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What makes a dive special? 30 Aug 2011

Posted by cat64fish in Tales from the N2 bar.
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How do you rate a dive? I’ve always been of the opinion that “every dive is a good dive”, but what is “good”?

In this case, on my umpteenth trip to Hantu (28 Aug 2011), “good” was defined by the company, the 4m visibility and the encounters underwater:

1. The hugest batfish I’ve ever seen – I’m convinced it is an Orbicular Batfish (Platax orbicularis), although it could also be the Hump-headed Batfish (Platax batavianus), since both of them look very similar. You can gauge the size of the fish from the photographer (Eunice) behind it.

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What’s even more surprising, is the remora that is swimming around its host – it was actually cleaning it as well! This cleaning behaviour has been reported for dolphins and whales, but this was the first time I saw it for a batfish.

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2. As mentioned by others on the trip, Bonellas were out in force – and wherever a large number of nudibranchs are seen, some of them will be caught procreating! A little bit of “fencing” as the penises jockey for position ….

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… before the participants settle down.

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Other wild things were witness to the almost non-stop “snap snap snap” of our cameras:

3. A cuttlefish
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4. An eel blenny (Congrogadus subducens)
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5. A tiny goby and an extra large pistol shrimp (I am told that this pairing of large shrimp and small goby is unusual, since there is typically competition for larger shrimps by larger gobies)
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6. A squat lobster in a featherstar
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Finally, even “experienced” divers occasionally make mistakes – in my case, I touched something that i shouldn’t have (“Don’t touch what you don’t know”!), and got my finger “burned” for my transgression.

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The stung area throbbed slightly, occasionally shooting out small spikes of pain to remind you it was there. Blisters looked like they were forming, but fortunately, did not quite bubble to the surface of the skin. Chay Hoon wasn’t sure what species it was, but muttered something about “not sure if it is the species that has flesh-eating bacteria”! I suppose if my finger drops off in a weeks time, we’ll know for sure!

And there you have it. The essence of a “good” dive! 🙂

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