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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Do your thing

With a cold front approaching and strong winds whipping up from the East to the tune of about 18-20 knots, we once again joined our friends from Tortuga Divers on the East side of the island to get wet.

A long walk off a short pier.......
We headed South and took multiple attempts to find a mooring point that wasn't going to result in a drift dive for everyone which is just as well given that a few people looked quite green by the time we jumped in. Strong currents aside the first dive was relatively uneventful and not exactly teeming with marine life but then it was the third choice for a dive site and beggars cant be choosers.

There were the odd cluster of rope and barrel sponges to try and get creative with shot wise but the fish just want to be somewhere else, probably watching the football or something.

We didn't motor too far for dive number two given the punters were looking even more peaky than before. Shallow was the order of the day for the next dive which meant hunkering down and trying to stay out of the surge whilst looking for the small stuff. As luck would have it, right under the bow was a sea fan with no less than 13 tritonia hamnerorums and egg ribbons, which was a nice find. They were all spread out so I couldn't get them all in the same shot but you get the idea.

Not to mention there was a nice mature spotted drum hidden back among the nooks and crannies.

And lets not forget the blennies, with some fine examples of the rough head variety which were happy to come out and play with us.

As well as the obligatory flamingo tongue cowrie close up not to mention a nice bristle worm hanging for grim death in the surge.

There was a double surprise was towards the end of the dive though as I was heading back towards the boat I caught a movement on a rock outcrop and found a lovely little painted elysia scampering along like a gazelle. If nudibranchs were gazelles. Anyway, you get the idea, it was moving fast.

The second part of the double surprise was as I was taking the shots of the elysia, there a shadow pass behind and over my head, which after a few seconds I registered as a Caribbean reef shark as it cruised off over the reef.

This was quickly followed by a nurse shark and then we had the pair of them cruising around us for the last part of the dive by which time everyone else had left the water so we had them all to ourselves.

Selfish I know, but hey, I love my sharks as much as I love my nudis. My only regret was having the macro lens on as I didn't expect to see anything big here. Just goes to show, you never know what your going to see on dive.

Thanks as always to Captain Nat, Captain Nige and young Sarah for putting up with us again.

Looks peaceful....HA! Wait till you get out past the reef