Big, bad barracuda

Swarming at Dixon's Pinnacle


The last of my divemaster training series from the Andaman Islands. It’s about time, as I finished DM more than a year ago. *sniff*

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Heads up, barracudas

Hundreds of them riding the current


Great barracuda, hovering above Dixon’s pinnacle…

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Clownfish giving me the stink-eye…

Waiving in the current

A tiny clownfish stares down a giant diver.

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Healthy coral in the deep blue

Undisturbed...

I spent several days diving recently off Panama’s Isla Colon, where the water is cloudy with sediment, corals are sometimes covered in sand, mud and dirt and large schools of fish are hard to come by. This is likely due, at least in part, to the runoff from all the plantation activity in the surrounding country.

I can’t help but contrast that with photo, from Dixon’s Pinnacle in the Andamans, of remote, relatively untouched coral that is clean, free of disease, blue shifting from the depth and unbleached.

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Ohhhh… barracudaaaa

A large swarm of teeth

Majestic if also a bit unnerving in a school. I’ve seen the cloud of exploded fish after a hunting great barracuda went in for the kill. They could easily dispatch me if they were so inclined.

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I’m still amazed by truly healthy coral

Hanging off of Dixon's Pinnacle

After a week in Costa Rica and Panama and several days diving in silty, sediment-filled water, it’s almost refreshing to look back at clear blue underwater at Dixon’s near Havelock.

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Despite Disney, moray eels are not actually dangerous

Scared

This guy is far more afraid of me than I of him. That’s why he’s hiding out under some coral at Dixon’s Pinnacle.

The Little Mermaid is simply wrong.

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Off to school…

A different kind of educational institution

…of fish. Community animals are fantastic to watch. Even more amazing to swim through.

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Goodbye healthy reef

Deep blue Dixon's Pinnacle

About 100 feet beneath the ocean several miles off Havelock Island is a picture of what is fast disappearing: healthy reef.

Coral ecosystems — the rain forests of the ocean, as it were — are fading and collapsing in the face of global warming, coral bleaching, overfishing, agricultural runoff, human waste pollution, the list goes on.

We can congratulate ourselves for mucking about too much.

If you’re interested in knowing more, I encourage you to check out the research and conclusions from International Programme on the State of the Ocean.

I don’t mean to be preachy, but this particular slice of the environment is something I’m dedicating my life to. So, in my world view, it’s too damn important to not talk about.

More life than you can shake a stick at

Fish and more be everywhere

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Benthic zone awesome

Bubble tipped anemone

The waving bubble-tip anemone. Underwater creatures are, per usual, stunning, even when rendered in blue. These are part of the wonders of the macrobenthos which is a fancy way of saying the easily visible community of organisms that live at the bottom of the water column, on, in or near the seabed.

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