What! You want us to do what! Buddy dive!!! That's about the most dangerous piece of equipment you can bring down there. A what! You want me to dive with a fem! Come on! Well, I'm really not supposed to kill anything anyway. What the heck. Well, it turned out that Karen was a great diver and took me a place or two that I might not have gone on my own. As I have found when travelling, while there are some newbies, there are many amazingly experienced divers as well. She was one of them. She was a native Carribean diver and swam like one, with her arms held in front of her to make sure that none of her hoses or gauges touched the reef. She was nice enough and decided that that I was probably OK, when she found that I wouldn't touch anything. Warm water diving is so different from cold water, in that respect.
Sorry about the download time on that one, but I managed to get a pretty fair shot of a very large yellow sponge. Really, the pic can hardly do it any justice. It is beautiful and while this one was large, they have a very delicate appearence.
This pink sponge came out pretty nice. There wasn't all that many of these around.
Another of the common sponges were these huge red ones. They can stick up near 7 feet. Most are upright on walls or steep inclines. This one was out in the open and had fallen over. It then started to grow up again. Who knows what it would look like in a year?
After one dive, some people commented on the lobster they were seeing. Well, the skipper of the boat said 'if everyone wants to, you can take some for dinner'. I guess we really weren't supposed to, but it didn't really seem to bother anyone else... What could I do? Then they gave me a 3 foot stick with a hook on it and said that getting lobsters was really difficult. Huh? I do it by hand most of the time. Well, we went in and I quickly found about a 3 pounder. Carefully slip it between the legs without touching, yank and that's that. There were 6 of us travelling together and you immediatly see the change. Everyone is moving in hunting mode. We evenly spaced at about 50 feet and with no pre-planning, moved across the reef in formation. I found one more keeper as did Karen. I took them with the hook, though I have to say that reduces the sport of it some, but does protect the reef. They are even more spiney than California bugs. Good dinner.
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