I’m getting homesick, so I’ll take a break from the On the Road category today.
Back in June of 2008 I had the golden opportunity to swim at Planet Rock near my home in Madang, Papua New Guinea among hundreds of Pickhandle Barracuda (or Blackfin Barracuda, as you please). Local names are useless for identifying fish. The taxonomic name is Sphyraena qenie.
Here is what I saw as I approached from below the circling school:
As I approach I move around to the side so that they can see me. You don’t want to surprise them. If they can see you and get used to your presence for a minute or two, they will let you swim with them:
Now I try to nudge my way into the stream of toothy, metre long underwater missiles. As long as I don’t spook them, I’m okay. This looks dangerous and it is a genuine adrenaline rush, but I’ve never heard of anybody around here being harmed by these barracuda: