Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeding Frenzy!

Sunday was our last day of diving.  Our first dive was at a site called Fast Eddie's.  This was our deepest dive of the trip.  I went to 112 feet and Ben went to 125.  We had dive computers we used that were worn as a watch on our wrist and told us our depth, number of minutes we had been diving, and how many minutes we could dive at a certain depth while staying below decompression limits.  It also timed our safety stop at fifteen feet.  At the end of a dive you typically stop at fifteen feet for 3 minutes before going to the surface.

We saw an eel on this dive and I also saw a bird wrasse and striped surgeonfish.  It is hard to commnunicate while diving since you can't talk or hear anything underwater so we rely on hand signals to communicate.  There are common scuba hand signals for all sorts of fish and to indicate how much air you have left and when to go up.

Dive two was Ben's favorite dive of the trip and was called False Entrance.  We saw a huge marbled stingray on this dive that was the size of a dining room table.
We had fun on this dive observing the small fish and other creatures.  We saw shrimpgobies and shrimp on the sandy bottom and later read in our fish identification book that they share a sandy hole to hide in.  We also saw a goatfish furiously digging in the sand and a rockmover wrasse juvenile fish that looked like a brown and white leaf or piece of seaweed jerkily drifting in the water.

After lunch was the shark feed dive at North Horn.  We all went to the bottom and sat as a group to watch one of the crew members drag down a bucket with a lid on it that had tuna heads in it.  The fish and sharks got very excited as this was dragged down.  She released the lid of the bucket and a feeding frenzy took place with a couple of the sharks really going crazy to get the tuna heads off of the rope.

 Our final dive of the trip was also at North Horn but without the shark feeding this time.  They left the bucket down there with the scraps in it and the sharks were still very interested in it.  We saw 13 around the shark feed area.  We also saw a large school of lined butterflyfish and a school of 50 bumphead parrotfish.  These parrotfish eat coral and can grow to over 4 feet long.

There were also several fish at cleaner stations-a barracuda, potato cod, and grouper.  We had a farewell bbq that night and there was a photo contest and viewing of the trip video.  We steamed through the night to Lizard Island.

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