Today was a great final day. The water was too choppy to dock the boat on our pier, so we had to take vans to another port nearby. The boat ride only ended up being about 30 seconds to our dive site.
This was our first dive site of the morning. It was further down that wall that we have been diving these past vey dives. Of all the places we dove, this had the most crevices, arches, and tunnels, and they were so amazing to swim through. It was strange to have to look up for coral. Down in the crevices there wasn’t much sunlight. Coral algae (zooxanthellae) need sunlight to produce food for the coral through photosynthesis. The tunnels spit us out along the wall. One of the weirdest feelings is looking off into the deep nothing past the reef. To my left is a towering rock formation teeming with life, and to my right is the color blue. The coolest fish I saw on that dive was the Queen Angelfish. They overall slender shape of angelfish with the two streaming tendrils above and below its tail fin. This one was quite colorful with purple and blue colors.
Chain reef was out last dive of the trip. Years ago, before conservation regulations, people were allowed to simply drop anchor on the reef (which did massive damage to the coral). After one boat dropped its anchor, the wind shifted and the chain wrapped completely around the reef. The boat abandoned the chain, but it is still there today, half absorbed into the healed coral.
Along this part of the reef there are lots of mushroom shaped coral. The smaller fish, particularly the royal gramma (aka “Gurgle” from Finding Nemo), orient themselves with their bellies facing the coral. Because of this, under the mushroom coral beds, these fish were all swimming upside down. The coolest I saw all week were the two pufferfish. One was hiding under a lawn chair that had been blown into the water from a storm a few years prior, and the other one was in an nearby rock. I’ve never seem two pufferfish at one time before. Both fish were about 13 inches long. Both had a boxy face with big eyes and a body that seemed to come more to a point at the tail. Neither of them puffed up but they both swam away quickly. One of them had seemed to have a light caligo skin, while the other was more plain. I never did see an octopus, but those two pufferfish were a close second.
We had a nice afternoon and then a Caribbean Barbeque for dinner. After that we had our Prayer Service themed “Care for God’s Creation.” I’m so sad to be leaving this place, it’s been so amazing. I hope I get to come back soon!