12 – 18 September 2009

Two normally elusive creatures, a red grouper and a mantis shrimp, posing for the camera at a cleaning station

Two normally elusive creatures, a red grouper and a mantis shrimp, posing for the camera at a cleaning station

While in Tauch Terminal, the easy access to the Liberty Wreck and a house reef made us dive and dive and dive till we couldn’t see straight anymore. And we had LONG dives. The house reef or Coral Garden had an incredible cleaning station at 27 meters with massive amounts of cleaner shrimps.

Waiting for a customer to clean, these shrimps do the fish world a great spa service

Waiting for a customer to clean, these shrimps do the fish world a great spa service

And the fish came for a cleaning nibble. Nowhere else in our dive travels so far could we just stay within a few centimeters of a grouper or a trigger fish without it swimming away before its picture was taken, except here. The fish were really oblivious of us. It’s either they are so used to bubbles or the cleaning is just first class. Here are some fish portraits:

Two beautiful juvenile angelfish in the cleaning station. And there were lots of them!

Two beautiful juvenile angelfish in the cleaning station. And there were lots of them!

Immobile triggerfish getting a spa treatment in Bali

Immobile triggerfish getting a spa treatment in Bali

A brilliant red grouper ready for her close-up

A brilliant red grouper ready for her close-up

Then with a little 25 minute boat ride, we dived another muck haven called Seraya. It was just mind blowing to dive and see 4 to 5 harlequin ghost pipefishes, hundreds of razorfish, and other mad creatures. It was hard to surface for fear of missing the next interesting critter!

Robust ghost pipefish against a hydriod

Robust ghost pipefish against a hydroid

So much razorfish in 10 meters

So much razorfish in 10 meters

Now you see him

Now you see him

Now you don't! A flounder perfectly camouflaged in the sand with just his eyes and mouth exposed

Now you don’t! A flounder perfectly camouflaged in the sand with just his eyes and mouth exposed

And some more pictures from the Liberty Wreck:

Heinrich the massive barracuda hanging against the slight current

Heinrich the massive barracuda hanging against the slight current

You see so many divers going into the water together. But once on the wreck, there's hardly any traffic at all as the wreck is massive!

You see so many groups of divers going into the water at the same time. But once on the wreck, there’s hardly any traffic with a wreck this massive!

And don't ignore the sand. The garden eels stick out a meter long!

And don’t ignore the sand. The garden eels stick out a meter long!