Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shallowest of water.

Often scuba divers, when their time is up, and their dive is done, will inflate their Bouyancy Compensating Device (like a life jacket) and stay on the surface until they climb onto the boat, or they get to shore.  Sometimes there are other people getting on the boat, or it's a bit of a way to the shore, so these divers are hanging out in the water, but not looking at what is under them in the water.

Once I took a liveaboard dive trip that was an organized fish population counting seminar sponsored by  About twenty folks got on the 100 foor boat, and off we went for a week of  nothing but diving, eating and sleeping, and counting fish.  I paid for this trip because onboard was Paul Humann, the man who has created the most comprehensive and easy to use Fish, Creature, and Corals identification books for the Caribbean Sea.

Such an amazing man!  His accomplishment with this set of books is wonderful.  Hundreds of precise photos, mostly film, and the books are easy to use, and scientifically accurate.  He's working on other books now, for places in the Pacific.  The fish are completely different there.

He invented the liveaboard dive boat. because of his love of diving and underwater photography.  Dissatisfied with having to go back and forth from resorts on uncomfortable little boats, and diving only twice or three times a day, and not being able to go to places very far from the resort, he got his own boat, and started taking other (paying) divers for week long trips.  This idea of his spawned many liveaboard dive boats, in just about every place on Earth that there's diving.  You can get in as many as five dives a day, maybe eight or more hours in the sea, every day. 

I learned one special habit from this man.  I saw that as long as he was in the water he had his face down, looking. He'd done thousands and thousands of dives, and yet still he was enjoying every minute that he could.

Here's what I saw yesterday, right at the ramp that I climb onto to leave the sea.  This in about 18 inches of water, 1/2m.
.Wow, a zillion Bar Jacks!  Well, maybe between one and two hundred.  Little guys, just a few inches long, not big enough for a human to eat, maybe one bony bite per fish

.They were just milling around, almost not moving, and not afraid of my slow, almost stationary movements.

.Ah, but you'd better believe they knew I was there, and they were keeping an eye on me, and judging if I'd suddenly pounce.


.Aha, a Wrass acting as a cleaner, looking for a fishie flea to eat.  Doing the fish a favor, and getting a meal too.  But all those dozens and dozens of Jacks trying to get one little Wrasse's attention!  Even a fish can eat only so much.

Owell, thirty seven images, did I take enough?  Did I miss something? 

In the background is the edge of the boat ramp.  I must stand up, once I have my fins in hand, and try to gracefully walk over those loose rocks to the ramp.  Then teeter totter at the edge until a bit of a wave helps, pushing me out of the water.  I'm wearing about fifty pounds, 21k of dive gear
One last look back, and it's out of the sea, and back to gravity.  A dear friend nicnamed Deja once said, "Life is diving.  All the rest is just surface interval."

OK, thanks for stopping by!

No comments:

Post a Comment