Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mr. Sea Turtle was the most exciting thing we saw today. We saw quite a bit of him actually. We did two dives in pretty much the same spot. We were told that there was an anemone with two clownfish on it in excatly 10 meters of water at a particular location. On the first dive, I anchored a little west of the spot and we swam along the 9 meter contour. I figures we'd be sure to see it if we just maintained the correct depth and swam in the right direction.

While we were swimming east, I saw the turtle mucking around in the coral apparently eating something. I snapped a couple of quick pictures and we kept going because we had some fish to catch. We swam a long way and didn't see any anemones, so we turned around and went in a little shallower. We saw the turtle again in the same spot on the way back. We went back to the boat without finding the anemone.

We were determined to find the damn fish so we did a second dive in the same place. This time we lined up on a buoy that we were told was near the anemone and swam down the reef slope in that direction. We got to about fifty feet and saw that the reef dropped steeply down to ninety or so feet. I was about to give up and just start taking pictures when Todd finally saw the anemone. 10 meters is 33 feet (that's where the thing was supposed to be). We found in 46 feet of water. Sure that's only 13 feet worth of depth difference but, because of the shape of the slope, that meant that the anemone was several hundred feet from the 10 meter contour line. I'm completely amazed that we ever find these things when we don't have a GPS point but, somehow, we do.

Sure enough, there were two clownfish on the anemone and they went down like bitches. Straight into the net with no problem. I love it when they cooerate like that. We were left with at least half of our air still so I decided to bust out the camera. I got some pictures and video of the clowns and then we went back to visit the turtle. It was still in the same place and it was still eating. The turtle didn't seem to care about me at all. He let me get right up next to him while he was eating and take a bunch of pictures and video. He was smashing up the coral head and eating something off of the coral. I couldn't tell what it was that he was eating though. Maybe algae that was growing on the coral? It was kind of crazy. He was really doing a number on the coral and had smashed a groove through the middle of the coral head. I had no idea that turtles were so destructive. Doesn't he know that those corals can take hundreds of years to grow to that size? Damned irresponsible turtles.

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