15 April 2009

Dive 1, 7:30, Black Rock

N8 47.868 E119 50.440

Hmmm — 6:30 morning rain. We’re going to be rained on in Bird Islet in a few days! Not a nice thought.

Before the dive, our German dive group mates ordered pygmy seahorses, and guess what — our guide Welmer found one. Hippocampus Denise at 20 meters! There was a perfectly round barrel sponge, and we had our moments with it. Afterwards we went towards the surface, with lots of acropora mounds surrounded by lots of white sand.

"Burp" says the GT.

“Burp” says the GT.

The fairy basslets were all around, and viz was good.. Beautiful. The sun was out and the surface was just stunning. Then, while Yogi was photographing the reef, a small brown fish darted past him and was eaten by a giant trevally. Yogi hopefully got that sequence. It’s a fish-eat-fish world out there . . .

Packing up

WWF Coral Triangle Expedition on the Expedition Fleet Stella Maris

We were leaving Stella Maris the next day for the Tubbataha Ranger Station. On the 16th, we saw a lovely goodbye note from the crew wishing us a safe and meaningful yearlong expedition.