Oct 4

Bonaire, Post Nine: The Reef

Category: Bonaire,scuba,Travel

Here are images that show what it’s like to explore the reef system.  It is another planet than the one surface dwellers have experienced.  Life forms as strange as fiction are the norm; plant and animal shapes are sometimes reversed; seemingly dull colors erupt into flaming glory when you get closer or shine a light on them, and tiny fairyland animals inhabit innumerable crevices.  Every surface writhes with life, and countless eyes watch you move about, assessing you as a threat and a source of protein.  Some animals don’t need to see you; they can feel your heart beat directly through electric fields.  From Seussian landscapes, they consider their options, and your future.

A typically small school of yellow goatfish float placidly in shallow water; an initial phase stoplight parrotfish (red and white) feeds; soft coral sways in the current, and clouds of small fish conduct business as usual.

A sinister-looking stonefish sits on the bottom; they are almost invisible.  Although poisonous, they are gentle (to divers) creatures who only wish to be left alone, like most sea life.

A school of blue tang flow over the reef and around me.

My dive buddy floats placidly above the reef at 80 feet.  Every diver is a dirigible of sorts.

A squid hunts within 20 feet of the surface.  It’s transparent body made it almost invisible, so I used a flash to highlight it against the underside of the sea’s surface.  After I took this picture, it changed color from transparent to brownish-red, and then to violet, before jetting off faster than I could swim.

A small “green” sea turtle.  The shell is reddish, but seen up close in better light, the skin has a greenish color.

Scrunched up into its daytime hiding place, an octopus eyes me suspisciously.  It has the ability to take on almost any color, and even some textures.

Bluestriped grunts peer curiously into my mask.

A trumpetfish hunts amongst the soft corals, hanging vertically as they are wont to do, hoping to be taken for a frond of coral.

Tiny little fishies – larvae – inhabit an ear of coral.

Adult and juvenile spotted drum.

No comments

No Comments

Leave a comment