Yesterday was our regular Underwater Saturday. There was a big storm on Friday night. The weather was nasty and grey on Saturday morning and stayed that way all day.
We were looking for a sheltered spot to escape the big rollers coming in from Astrolabe Bay. It’s nearly always calm in Pig Bay, so we headed there at a crawl.
Here’s a GPS display of where we went (you will need to click on the image to enlarge it):
I’ll explain a few items on the chart for those who are interested. The chart is a screen capture from a Humminbird 987C. The display above was actually taken at the dock in front of my house. I just moved the cursor to the spot that I wanted to display. You can see that the depth under the transom of Faded Glory was seven feet at the time – about mean-tide. It might go up or down about 1.5 feet from that.
The course and speed are meaningless, since the boat was stationary.
Ignore the time. The unit was purchased in the USA because it’s much cheaper there. The company punishes you for this by limiting the time zones that you can select to those in the USA. As if that’s not enough, you can’t display anything in Metric measurements. We certainly wouldn’t want America getting onto that bit of gold!. This is done primarily so that they can charge Australians and others on the metric system an extra US$2,000 for the unit and protect their “you’re not Americans” distributors. This seems very cheesy; so much for all the hooey about free trade.
The temperature is that of the water in front of my house. It’s about what you’d want for a warm bath. Again, it’s American style. It would be 32.8° C in the normal world. If you’ve never bathed in tropical waters, you owe it to yourself to do it while you can still enjoy it.
You can also see the distance from my house in statute miles. You could walk there in less than an hour if you were Jesus. It also shows the bearing from my house – the direction that Jesus would walk if he were using a compass.
The bulls-eye thing is the spot where we dived. The straight line extending from it to the southwest is the direction to my house.
You’ll note that we use a local name for the island. We call it Pig Island – it’s Tab Island on the Admiralty Charts. You can also see the location of a shipwreck – the Copal.
Land is yellow. Shallow water is blue.
You can now read a GPS screen as well as anyone.
So . . . what did we see?
Not much. The water was disgusting. I did manage this shot of an old Cesena fuselage that was dumped here. It sat in a shipping yard for years until the owner forgot about it and the shipping company needed the space. Somebody hired a helicopter to dump it at Pig Island as a dive attraction. It’s not very attractive:
I remember sitting on Faded Glory with Jan Fletcher years ago. We heard a helicopter coming and looked around. Suddenly it flew over the top of the coconut trees only a hundred metres or so away and dropped the fuselage in the water with an enormous SMAK like the world’s most painful belly-flop. All we could do was stare at each other in puzzlement. Then we started laughing our heads off. Serendipity strikes again.
I did manage to get a couple of shots of these weird transparent shrimp (Periclimenes holthuisi). In this shot, you can see a female carrying eggs. The egg mass is the creamy-white blob in the middle of the body. If you click to enlarge, you can see the individual spherical eggs:
Here’s a shot of another individual – maybe a male:
To give you an idea of the size, the length would be about the width of your thumb.
It’s a nagging worry to me that things that look as if they were made by the glass-blower at a carnival should not be living. How does that work?
Somebody is bound to ask. There are no pigs on Pig Island.Tags: cessena, faded glory, Periclimenes holthuisi, pig bay, pig island, transparent shrimp