Friday, July 30, 2010

Lionfish, & Dolphins, & Caves, Oh My!

Nuie - South Pacific
19N 169 W

We had an excellent two tank dive this morning. First we headed north to Limu Point for what is called "The Twin Caves". The dive started in 30ft, then we went down a large hole to about 70-80, and explored a series the nooks and crannies before heading out a tunnel at the bottom. From there we went to the second cave which was darker before we connected through a smallish tunnel back to the first one. Neat lighting effects as well as some nice fish, including a very cool lionfish, one real big grouper-like fish, and a large puffer fish were the highlights. We finished the dive hanging out in 30ish feet checking out the reef fish.

During our surface interval we headed back south and were going to do a dive at the north end of the bay we are moored in, but the surge was a bit more than the dive master was happy with, so we started heading down to the south end of the mooring field. On our way we found a large pod of Dolphin and Ian had us get in the water... VERY COOL. The dolphin are amazing swimmers, sooooo carefree.

The second dive took us fully into an above waterlevel cave. After a quick visit to an anenomie and a leaf fish we headed in towards the island, and surfaced in a breathable chamber. The surge causes the pressure to fluctuate in the cave, so you had to constantly clear your ears, but the air is breathable, though very damp. The stalactites and stalagmites were amazing as were some other rock formations in there. Felt very Indiana Jones. After 10 mins or so we swam back out, through several "swim throughs" and finished along a wall for a final hang out with reef fish. Mom and I had plenty of air, so we headed down the wall to 60 feet to check some things out, saw a ray, and some other very pretty small fish.

The coral in this northern area is fairly dead after the cyclone several years ago, but rock formations are VERY cool, and the fish life seems to be coming back. Plus there are a TON of sea snakes (not as scarry as they sound, but I don't really like them that much). Fish life is decent, but generally small, and visibility is AWESOME, about as good as Easter Island with 150'+ visibility.

Tomorrow we are having a birthday party for mom and Trish (both turning 42 we hear). Should be fun.

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