-- Spoilsport, Friday, January 3, 2003 --
Dive #12 - Fanfare, Flinder's Reef (with Mia)
AMAZING dive. The best one yet, I believe! We saw: a large moray eel being cleaned by a cleaner wrasse (black, with electric blue stripe running the length of its body), a spotted ray gliding off into the distance, a porcelain crab sitting just under a large carpet anemone with a large group of fish in it (three clownfish, one large domino damsel, many juvenile domino damsels), a few more anemones hosting groups of clownfish and damsels (with juvenile clownfish! they were very cute). All this, and I forgot to put a CF card into my camera! It wouldn't have mattered, though -- I had a wide-angle lens on. :) After almost forty minutes, I couldn't bear not being able to take photos and swam back to the boat, cutting the dive short. I felt guilty, but Mia seemed to be ok with it. :)
Dive #13 - Fanfare, Flinder's Reef (with Leon and Bernd)
I swapped my dome port out for a standard flat port and a 50mm macro lens and swam directly into the sand channel between two of the fingers to find an "anemone" (it turned out to be a coral) that Walt had spotted on the dive before. It was roughly five inches in diameter, and had a swarm of 50-100 small, translucent cleaner shrimp climbing around on it. When I arrived, a large fish was sitting there, being cleaned, but it quickly swam off when I approached. We then went off looking for the porcelain crab, which turned out to have moved out of site under the anemone somewhere. I did, however, find a second, smaller porcelain crab, which I photographed. We were unable to find the moray eel, but Norm and Teri managed to find it from the directions I gave them. Funny how that can happen. :)
Dive #14 - Fanfare, Flinder's Reef (Night Dive, with Sharron)
The porcelain crab was out! I managed to get some fantastic shots. :) Using the 100mm macro lens was very, very difficult, even with the calm water.
When hanging on the safety-stop bar below the boat, I noticed a school of small fish hovering just above us, so I switched on my hartenberger light and pointed it straight up. The fish went berserk, swimming violently around in a large ball just above us. We watched for more than five minutes before surfacing -- the glittering of their silver bodies was mesmerizing.
22:40 - I must sleep. I'm tired! The sky here is amazingly clear. I must get out to stare at the sky at night sometime.