I did another boat dive at Chocolate Islandat 1030 this morning. This one had a niceer entrance as the wind which had challenged my sleep last night had died down a bit. We did a two way dive against, tehn with the current. Nothing too great, but we did see Mantis Shrimp, several nudibranches and a ‘wiggly arsed fish’….which translated into a juvenile Many Spotted Sweetlips boogying its way along the coral. I think there was a seahorse as well.
Later on after some more homework we headed off for a night dive. The main objective of this dive was to see some fish making out. Again we descended to the coral, and sat around carefully on the seabed around the Mandarin fish. I felt like I was intruding, waiting there for the equivalent of a fish porn movie. Heck we were even taking photographs – the poor bugger should have just been left in peace to have their wicked way with each other. We watched the court each other, chasing each other through the coral. They got frisky, the raised up from the coral, bob’s your uncle, then you see a wodge of fish sperm and eggs drifting to the seabed, all in the spotlight of a few dive torches. Bloody perverts we are! This National Geographic artical describes the mating ritual of the Mandarin fish.
We eventually left them to it and carried on the dive which turned out to be an excellent one. Before the circus when we met another group, we saw three seahorses (I spotted one myself!), two of which were pretty much free swimming. We also saw some crabs, shrimp (including another Mantis), scorpionfish, and the highlight for me – a frogfish walking along the coral on the seabed (yes, I’m real – fish with ‘legs’ that walk).
Unfortunately my pictures were pretty bollocks. A lot to learn with this bloody expensive, heavy, plastic camera case!
Met a guy today on one of the dives – in his 50’s, retired at 43, been here since he did his PADI in December, and travelling around Asia until ‘whenever’. Hmm….maybe I should’ve listened to my Dad’s advice after all……