Friday, January 17, 2014

Diving Gili Air (Without Chuck): Marlin Point

I like turtles.
 I don't know why it's taken me so long to post these last few diving photos and videos from our trip to the Gili islands back in November, but better late than never!  This is the last dive I did, another one that Chuck could not join in on because of her stomach bug, which is really unfortunate because it was amazeballs.  The dive was at Marlin Point, which I strangely can't find any info about on the internet (it must mean I dreamed it, right?).

Highlights of the video below:
- an octopus that you can see hidden in the coral (white body, dark eye) after I fend past my nice but completely oblivious dive buddy (she didn't seem to have any sense of personal space- at any given point during the dive I would find her directly below me, blowing her bubbles straight into my face, totally clueless)
- a lion fish behind a sea sponge
- a stonefish (or is it scorpion fish?) shifting position on the reef
- ginormous giant clam
- big old floppy anemone
- a turtle resting on the top of the reef, with two remora friends
- another pretty anemone
- a very pretty lion fish floating on the reef
- SCUBA selfie!
- pretty fish, including a Moorish idol
- a turtle chilling by the dive site's namesake marlin statue

Not captured on film:
- mantis shrimp
- moray eel

Lion fish... don't touch!
A turtle at Marlin Point
Pretty coral.
  But what really made this dive special is the crazy schools of fish hanging out by the reef.  This video below is long, but worth watching (in HD! full screen!) if you can... so pretty.  At some point we realized we were completely surrounded by large schools of fish- all different kinds- swimming and generally hanging out near us.  

From what I could tell there were schools of yellow fusiliers, stripey sargeant major damselfishes, and some other fish that I haven't been able to ID (Steve? Do you know what the larger, silver ones are? They have some yellow around their eyeballs?).  The schools of fish didn't seem to have any particular agenda- just hanging out!  So cool!  Plus, add a turtle casually swimming through and pulling up a piece of coral to nap on?  Priceless.

At one point I looked over at the divemaster and she was making grand gestures with her arms.  She later told me she felt like a mermaid... I concur!  It was pretty magical.

Sleeping turtle.
You can barely see the other divers through the wall of fish!
So pretty!

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