Wednesday, October 8, 2003

In a coral fan lives a happy pygmy seahorse family

I've done half a dozen recreational dives with twin tanks, just to get used to the feeling again. And except for my SuperWings being indeed a bit too much for this type of diving, it's going alright. I've been diving with a personal guide, Sam the first day, Alli the other two.

The water is a comfortable 28°C, so my 7mm wetsuit is more than enough, though not too much for me. Visibility could be better, I'd say about 10-15m.

I've used my Green Force Tristar Diamond primary light on 2 occasions now. Once in the shark cave, an overhang where whitetip reef sharks come to rest. And indeed, there was one, tucked away as deep as it could. I wasn't too impressed by my Green Force light though. Mainly due to the beam being too wide and diffuse under the circumstances, there being too much sunlight and too many small particles and fish in the water causing a lot of reflection. My TekTite Expedition Star backup light (at 1/5 the price) with its more focussed beam actually did a much better job. The second time I was a bit more satisfied, as I swam inside the Alma Jane wreck, where the Green Force's soft white light was quite pleasing, though lacking in power.

The coral reef itself is quite nice actually, and they've got plenty of critters in the shallower parts: praying mantis shrimp scurrying around or peeking out of their holes; cute little pygmy seahorses (smaller then my finger tip) holding on to their host fan by their tiny tails while looking at me with big round eyes; bully frogfish; shy electric blue ribbon eels; beautiful nudibranchs and amazing pin-cushion seaurchins. Even a sleeping extremely venomous seasnake lying motionless on the bottom. Untill I came too close and it lazyly took a peek at me through half-closed lids. After which I slowly backed away.

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