Friday, February 03, 2006
We had another nice couple on board today for intro dives. One actually had been certified years ago and never dove since and had lost proof of certification, which is quite common - that's no reason not to dive though. There are ways to replace a lost dive card, and intro dives can be done on the spur of the moment. Our intro dives are pretty much the same dives as our regular certified dives, only you have to be with and instructor, perform a few basic skills, and we have a 40' depth limit.
The surf was a bit higher than I expected as we were coming out of the harbor, but luckily the side of the island isn't a straight line - there's usually a point we can go around that'll have flat water behind it. We headed down to Pawai Bay. If you've read the blog thus far and kept track of the swell direction, you'll probably notice that Pawai Bay and the Pinetrees area are usually the most dove spots on northwest swell days we get on occasion during the winter. Pawai Bay was quite reasonable. We had roughly 70-100 foot viz and no surge for the dives today.
I did the second dive. We saw lots of Pyramid Butterflies (Hemitaurichtys Polylepis) and other goodies, as this is a particularly fishy dive, as well as one of the resident Flame Angels (Centropyge Loriculus) we look for in this area.
Here's a reasonably closeup shot of Pyramid Butterfly fish, along with their cousins the Thompson's Butterfly fish, I took a couple months back at a spot around the corner from this site. These guys are one of my personal favorite butterfly fish. They tend to hang out on points or dropoffs, where there are currents or upwellings, in large schools. This particular group of fish was only a small portion of the butterflies in the area and was waiting by a coral head to be cleaned by a cleaner wrasse. It's neat seeing hundreds of the same fish in one spot, on some dropoffs we will see clouds of them.