Yesterday was dive day. We had the rare situation that everyone on the boat was diving – six in all. We went to the Eel Garden at Pig Island.
There are rarely currents there, but yesterday it was moderately strong. We split into two groups. Carol and Mike went off by themselves to fight the current out to the catamaran and I took the less experienced divers and my camera.
It’s next to impossible to take photos while you’re hanging on in a current, so I try to avoid the situation. It was a fairly easy current inside the bowl of the Eel Garden.
Right after we went down, I saw this cute little Bluestriped Fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos) in an abandoned wormhole. I like these little critters. It would be about the size of your little finger. They always look to me as if they are grinning. Maybe it’s good to be a tiny fish in a cosy little hidey-hole:
Leaving little “Fang” and his largely untroubled world behind, we swam down the sandy bottom to near where the wall comes out from the south end of Pig Island. This sloping sandy bottom often seems barren, until you get your eyes trained to look for the little things.
Here’s a group of Striped Catfish (Plostosus lineatus). They usually travel in small mobs such as this although I have seen huge rivers of them winding along the reef. Often they will line up like soldiers policing up trash and scour the bottom for goodies:
The shot above was taken with available light (as was the blenny). To illustrate the difference in colour when using flash, have a look at this:
The colour in the first (available light – no flash) shot shows more truly what your eyes would perceive. If there is plenty of light available, I believe it makes a more pleasing and accurate photo. In the second shot, you can see that the colours are different. They are still pleasing, but not as accurate. Somewhat more detail is also visible – check out the whiskers!
Sometimes, especially when you are too deep to get enough light, you must use flash. At the bottom of the slope we found an anemone garden packed with the orange variation of Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii).
Here’s a shy little beauty peeking out from behind a bulb anemone:
When using the flash the colours are sometimes too garish. This photo required toning down the intensity of the colours so that it looked more natural.
Sometimes I’m flabbergasted that I’m so fortunate. Rich people pay huge amounts of cash to do the things that I take for granted as a routine part of my life.
It’s said that money can’t buy you love (yeah, yeah, yeah . . . oh, wait, that’s She Loves You). Well, the lack of money doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a rich life. Just ask me.
I’m reminded about what I said about “Fang.” Someone who finds himself to be a tiny fish in a cosy little hidey-hole might be fortunate indeed.