Monday, February 28, 2011

27/02/11 Under the Curieuse sea

Record breaking bumpheads, shark fest and 50th dive celebrations

Let loose to survey on our own we’ve excitedly dosed up on a week of daily double dives to new sites and old favourites.

A staggering ten bumphead parrot fish (approx 1m large) greeted us at Point Rouge, closely followed by 4 white tip reef sharks just chilling in the sand. After completing four successful survey belts (woohoo!), further exploration lead us to a baby white tip just chilling under a rock, definitely a top ten dive so far!

The next day we were lucky to catch a big enough break in the waves to manouever Dexter round for a visit to the famous Badamier site; well worth the wait! Good visibility and an impressive underwater rock face tested our survey skills – we had to be quick to record all the snappers, groupers, sweetlips, emperors, butterflies and rabbit fish in our 50m transect, while battling with some strong underwater swells.

Now down with all things fishy we’re learning the local invertebrate species to complete our survey work. A snorkel trip out in front of base introduced us to sea stars, lolly fish, prickly red fish, flower fish, white and black teated sea cucumbers - a whole new world of fun.

Finally, celebrations all round as Ashleigh, Phil and Emily reached their 50th dive this week (some of us donning some particularly special dive wear to mark the occasion, and all just in time for our rescue diver course this weekend – bring it on!