Thursday, February 11, 2010

Zebra sharks and Eagle rays. Need I say more?

Yesterday was my second day of diving. They had cancelled all dives after my first little experience until this week, so I've just been hanging out waiting for it to stop raining. I will say that I was a little nervous driving to Byron, I was totally psyching myself out and letting myself feel sea sick. After that second dive last week, I was not a very happy camper, so I had reason to be nervous. It was a beautiful drive. In the mornings here, there's always tons of this wonderful misty fog that's very mysterious. It was covering the whole valley and all the hills. As the sun was coming up, you could just see tops of trees sticking out of the fog. you couldn't even see power lines, which never happens! It was so nice to see the world just natural, without any of our man made atrocities I felt like I wasn't even on earth, like I was in some sort of place I only ever dream about. It made me so happy to just be out there.

Heading out on the boat, it was beautiful. There was only about a 1 meter swell, and no current, so i did not get sea sick going out at all! Bonus #1! Visibility was mediocre though, only about 4 meters. I was hoping for something like 12 m, but visibility had no effect on the amazing things I saw. After about 2 minutes of being underwater, all of a sudden I saw out of my peripheral, this long animal, I turned and looked, and there was my zebra (or leopard) shark. I have LOVED zebra sharks my whole life. Every time I go to an aquarium and they have one, I am plastered to the glass. I can never tear myself away from them. They are so beautiful. They are even better in real life. I was so amazed just to watch it swim, it was amazing. I had the best mix of emotions, just total joy and gratitude for being in the right place at the right time. It was just one of those moments that no matter how hard you try to explain, nothing does it justice. It's one of those emotions that only you understand, and should probably just keep to yourself for sake of total nerdy embarrassment if you try to explain it.

So we kept diving on. I also saw tons of wobbegongs. They are gorgeous sharks. They have beautiful coloration and tassels, and are just a lovely shark. They are magical to watch swim. They move like liquid glass. It's the only way to think of how they move. Just imagine what liquid glass would move like. When we were diving, there were two large rocks with a channel between them, so we went down to swim through it, and we swam through a school of banded butterflyfish, yellow and black striped, they were gorgeous. When I looked down, there was a 2 meter (at least) wobbegong who was enjoying the calm water in the channel. His head was wider than my body, so he was a big shark. Everyone calm down, they eat really small fish, shell fish etc etc. As we were finishing up the dive, once again I looked to my right, and there was another zebra shark! Talk about the most glorious dive ever. Who gets to see two in one dive? Who gets to see one ever in the wild!! I don't know why I am so blessed, but I am truly grateful for it!

The second dive was just as awesome. We went to a place called the Split Bommie (Bombie, Bommy? who knows..) anyhow, and it was packed with fish! There were schools of snapper and sturgeon, tons of clownfish swimming in their anemones, lobsters hanging out in crevices, butterfly fish chasing each other around rocks, angelfish chillin out, just endless fish. My heaven. There were also beautiful knife fish, and some little black girabaldi, just like the ones that I had painted on my wall. It's so funny, I pretty much painted on my wall an Australian reef. So far I have seen every fish that I had painted. I love how subconsciously I was doing all these things in my life that related to Australia and brought me here. Funny how that happens. Well, at the beginning of this dive, the only thing I hadn't seen was a spotted eagle ray (my ultimate favorite ray). That fact was no longer true at the end of the dive. Watching a spotted eagle ray swim is better than anything. They fly, it's amazing. They look more graceful than any bird in the air ever could hope to look. THey are gorgeous. The same emotions that I had for the zebra sharks happened here with the eagle ray. Total unexplainable joy.

I love Australia.