrived we found that skiffs from one of the various live-aboards were diving it. This surprised everyone since the live-aboards and the resort are very good about coordinating dive sites so we never see anyone but ourselves. But no worries – we just moved our third dive site up to the second and skiffed our way over to Tank Rock.

Dive Briefing for Julian’s Head

Cleaning shrimp

Since we’re diving with experienced photographers who are well versed in the ways of finding fish life, the other divers generally branch out on their own and we all re-convene either at the safety stop or on the skiff. Sangut, however, adopted Evvy and me (the “picture-takers” as opposed to “photographers”) and gave us a personal tour of every reef. To get our attention he’d bang on his tank, and she and I developed a very Pavlovian response to this sound. We immediately looked up, searched around for his bubbles until we found him beckoning, and we kicked our way over to whatever treasure he found.

I mention this, because at the end of this dive I heard the Sangut-tank-bang and immediately looked over. But instead of him looking up at me and waving, he simply waved – keeping his eyes trained on whatever he’d found. This was unusual. He always looked up. This must have been good. When I arrived he pointed at a little blenny sitting on the coral. I looked. I peered. I was sure I’d missed something. But all I saw was a blenny. He pointed again and confirmed that, yes, he was pointing at the blenny. Then he made the “take a picture” signal – to which I responded with “Can’t. Camera is out of air.” (I mean really. How else do you signal that your battery is dead?) He started to laugh underwater and the movement scared the little blenny away. We began a search through the soft coral, lifting up edges and looking where the blenny went. I was still curious why we were searching for a simple blenny but I was game to try even though it all ended unsuccessfully.

On the surface I asked what the deal was with the blenny. He said, “Did you see? It had black things on either side! I’ve never, ever, ever seen a blenny like this and I wanted you to take a picture so I could look at it later. Maybe they’re parasites, but I don’t know.” Oh, poor Sangut. A once-in-a-lifetime blenny and I had no batteries.

Dive #3: Tank Rock w/current
For the afternoon dive, Eric requested we return to Tank Rock since the current would be stronger. Current, for an underwater photographer, is the Mecca since it brings an abundance of fish life. So we dropped in and all battled the strong flowing water and thousands of fish until we settled nicely on a sheltered part of the reef.

Sangut and our dive briefing

Eric, stealing my camera

Camera-thief (Eric’s) photo

Spiny lobster

Brown-banded pipehorse

Brown-banded pipehorse