Monday, January 31, 2011

24/01/11 Into the Night

Several expedition members and four staff arranged to meet at one of the dive shops in Beau Vallon to do a night dive. For some this was a rare occasion, for others, a chance to see the amazing life that comes out only after dark.

We were all looking forward to the adventure, so with our dive equipment, cameras, and of course torches, we set off in the boat at dusk to the dive site called Joker. There were some of the expedition members from the previous phase, acting as dive masters for the dive shop as part of their internship, so we knew we were in good hands.

The sky was nearly black, because, although there was a moon that night it had not yet come up over the mountains, and descending into the dark, warm water, I felt calm and relaxed. We reached the seabed, the only lights were the beams from our torches. Looking round we could see large schools of soldier fish shimmering in the lights, and on the sea bottom amongst the rocks and coral we saw parrot fish asleep in their mucus sacks, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, nudibranchs, urchins, sea stars, eels, sea cucumbers, and a whole variety of other fish too. We were all mesmerized.

The dive was a big hit. When we were back on the boat, we swapped details of what we had seen, and despite the cold, as we sped back to the shore we were all sure we like to jump straight back in and repeat the experience.