Saturday, January 02, 2010

Arches and Jetty

Today I got up early, about 06:30, and went to take some photos of the jetty. At 11:30 Uschi and I went to the “Arches” for a dive. Uschi had already done a refresher and was happy with her performance but she still had mask trouble and a bit of an ear plablem.
Uschi and all the others (except one older lady) surfaced early, an American chap who was on Uschis refresher course was sea sick. The older lady and I stayed down for a little longer and actually got some of the more interesting photos just near the anchor.
When Uschi was doing her refresher course on Thursday, I did some snorkelling around the jetty. I found two writhing groups of catfish. The 2 groups had individuals of comparable sizes but each group was different. One group was made of larger individuals (more mature?) while the other group was smaller individuals. The writhing of the groups was a little creepy. The area under the jetty was pretty bare, although I did see a large sea star. A charter boat came in and I worked my way north from the jetty to the boat ramp. The water was only 300-600mm deep. I saw anothyer Sea Hare. The lagoon bottom in this area is somewhat bare sand, interspersed with patches of grass and coral. There is some marine life but it isn't hugely diverse like the outer reef or Ned's. After getting out at the boatrampI cycled up to Settlement Beach and walked across the mud to Sylph's Hole. It was very low tide. Visibility at Sylph's Hole was very poor, only about 5m or so and the general area of Sylphs has a lot of broken coral. I saw one turtle. I also saw two quite large Lionfish (4-500mm long) but they were in a coral cave/overhang which was difficult to get close into to take a photo.
On my way out again I saw a smaller black lionfish which seemed a bit terrotorial as it sat above a coral bommy.
Tonight we are having tea at the local Chinese restaurant, the “Garden Court” at the Lorhiti Guest House. I had chicken with vermicelli noodles which had a faint ginger tang. Uschi had garlic prawns whilst Christine had sweet and sour pork. This was the restaurant we went to for new years eve banquet (at $70 a head). Prices are quite high on the island, unsurprisingly.The New Year's banquet was mostly fish as most restaurants seem to serve. I tried the beer battered fish, which was OK. In fact it seemed a sweet batter to me with maybe some cinnamon in it. Uschi had about a dozen prawns and was very happy(!). The roast potatoes and potato salads were really excellent. There was also a variety of fruits, cheese and cake which I didn't sample as I was too full.

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