Posted on November 26, 2013 | Comments
Been here on Eleuthera doing diving now for three (3) years, it is true, “time flies when you are having fun”. So the email at 6:30 am which said “I want to go. Just wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to be miserable out there for my wife. Seas are pretty big on the Atlantic side. Also worried if the sharks are still around in this weather. “, came as no surprise.
In fact it was so rough on the Atlantic side on Sunday that the Government closed the Glass Window Bridge to traffic. So if you were up north you could not get south and the other way around. My response was, we should be fine we are on the lee side of the island, meaning the wind is coming off the shoreline. Since most dive sites are close to the shore for wall diving, there is not enough fetch to create seas. The seas were about one foot, but the wind was howling.
We did the Shark Tease site first where the wall is vertical and has numerous canyons and large blocks of wall slightly removed from the wall. Visibility was well in excess of 100′ and we saw a couple of sharks out on the wall. After the trip down the wall we were back on the reef on the top of the wall when I spotted the rather large lion fish. Bill had said he wanted to see the sharks, not sure Susan, his wife was as excited to see the sharks. I used the ELF tool (Eliminate Lion Fish), shot and moved the lion fish out onto the sand flat.
There was a shark off in the distance but it did not seem to notice the lion fish lying on the sand. Along comes a Queen Trigger fish and it proceeds to try to eat the lion fish. Not seen this before, they have a very sharp beak like mouth and skin almost as tough as a sharks.
Well, the Queen Trigger fish was getting into making a meal out of the lion fish when it suddenly darts over to the reef, just as a large reef shark comes in at a rapid pace, picks up the lion fish and swims off. The reef sharks usually take a few passes over or around the wounded or dead lion fish before eating the lion fish.
Apparently, the shark could tell that the Queen Trigger was eating the lion fish and wasted not time in consuming the lion fish. Back on the boat, the wind was howling and having been in the water at 78 degrees, it seem down right chilly out of the water. But the seas were still just a little over 1 foot, so we had a comfortable 30+ minute surface interval. Dive one was 37 minutes.
We have now done the Thick Finger reef 5 times since discovering the reef a few weeks back. It took me a while to find a lion fish, and when I did shoot the fish, it managed to slip off. No matter, we had four reef sharks circling around the area of the reef where the lion fish was hiding. Doing our part to “Save the Sharks” by feeding them lion fish which helps “Save the Reefs of Eleuthera”.
Not sure they ever found the lion fish, but they will. Good dive, lasted about 45 minutes. Lots of excellent coral and some great shark viewing . Bill and Susan are from Chicago, while we thought we were cold on the surface interval, it was 21 degrees in Chicago, so no complaints about the weather. They are staying at a lovely house on Windermere Island, Ocean Daze (www.oceandaze.com), which has some very nice ocean views and a great beach.
One last photo, this is a Basket Star, which I wrote up on our Facebook page. Normally only see these on night dives, but this one had attached or hid itself on a warty sea rod. Beautiful creature when at night they are fully open to catch food. This was day one dive one on Rich’s Canyon, where we did three swim throughs. First time I have seen one of these in the day time. Same dive site, something new every time, just amazing diving on South Eleuthera.
Two very good divers, who had one bag misplaced on the flight over. That bag had their dive gear in it, so Susan was a little concerned about diving without her own gear. She did just fine with our Scuba Pro equipment, loved the wall dives, and really enjoyed Blackbeard’s Treasure hole.