Thursday, April 30, 2015

Miracle Under the Sea

Miko is now diving. I guess she got all the mask stuff worked out, because Darwish took her through the swim throughs at Abu Ralahib Cave (really a bunch of cracks in St. John's Reef), and she swam excellently. I did say in the beginning maybe she'd surprise us all and do well, while Wendy had pegged her for a wash-out. I'm happy for Miko that she got though the skills that were bugging her and now can enter the underwater world.

Dennis had another adventure with another Napoleon wrasse. This one was as big as a medium-sized dog, and it was hanging out under the boat when we got back from "exploring" the caves. Of course Dennis swam after it to get its picture, and of course the fish would swim just out of good picture taking range, and then slowly reapproach when Dennis lowered his camera. The fish did this to Alvaro, too. Alvaro's wife Sara was able to swim right up to it, but she wasn't holding a camera. I found this all highly amusing.

I greatly enjoy swimming through areas that test my buoyancy skills, especially cracks and cathedrals where the sunlight spills down into a darkened area. Abu Ralahib is great for this, except that there were several other liveaboards here, with one other dive gang in the site at the same time as us. I didn't know they were there until divemaster Erin took us around a corner and blam they were coming the other way. I had wondered earlier why one chamber had so much sand kicked up in it, even our least elegant diver had improved greatly throughout the week and no longer stirred up the bottom.

Twenty divers in one corridor going in opposite directions was unpleasant, like being in stop and go freeway traffic. I sunk myself to the bottom, edged over into a sofa-sized alcove, and waited for the chaos to sort itself out. Because there has been no surge or current lately, the water layers have not been mixing. It was quite cold in that alcove. I shared it with a gorgeous Emperor Angelfish who I tried to photograph, but I was too close so the picture was blurry.

I'm enjoying doing three dives and then resting on the spacious shaded "bar" deck of this excellent yacht. Wendy's husband Gary and I have taken to reading and napping up here while most everyone else goes on the fourth dive of the day. The staff schedules five dives a day, but I'm not interested in keeping up. Putting on and taking off all my wetsuit layers is a chore, and I really do love laying around up here writing, working on my photos, and gazing at the sea.

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