This year I had amazing dives, saw oyster toadfish out in the open, found bunch of seahorses, snailfish, mantis shrimp, octopus… But none of those was as euphoric as this dive. I have been looking forward to finally sharing about this dive.
I started with a short pre-night dive and that itself was already amazing that I saw a full size mantis shrimp for the first time, staring at me from its hole. That observation defined the purpose of the night dive, we were going to find some mantis shrimps.
Most of the dive we were followed by schools of bait fish. We did find some mantis shrimp holes, some had scaredy shrimps in them. For a short time we witnessed one of the mantis shrimps reach out and hunt the bait fish we brought for them. But none actually completely came out of their holes.
As the dive went on, with company of some baitfish, I witnessed the hunting behavior of the squid. They would watch the fish from a safe distance but then suddenly turn completely white just before making a move and approach the fish, once they get close to the fish they would frantically look around, fixating on one fish then another, judging for the best bait and finally attack and grab one. This happened over and over again.
But the high point of the dive came at the end. As we approached the shore, the concentration of the bait fish increased tremendously and we came across a big group of squid and feeding fest started. At some point there was a wall of fish on one side and a wall of squid on the other, the squid, one by one dive into the fish and grab one and go back to their spots. It was so well organized and chaotic at the same time. It was one of those times where you just watch, getting amazed by the action in nature, forget about everything. After a while I finally picked up my camera, knowing that I would not do any justice to the experience. Also I obviously had the wrong lens for the occasion.
Buddies: Feng Z, Matt T.
#451: 29ft, 65min, 61F; #452: 32ft, 108min, 59F.