August 17, 2006
I made a friend!
Just as the sun’s coming out this afternoon made for warm air and clear water, this dive site was as much an improvement over the last two. It features a small trench cum network of caves (a.k.a. “Marilyn’s Cut”) which empty to a sheer wall. Such a description in and of itself might not differentiate it much from our past sites, but this one has more energy and life, brought on I’m sure in no small part by the sun’s glowing rays. Ramon, Ric and I took off for the Cut, which we found with ease. Leading the way, I noticed a darkened, person-sized nook in the wall just before hitting a chimney (vertical tunnel leading out of the trench). Dashing a little ahead of my companions, I proceeded to concealing myself in the shadows like a red and black ninja of the deep. Then, like a stereotypical Japanese tourist, I snapped pictures of the oblivious fools, then sat back and waited to be found. For a moment, I was afraid they might not see me at all and just continue on, but sure enough they found me, crouched in inky blackness.
After ascending to the main sea floor at around 30 feet, we skirted the wall in a lopsided figure-eight around the boat. That’s where we encountered by far the most friendly creature I’ve met thus far. He was a rather large grouper with some evil-looking nostril flares, but he was all nudges and cuddles (a phrase I hope I never have to repeat about ANYONE besides an amiable fish). Ramon caught video of me petting him, but had swum off when the fish, who measured in at about the size of a small dog, actually let me wrap my arms around him for a full-on hug! It was great! Though I think he took that to be formal adoption procedures, because he and a buddy of his tailed us all the way back to the wall and almost to the boat.
We’ll be going back in at this same spot in just a little bit, so I’ll see if I can’t find him again.
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