Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diving Puri Jati

Today's objective was to find the mimic octopus. We did our first dive at Khayanganyar, a small stretch of black sand beach in front of an abandoned house. It didn't seem like a well known site as we were the only ones there and were sharing it with pigs and chickens. We did a shore dive, where we geared up on the beach and walked into the water. The seascape was a gently sloping black sand bottom with minimal vegetation, only the odd anemone and debris pile. We didn't find any mimics but there saw a pair of white eyed morays, millions of garden eels, a cuttlefish, and a big angry crab. The next 2 dives were at Puri Jati, also shore dives near a fishing village. Puri Jati is classic muck diving at its best - it always appears that there is nothing to see but in reality there is a ton of macro life. There were lots of lionfish, clownfish, anemone shrimp, puffer fish, dragonets, banded coral shrimp, and a porcelain crab or two on every anemone. I saw a beautifully decorated snake eel and caught it on camera. Apparently, there used to be a lot of more life but since they cleaned up the garbage, the life decreased. There was a tree stump that was home to 6 lionfish, 3 puffers, and a wrasse cleaning station. On the 3rd dive, I heard my guide furiously tapping his tank to get my attention. He'd found a mimic octopus! It stayed with us for about 10 minutes and I got about 90 shots before it disappeared into a hole in the sand. After our 3 dives, we made the beautiful 2 hour drive along the north coast to Tulamben.

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