Monday, September 24, 2007

For Those Needing A Dive Fix

I didn't think about the fact that there might be those who actually didn't get to go diving this weekend, and might be needing a dive fix when I wrote about Kelli's new rack. That was a bit insensitive of me now that I think about it. I mean I figure that it's a given, when it's the weekend it means we'll all be diving. But I have had it pointed out to me that not everyone is as lucky as I am. So for those of you who didn't get a chance to get wet this past weekend, I'll show you a little bit of what I encountered over the weekend. Let me start by saying that visibility was outstanding this past weekend, by far the best I've seen in a while, and it helped that the sun was shining for the most part, lighting up the corals nicely. I went to Grotto Saturday morning and spent some time swimming with a green sea turtle outside #1, then I just kind of hovered above the bottom at about 90' coming back to the Grotto. This big Conus Striatus was at about 100'. You can see where it had been attacked earlier in its life and evidently survived to repair its shell and go on with life. The Striatus is the 2nd most deadly cone in the world. If you're going to pick it up to look at, you want to be sure to only handle it at the wide end. The narrow end is the business end and is where the poisonous little harpoon comes out of.

This little nudibranch was only about 1/4" long and was on the same rock as all the Pterolidia ianthina, those are the long purple nudibranchs. When you take the time to seriously look for nudibranchs, you'll find them all over the place, but it takes a lot of patience and a knack of spotting them. It was also a very good day for Halgerda guahan in the Grotto, as I saw about a dozen of them. Most were just cruising around by themselves, there were on the algae covered rocks, in holes in some of the boulders, a couple of them were going across the rubble, and then I discovered these two. It should come as no surprise that I happened to find a couple of them mating. I swear some of them start doing it as soon as I jump in the water just to show off. I also discovered this past weekend that this particular nudibranch feeds on the white sponge you see between them. Now I know it's very common to go get a snack or a sandwich after "doing it", but it seems these two are killing two birds with one stone. They decided to eat while doing it, I guess that might give them a little more stamina, I'm not really sure. I had several groups of Japanese divers come over to see what I was taking pictures of, so I pointed them out and then let them all take their pictures too. I'm thinking the Grotto is going to be known as the nudibranch cave dive before too long.

I only had time to do one dive Saturday as Kelli had me on kitchen duty later in the day. I was whipping up a batch of stuffed mushrooms, and they were amazing, even if I do say so myself. Sunday I had a chance to do a couple dives with Brad, who just moved here from Korea recently. We did manage to find a turtle to take some pictures of, but that will have to wait for tomorrow's post.

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