Monday, November 19, 2007

Yes, I Still Dive!

I know there has been some speculation as of late that I have given up diving because I haven't posted many dive pics for a while. Pure speculation I assure you, I've been getting wet every weekend, and actually I've been diving more than ever. I managed to get in 1 dive last Thursday, 4 dives this past Saturday and another 2 on Sunday, so I'd say I'm still getting in my fair share of bottom time. 2 of my dives Saturday morning were at the Grotto, my favorite place to hang out underwater. This green sea turtle has been hanging around in the same basic spot for weeks now, so I always check to see if he's there before taking off and seeing what else may be out there. Ironically the dive guides usually miss him and don't show him to the tourists, a shame. I always enjoy spending some time with the anenome fish. Many people refer to these guys as clownfish, but technically they're not. This two are double banded anenome fish, we also have single banded anenome fish in this area, you see a lot of them at Lau Lau.This moray eel was swimming from one hole to another as I was doing my decompression stop on the rope at the Grotto. You don't get to see the eels out swimming in the open water that often, typically you'll find them just poking out of their holes. But this guy got my attention by swimming right in front of me, so I followed him down to his new hole and took a few pictures. Then I went back on the rope, and he came out again and went to a new hole, almost as if he was playing hide and seek with me. Since I believe in always cooperating with the sea critters when they feel like socializing, I went over and took a few more pictures of him. He seemed to be enjoying posing for the camera. This is something I'm used to seeing, but it never makes me very happy. This is called canus slobicus, roughly translated it means a slob threw this can into the water. I always pick them up whenever I find them and haul them up to the trash can, but there are always more waiting for me on the next dive.

I went to the Marianas Dive beach clean up at Sugar Dock Sunday morning, and picked up nearly a full bag of garbage on the beach before I even hit the water. Then when I went down, I couldn't believe it. There was a dive instructor and a student in the water fairly close to the dock, and all around them were Budweiser cans, juice boxes, broken bottles and assorted other trash. I tried not to disturb them and started picking up all the garbage that totally surrounded them. After diving about 25 minutes, I finally had to come up because my mesh garbage bag had gotten so heavy I couldn't swim with it anymore. I was shocked by the sheer amount of trash the pigs on the dock manage to throw into the water there. My bag had to weigh about 75 pounds when I finally threw it up onto the dock. How sad that this is how we treat our natural resources and one of our biggest assets in the islands. I saw this baby flounder hiding on the sand as I was looking for garbage. I always believe in stopping for a minute to enjoy the beauty, even when in the middle of picking up garbage. Then this little guy was playing near the pilings for the dock. I had to take a picture of him just because he was so colorful and such a contrast to all the trash I had been picking up. After throwing my bag of garbage up on the dock, this little guy came crawling out. A baby octopus must have been hiding in one of the bottles or cans I had picked up. So I let him crawl onto my hand and I took him back into the water to let him swim another day, in a less polluted environment.