Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A New Sighting Underwater

Many of us have been hearing from him for the past couple months now, this cross between a Jedi and a Hobbit who was living in Korea. Brad Derksen had been following several of our blogs for a while and had been leaving comments and sending us e-mails. He told us that he was going to be moving to Saipan. No he didn't have a job lined up yet, but that was ok because he still had some traveling to do shortly after he moved here, so why mess that up with a new job. And he had just bought new dive gear for himself and his wife, and that was the real reason he was moving here, because the diving was awesome. Now I will admit, I wondered once or twice if this was just someone pulling our leg. I mean how many people do you know who move to a strange place with no job lined up just because they have great year round diving?

But sure enough, I went to pick him up at the airport a few weeks ago, and there he was with his lovely wife Jeong-ah. Since then Brad and Jeong-ah have gotten settled into an apartment, they have bought a vehicle, and Brad has gotten his new dive gear wet several times now. This past Sunday Brad managed to hook up with me for a couple dives, so we started out the morning at the Grotto then moved down to Lau Lau for the afternoon, with a pit stop at Oleai Beach Bar & Grill inbetween of course. Here you see Brad in the Grotto with hole #3 behind him. After we went outside of the Grotto and looked around for a while, we came back in to search for nudibranchs for a while. I was totally impressed when Brad found the first Halgerda guahan. He said he had seen them so many times on my blog that he knew what it was instantly. We only wound up finding 2 of them on that dive, but that's ok, we had a great time. I also managed to find a big Lionfish to show him in one of the fan coral swimthroughs. For our afternoon dive at Lau Lau, I was looking for turtles. And when I'm looking for turtles, I tend to cover a lot of territory fairly quickly. Since I know most of their usual spots I will just go right down the line from one to the next seeing where they are hanging out this time. We had gone by just about all the usual turtle hangouts and had gotten skunked so far, when we finally came to the last one and we found this guy. It was a big Hawksbill turtle that was just laying on the coral. He got up and decided to go for a swim, but he was a good sport and went slow enough that we got quite a few good pictures of him and I managed to shoot a couple video clips of him. Brad said this was by far his best turtle adventure because he was able to spend so much time with the turtle. There is just nothing like spending some quality time with a turtle, letting him lead you on a little trip. Here are a couple of the video clips so that you can swim with the turtles as well.
Welcome to Saipan Brad and Jeong-ah, and I look forward to many more cool dives with you!