Friday, March 30, 2007

Explore the shallows

I think a lot of new divers have a bit of a misunderstanding of the importance of depth. I think their reasoning works along the lines that they have probably seen more on their early shallow dives than they did snorkelling and so if they do deeper, more advanced dives there will be even more to see. Whilst deeper water can and does bring in different species and dives in the 30metre range at places like Ras Mohammed NMP (Egypt) or Protea Banks (RSA) attract big numbers of large pelagic fish this does not mean all dives need to be deep to be successful. Different depths attract different species and many of the world's great muck and critter dives are less than 10metres deep. Even divers who are familiar with these dives often ignore the extreme shallows where the water is less than waist high. Whenever I shoredive however I always make sure I dive the way back in until I can literally go no further and have to stand up - its amazing what you can find.

Recently I've been spending time snorkelling a shallow salt flat. Whilst most of my finds have been small like this one I've been seeing some bigger stuff too.


This little stingray for example served up good notice of why one needs to watch where one's putting one's feet in shallow tropical waters.


These two big permit would've been a fly fisherman's dream, they spent a lot of their time with fins sticking out of the water as they were too deep-bodied for the flats.

octo eye

I found every decent sized rock crevice or bit of rubbish was harbouring a large eye staring back at me too. These big octo's (of which more to come) love to prowl the flats by night and hole up in the day.

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