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Sunday, 19 March 2017

You never can tell

A few days behind in posting this update but better late than never. A nice double dive with pretty good viz and a slight Southerly current. We had a nice swim out from the shallows to the Nicholson accompanied by one of the regular denizens of the deep before she peeled off to do her own thing.

As soon as we got to the Nicholson, Brutus showed up which is unusual as Spot is normally the first to make an appearance but no complaints here as Brutus is always equally happy to pose for us. Say "gorgonzola!"

The Nicholson is a pretty small wreck compared to all the others we've gotten into over the years, but the coral and sponges are so prevalent here along with the marine life, it's always such a pleasure to shoot here.

The main wall was showing a little bit of wear and tear as there was damage to quite a few of the more prominent rope sponge formations, either broken or missing completely. Don't know if this is due to the strong Westerly we had last week or careless individuals but it's a bit of a sad sight to see and very obvious is you dive the same spot a lot.

Happy to report that Spot did join us on the return leg from the wall but Brutus was still dominating the spotlight and continued to do so all through the second dive as well. He's such a prima donna............

Dive two turned up some wonderful little rough head blennies hiding in amongst the hard corals. You know I love my blennies........

Also found a nice trunk fish at a cleaning station getting a Sunday morning wax and shine. Don't forget to do under the pectoral fins!

And I had a nice game of hide and seek with a lovely little juvenile slender filefish who was practising his camouflage techniques. Peek-a-boo, I see you!

The weather is being a real bugbear just now but hopefully if the weather stays as forecast for next Sunday we'll finally get to go East at long last! And about time as it's been too long since we've jumped off a perfectly good boat.........fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Warm wet circles

True's beaked whales are rare. Really rare. Footage of them is even rarer, until now that is. Researchers working near the Azores are now the first to ever capture underwater footage of these aquatic creatures in their natural habitat. Amazing to see footage of a creature so rare and something we may never see again in our lifetime.

Link: HERE

As testament to their elusive nature, three new species of beaked whales have been discovered in the past two decades alone, bringing the total number of known beaked whale species to 22. Sightings are rare, and much of what’s known about these creatures is derived from observations of decomposing bodies found on shore and breaching events.

Beaked whale behavior explains why we so rarely see these creatures. They tend to live far offshore in deep waters, spending 92 percent of their time underwater. Among whales, they are the masters of the deep, feeding at depths reaching 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) and staying underwater for as long as two hours.

These whales use their specialized beaks to suck up squid, fish, and crustaceans. Following a big dive, they return to the surface and perform short, shallow dives at brief intervals. Unlike some whales and dolphins, they’re not attracted to boats.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

The wind cries Mary

Nope, no diving this weekend either. Winds up to 24-28 knots just now and even on the leeward side of the island, we're getting 2-3 metre swells just now. Next week it's supposed to drop down to 12-14 knots so we might just get in the water.......

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Still Game

They've let me loose on the contents page of the March edition of Sport Diver and on page 48 again, the fools, the poor mad deluded fools.........BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

You'll probably recognise it as the statue of Amphitrite from Sunset House with my faithful companion, Spot, who regularly accompanies me on dives there and frequently gets in front of the lens as well.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Sister Ray

It's that time of year again when friends, family and relatives are visiting and we make the pilgrimage once again to Stingray Sandbar to play with our adopted family. Conditions weren't bad this evening with a 10 knt. NE wind which made the conditions a little lumpy up top and a little turbid down below but we still had a nice time and the cat wasn't too crowded either.

It's always a pleasure to interact with these gentle creatures and it's even better to hear that the numbers are on the rise again after a decline over the last few years.

We got a little bit of video footage as well but not a lot as our resident camera woman was half asleep...........

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

People are strange

It's the end of an era, this is the final dive with the current line-up of the Divers World all-stars as Miss Leslie has moved on to pastures new to flourish, grow and do even more walrus impersonations. However I'm sure she will be able to take time out of her hectic (ha!) schedule to come and dive with us in the future.

Today was a brisk 27C in the water, which is about right for this time of year with a mild 10 knots Easterly. It wasn't too long a dive as Jill had National Trust duties to perform, so it was a shallow hunt for the little stuff.

Gobies and blennies were frolicking over the corals and hardpan, skipping gaily as the sun rose overhead, the dive boats starting their engines and pondering on what the day will bring.

There was also a little smattering of banded jawfish to greet dawn and us, the divers, as we wafted through the beautiful briny on the hunt for the elusive and evasive.

Jill and Leslie had a turtle to play with for about 20 minutes or so but I was off busy elsewhere playing with the little folk. Plenty of yellow spotted rays glided effortlessly over the golden sea of sand, like flags flying in a gentle breeze.

This also included the occasional tang who looked as though it had been through the wars but survived to tell the tale, a living reminder to all other fish that danger lurks at every corner (and other such dramatic statements).

The last few minutes of the safety stop were spent with a lovely old giant moray who was more than happy to share his personal space with my camera and I as we frittered and wasted the seconds in an offhand way, waiting for someone or something to show us the way.

Till the next time, dive safe as always.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ribbon in the sky

A great day to dive as the weather turned abruptly afterwards, so timing was with us today. The water temp was down to 27 C. mind you with this being winter time and all but that didn't stop the good times. There were huge shoals of fusiliers, barjacks and blue chromis, it was like swimming through ribbons of multi coloured light and explosions of underwater fireworks.

We also a wonderful array of turtles out there that to came to play with us with their entourage in tow in some instances. If I remember rightly, there were five turtles at different times hanging around. It's nice to see that they haven't all been poached and killed which is unfortunately still very much a thing here.

For dive number two I didn't get too lucky on finding the small stuff this time around. I always seem to struggle a bit at this site for macro stuff, however enough excuses. I did manage to find a flamingo tongue cowrie wandering the sand which was nice to see as the only time I've ever seen them is when they're attached to coral or sponge.

Macro deficit aside, it was a great morning for diving and still good to be in the water and forget the hubbub and tumult of everyday life. After all if you don't have diving, what do you have?