Travellers’ Choice Awards are based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers’.
The channel slopes off gently to a sandy bottom, and in the shallows staghorn coral is abundant, along with large tree corals, sea fans and basket sponges. There is a huge variety of small tropical fish in this area. Anemones with their clown fish families, yellow tail and cleaner wrasse, parrotfish and triggerfish are all common, and if you have a good eye, frogfish can be found camouflaged in the corals. It is best to dive this site on the ebb tide when currents will assist you traveling, this can be a nice drift inside the channel.
Clown Frogfish / Anglerfish (Antennariidae)
There are two sure-fire ways to avoid getting bent: Do not dive and do not ascend.
Serious DCS (Decompression sickness) or DCI (Decompression Illness) or whatever the favored term is for the moment has happened to your friend… or maybe to the friend of a friend. It doesn't have to be an up close and personal kind of acquaintance. Somehow, within a generally small diving community, you do find out about someone getting hit and the usual (unkind, at best) remark goes something like these: "what did he do wrong", "was he showing off?", "was he licensed to dive?", to name a few. The thing is, and I bet you know what I'm about to say, as it has been said much too often. It can happen to anyone and it can happen to you!
Photo © Gunther Deichmann
True, it is a rare animal, but it knows no race and it knows no religion and it certainly knows no level of dive certification. Will anything you do or not do guarantee a bends-free dive? Again, you know the answer to that. NONE. But it certainly helps to know a few do’s and don’ts to try and minimize the occurrence of this sorry affliction.
First, the cliche (ho-hum): Plan your dive and dive your plan. "LET'S GO OVER THERE" just won't cut it. It isn’t a plan. It's a disaster waiting to happen. Next, be physically and mentally fit to dive. Being grossly obese or having a terrible cold or a hangover or getting astronomically pissed off with your astronomical sales quota in the office just doesn't make you seaworthy. Cancel that dive!
Stay young. If that's not at all possible, at least know and accept that you are older than last year. Dive conservatively Add a penalty or two. Don't test the limits of your tables or your computer.
Stay cool. And of course you know the best way to avoid panicking under or above water: Be well trained and well conditioned for your planned dives.
Descend slowly, ascend slowly, go shallow, make shorter dives, and make fewer dives. Rest after your dives. Drink lots of water. Don’t take a hot bath, go up a mountain, or fly so soon after diving. Above all, be sensible.
Note however that some are just more susceptible to DCS than others and a medical evaluation to check for predisposing causes, such as a patent foramen oval should be worthwhile.
Fun dives are good, planned dives are better, and bent-free dives are certainly best!
The dive starts in shallow water (about 5m/17ft) on a beautiful reef, alive with hard and soft corals, hundreds of small tropical fish like anthias, damsels, butterflyfish and many more. The reef slopes off to a sandy bottom and as you follow the contours of the reef on a flood tide, clear water from the Verde Passage helps you drift into the channel. Here the reef drops off to around 18m/59ft past a small wall covered with sea fans and whip corals. At the end of this wall the reef slopes back up to shallow water, where basket sponges, sea fans and green tree corals predominate. This site is best for diving during flood and high tide.
Basslets (Pseudanthias dispar) - Photo courtesy: Pacific Divers
Green Sea Turtle in La Laguna Beach - Text and Photo courtesy by Scandi Divers
We undertook to transfer the eggs to a higher area down the beach at Cataquis Lodge, away from the danger of storm waves. The green sea turtle is an endangered species so we will closely monitor the hatching to ensure all the baby turtles make it safely to the ocean.
Green turtles almost always nest on the same beach used by their mothers, so we wish them all the best and hope to see this family of turtles returning for years to come.
135 eggs of an endangered Green Sea Turtle - Text and Photo courtesy by Scandi Divers
FACTS ABOUT SEA TURTLES
Text from Sea Turtle Conservancy
Sea turtles are generally solitary creatures that remain submerged for much of the time they are at sea, which makes them extremely difficult to study. They rarely interact with one another outside of courtship and mating. Ridleys, however, do come together in massive groups during nesting. But even when large numbers of turtles gather on feeding grounds or during migration, there is little behavioral exchange among individuals. Because of the difficulty in studying marine turtles in the open ocean, there are a great many things still unknown about their behavior. Decades of research, however, including observations at sea, have produced useful insights into daily activities and behaviors such as courtship, mating and nesting.
Most females return faithfully to the same beach each time they are ready to nest. Not only do they appear on the same beach, they often emerge within a few hundred yards of where they last nested.
Only the females nest, and it occurs most often at night. The female crawls out of the ocean, pausing frequently as if carefully scoping out her spot. Sometimes she will crawl out of the ocean, but for unknown reasons decide not to nest. This is a "false crawl," and it can happen naturally or be caused by artificial lighting or the presence of people on the beach. Most females nest at least twice during the nesting season, although individuals of some species may nest only once and others more than ten times. Sea turtles are generally slow and awkward on land, and nesting is exhausting work.
Constructing the Nest
The female turtle crawls to a dry part of the beach and begins to fling away loose sand with her flippers. She then constructs a "body pit" by digging with her flippers and rotating her body. After the body pit is complete, she digs an egg cavity using her cupped rear flippers as shovels. The egg cavity is shaped roughly like a tear drop and is usually tilted slightly.