I’ve been featuring a lot of smaller subjects and fish faces for Pic of the Day, so thought I’d share something more in the ‘big picture’ category for today.
This image was captured on a deep wall (image taken at about 90 feet) on a reef not far from Banda Harbour, in the ‘Spice Islands’ of Indonesia. We were on the Archipelago II. Sadly, a few years later, this beautiful boat hit a reef in a storm and was not salvageable – such a shame as it was a wonderful live aboard with a great crew. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident.
This was one of those ‘leap of faith’ dives. Our trip leader, the irrepressible Simon Buxton, had conferred with the dive guys (Ali and Made – a dynamic duo of Indonesian dive guides), and with both having much experience in the area, they had coached him that on this particular site, there was a second ‘secret’ pinnacle, a short swim from the main dive site.
The leap of faith comes when you can’t see the purported pinnacle from your position on the main reef, and you swim off into the blue, keeping your fingers crossed that you will actually find it. Once you’ve left the reef, there is a point of no return where you may be truly at sea – no view of the reef behind you, and no glimpse of the reef you are swimming to, just blue water all around. We’ve done this a few times in our travels, and it always creates a wee bit of anxiety, especially when at depth, as we were on this dive.
Anyhoo, somewhat miraculously, we actually found what we were looking for (and found our way back – added bonus ;^). Simon had advertised that the deep wall was coated with very colourful soft corals and big barrel sponges. And so it was. Adding to the beauty was a cascade of Pyramid Butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis) and Longfin Bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus).
This was one of the most lovely and lively walls that I have had the privilege to photograph.