Morning at the bungalow
Dive #1: Magic Mountain
Magic Mountain is a feeding station for manta rays. I’ve seen a manta ray once before, in Australia, but far far off in the distance – so I was excited about this site. We dove down to the first pinnacle at 7 meters and swam around it, catching a glimpse of a manta that quickly disappeared. So we dove lower to the second pinnacle at about 20 meters where two big, beautiful mantas were being cleaned. The bigger one swam off when we arrived, but the smaller one – which was HUGE – was happy to interact.
I love this last one, because watch how it hovers – completely still – over the cleaning station. So cool!
Post Dive Interlude
One of the dive masters on the resort found a juvenile flying fish near some palms, so he put it in a jar temporarily so we could see.
Little itty bitty junvenile flying fish
E taking a pic of the fish
Dive #2: Epaulette
I suppose anything would be a let-down after Magic Mountain, but Epaulette started with the unfortunate realization that I didn’t have full tank of air. I’m definitely not bad with air consumption, but when compared to a boat full of underwater photographers I’m always the first one out of the water. To my credit, though, I’m never more than 5-10 minutes before everyone else. And for this dive I had a less-than-full tank.
The current was rough enough at the end of the dive that I gave up trying to swim in it and instead headed toward the boat.
I sat our Dive #3 in favor of a beach chair and a snooze. Three dives a day is really enough for me, and I was looking forward to the night dive. During snacktime (which Evvy and I call “4th breakfast”) Julie – who likes to sit on her stairs and find amazing things in the water – saw a little pipehorse swim by. A few of us jumped in to see it and take photos
Ben and Riri the bird
Julie and Evvy, snorkeling with the pipehorse
Evvy, emerging from her snorkel
Riri the hungry bird
We were supposed to do Epaulette again but the current was much too strong, so we re-routed the skiff and went to a nearby island and site called – I think – Sixth Sense. It was a lovely, relaxing, shallow dive. I can’t get Julian’s strobe to work well on night dives. Half the pictures come out completely black, even if the strobe goes off and lights everything. Must be a timing thing, but that’s fine since dives are more enjoyable when there’s no camera in hand.
In the evening I grabbed the nudibranch book to learn the difference between a nudibranch, a sea slug, and a flatworm since I seem to be mixing up the three on a regular basis. Nudis are part of the sea slug family, but come equipped with Rhindendrom and anal gills. And – surprise to me – they don’t “swim” as I thought they did. The ones that swim are the flatworms, which look like nudis because they mimic their coloring and form. 99% of the nudis move like slugs… since that’s what they are. The other sea slugs have either a hard shell or are clearly slugs. I’m now much more educated.
Bedtime in Bungalow #5 – Evvy in her mosquito net
Me in my mosquito net