This must be one of the very best fishwatching
places in the world, and it's just as good snorkelling as diving. There is an
Australian scientific survey team here at present who are seeing over one
hundred species of fish per dive. Unfortunately we have not got a very good
underwater camera, our photography skills are noticeably poor and the blasted
fish move amazingly quickly just as you press the shutter (I think they may
actually hear the click)and the most spectacular fish seem to be the fastest and
most timid, but we have got some good shots. Here are just three:
Unfortunately not only have we not got a good
enough camera, we also don't have a fish book for the area (planning ahead seems
not to be a forte!) so I'm guessing what the two above are - perhaps butterfly
fish? Any answers via email please!
Below are a few surgeon fish, present here for
spawning in unbelievable numbers. It drives the sharks wild when they start
spawning (we have seen well over 300 sharks of four different species on just
one dive, but they just ignore people - so far).
And these are a type of goat fish I think, with two
very obvious barbels under their lower jaw - you can see some in the photo.
These are amazingly mobile, like fast worms under
control. They are bottom feeders and use them to sift through the sediment
looking for tasty morsels. Amazing to watch.
There is very thick healthy coral growth here,
covering 100% of the bottom, but it is not very diverse - just a dozen species
or so. It seems that the centre of diversity for coral is much further west, in
the Indian Ocean and around New Guinea. As you go east there are fewer and fewer
species - hardly any in the Galapagos.