TOUR OF THE WEEK
The tour of the week this week was the guided reefwalk that took place at 4:15pm on Tuesday the 1st of June. It consisted of an all star cast with almost everything you could hope of seeing on a reefwalk. The 5 guests and guide headed out to the front of the resort and into the water through channel 1, keeping the coral on the right hand side allowed for more stable movement across the reef without leaving any damage. The guests were first met a few different species of Sea Cucumbers. Moving further out 2 beautiful Tiger Cowry (Cypraea tigris) shells were spotted sitting underneath a boulder coral. Tiger Cowry’s grow until 5 years of age. They have an exaggerated opening to allow maximum water flow across their gills. Their mantle extends outside of the body to clean the shell and also polish it. By this time the walk has moved roughly 30m with still much more to come. Pressing on another 20m a spectacular Dollabella Sea hare (Dollabella auricularia) was seen feeding on algae. The type of algae that they are feeding on will actually dictate what colour is represented on their skin. Also sighted during the tour were Decorator Sea Urchins (Mespilia globules), Blue Linckia and New Caledonian Seastars (Linckia laevigata
& Nardoa novaecaledoniae) and to cap it off a Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus). Fantastic diversity.
DIVE OF THE WEEK
The diving adventure of the week occurred on Thursday the 3rd. The morning dive took place at Anchor bommie, with a southerly current the group moved towards 3 Pyramids, Scattered bommies and then finishing up at the Lighthouse bommies, it was a genuine drift dive. With the water clarity sitting at about 25m the temperature roughly 24oC everything was in place for a magical morning, all they needed now was the wildlife to appear…..and it did, in spades. As soon as the group descended down the mooring line 2 Manta Rays (Manta birostris) were being cleaned on top of the bommie. The Mantas were there that long that the divers ended up leaving them rather than the other way round. As they moved further south along the island more Manta Ray encounters were had with another one spotted at 3 Pyramids and further 4 getting cleaned at Lighthouse bommies. Along the way they also ran into 4 Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and a Giant Guitarfish (Rhynchobatus laevis). The 60 minute drift dive was an amazing interaction between ray and human a truly memorable experience.
NATIONAL WHALE DAY – WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
David Ireland continued his filming for his new feature film coming out later this year. The main focus was Manta Rays as they were abundant all week.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK:
MANTAS ON EVERY DIVE