13 July, 1997


Today was also spent in exploring the island, but instead of driving over hills, I was diving under swells! The colors of the blossoms and birds on land are echoed in the fish, sponges, and other organisms in the water. Black fish with

brilliant slashes of orange along their sides, electric blue nudibranchs, moray eels with spots and stripes, and the clown-faced trigger fish all dazzle the eyes. A Green sea turtle passed by, always a stroke or two ahead of us without

really trying.

A scorpion fish, complete with his own fishing lure,

happened to move so we were able to spot him. Otherwise, these fish are very hard to see because of their mottled scales. Besides keeping us (possible

predators) from seeing him, what other use might being so well camouflaged serve this fish?

Moray eels may look like snakes, but they are actually fish. They do not deserve the reputation for aggression they have. These long, sleek animals are very shy. The repeated opening of the mouth is only their way of breathing, drawing water over gills. I saw over 8 of them, but none were the least bit interested in coming after me!

The water was clear and many of the little coral polyps were out. Some of them look like little bushes, while others were like miniature, pale blue stars. Corals need clear water, which is why it is so important not to have muddy water running into the reef area. See if you can find out why corals, which are animals, need clear water.


Besse Dawson

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