Sunday, 24 April
Today dawned with a few clouds and a little wind. The breakfast buffet was filling as usual. Nicole and I took coffees outside to enjoy by the water. We decided on one dive today. Timing was the discussion. Since there are about thirty folks here with a dive club, it is a little busier. There is plenty of room on the reefs for diving but the entry area can get a little congested. We decided that noon would be a good time while everyone is eating lunch.
Sitting at the beach reading and watching divers enter made this look like a good decision. We watched several groups of divers enter the water and then exit an hour or so later. When it looked like most were getting ready for lunch we headed to the dive center. The only issue we ran into was that there were many sets of equipment ready for another dive. We found a spot where we could put on our gear and headed for the water.
Today’s dive was exceptional. Relaxed and lots of fish as usual. First stop was near two pyramids made out of pipe. The Blue-Spotted Stingray was at its usual hangout. From there to the underwater structure referred to as the garage. Lots of small fish including Fridman’s Dottyback. These are about three inches long and bright purple or blue, usually seen in pairs. From the garage it was over to the north reef. On the reef was a large Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. A Devil Scorpionfish was in the sand nearby. A Red Sea Anemone Fish, also known as a Red Sea Clownfish was swimming in and out of a huge anemone.
Nicole seemed a little aggressive towards the end of today’s dive. We see lots of Squamose Giant Clams. The clams show a brightly colored mantle while open but the clams close quickly when disturbed. She teased a large clam making him close up tight. At the end of each dive you do a three minute safety stop in ten to fifteen feet of water. This helps your blood get rid of some nitrogen which is absorbed at deeper depths. We did our safety stop over a small pile of rubble which hosted a Three Spot Damselfish about four or five inches long. The Damselfish can be quite territorial. The fish charged at Nicole as she got close. I was entertained for the rest of the stop by watching them decide whose territory it was. She would poke a finger out until it charged and then it would go back. They repeated this little dance until it was time to surface. Under water for nearly an hour today.
After completing the dive and a hot shower we split a tuna garden salad and some fries for lunch. Back to the beach to catch up on newspaper, crossword and reading. Today’s temperature in the low eighties with a small breeze is about perfect. There has been no real humidity during this trip.
Tonight is the first night it has been dead calm. The flag is hanging limp. It cooled off enough the get long sleeves and pants. The last couple of days should be increasingly warmer.
Took the opportunity to try the pasta bar tonight along with the regular buffet. I still appreciate the bite size desserts. I only feel a little guilty trying one of each. I am not able to see a scale until I get home. After a discussion about watching the movie Finding Nemo – since we saw Clownfish today it seemed appropriate – beer at the outside bar won. Incredibly nice weather this evening. Update my journal and hope wifi is working.
Neil Young – “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”