John and Jane in Thailand

J and J have escaped the hurly-burly of life in the USA.

Diving the Andaman Sea

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Two days after the wedding (see previous posting) John and I went on another dive trip.  This one was different from all the others we’ve been on.  We did what is called “a live-aboard” and we stayed in Thailand.  We live on the east coast along the Gulf of Thailand; the west coast is along the Andaman Sea. They say some of the world’s best diving is in the Andaman, specifically the Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock , and the Burma Banks. Unfortunately these areas are far from shore so day-trips are arduous at best, most companies only offer live-aboard diving.  But that’s okay; it is great fun to be with a group of like minded people for an extended period of time – we were on a three night, four day trip.  We dove four times a day:  up before dawn, snack, dive, breakfast, rest, dive, lunch, rest, dive, rest, short evening dive, dinner, sleep.  In other words, eat-sleep-dive.  It was great!  One of the most amazing and exciting things I’ve ever seen underwater occurred on our last dive. We watched a large male cuttlefish trying to mate with a smaller female.  She seemed a little reluctant, trying to scoot under a rock ledge out of reach.  The male was pulling her out when along came a gutsy small male who was also interested in the female. He bumped (not aggressive enough to call an attack) into the large male who just turned and threatened him by waving his tentacles.  The little guy would back off then try again.  Finally the big guy got fed up and really attacked the other, actually biting him. Through it all these animals were changing their colors, sometimes with very vivid colors.  Cuttlefish can change their color and patterns in 700 milliseconds doing so not only for camouflage purposes but to impress potential mates and to intimidate rivals. Our diving group of four was mesmerized by this underwater soap opera.  I did not have my camera with me but, in retrospect I’m glad I didn’t  because I was able to focus my whole attention on this amazing display.  I will pull a photo from the web so you can see what a cuttlefish looks like. Sorry, I don’t have many photos to show you and they are not the most interesting of fish but I think there is enough to keep you coming back for more.

 

Written by Jane Estes

May 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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