We took Honu out to the small island just three miles away, Ilot Maitre. It’s a lovely little island with a reef mostly all around it. We had some trouble getting the anchor to set, but when we did it really dug in. I jumped in first as Susan and Steve blew up the dinghy. It was a BIG SHOCK. Freezing water. I mean cold. I had my shortie wet suit on and the water was cold. I snorkeled for 10 minutes or less and then went back to the boat to put on more stuff. I ended up trying Susan’s newly purchased hood and two layers of wet suits, using Craig’s and mine. It was tolerable as long as I kept moving and generating heat. The snorkeling was amazing and I saw way too many new fish to describe. The coral is nice, but absent are the fan and soft corals I expected. The water is too cold.
Back at Port Moselle we docked and I ran off to the dive shop to buy a full wet suit. I need it just to snorkel. They had them for only $115 or so. I bought a hood and a disposible underwater camera too. I thought I was all ready for our dive yesterday. Ha.
We arose very early yesterday and got ourselves to the dive boat at 7:15. Luckily, it leaves right from the marina. The boat made another stop and the dock of the defunct Club Med to pick up more passengers. There were about 10 of us that went out to Amedee Lighthouse for the dive. The boat docked out there, then we went to the dive shop there, got equipment and headed out. The dive guys were great and told Susan and I that we needed more, so the lent us (free!) another layer for our toros. This worked out well for the most part.
The first dive was outside the reef and there was a strong surge and later in the dive a strong current. We saw many new things, but it was difficult to linger with the current pulling at you. However, we did see several sharks, some very up-close as they slept under ledges and in holes. The HUGE Napoleon fish was a highlight.
We went back to the island and had 2+ hours to relax and eat our picnic lunch that Susan and I had picked up from an Algerian deli.
The second dive was inside the reef and there were a lot more fish. We were able to slow down and look at things better. We saw many, many new fish. Big schools. The highlight of this dive was when the dive master picked up a sea snake and handed it to me. These snakes are deadly venimous, but I took it anyway. This wasn’t the first one I’d seen handled and none of them even ever turned around to strike. I handed it to Susan, who swore she’d never, ever touch one. She took it. I really hope that picture turns out. Apparently, bites are extremely rare, with one species more aggressive and deadly. This was one of the “good guys.”
We went back to the island to get rid of the gear and relax a little while before returning. On the way out we saw several different sea snakes sleeping under the dock. They’re very pretty and you should read Susan’s column this week for all the dirt.