LOL – Lauren on Location – another fantastic week for Lauren as she logs up her 100th dive and along with some of the members of the TSRCP team she goes freediving around Malapascua Island.
Most sites are quite shallow with the deepest freedive logged at 10m; however the most fascinating site was “coral gardens” located out of bounty beach. As the name suggests there’s lots of coral coverage with relatively few non-colonized sandy patches, there are many species of small reef dwelling fish (although we didn’t see any larger fish indicating the health of the reef is not as good as it could be) and you could literally spend hours here looking at and photographing the reef.
The Coral Gardens
The start of this week was a bit of a milestone for me as I logged my 100th dive. I was lucky, on my 100th I got a Thresher Shark circling and on dive 101 I had another fantastic Manta Ray visit with it passing so close and going over my head! I never thought I would be writing about manta ray sightings as often as I have been – the week previous to this I saw 2 manta rays and 1 thresher shark all circling together at the same time, I thought I was going to explode I was so excited! I couldn’t decide where to look; this practically resulted in whiplash from snapping my head back and forth between animals!!! I am told that such sightings are by no means typical and so feel extremely fortunate to be experiencing this number/quality of sightings.
Yesterday I was struck with an entirely new challenge, I had cut open my heel on my booties when Freediving at the weekend this had become infected (I will spare the readers the gory details –let’s just say it wasn’t looking good!) and my ankle was swollen, having already made the decision to get up at 4:20am and go out on the boat I was determined to find a way to dive.
Whatever it takes ….. the 1 fin wonder!
I tried pulling on my wetsuit, but there was no way my ankle could bend in that direction so instead I was kitted out in Helen’s rash vest and Gordon’s board shorts, to keep the shorts up, I tucked the rash vest in the boardie’s, which came half way up my chest and the pull cord was doubled up and tied around my back, to top it all off I wore one bootie and one fin for all the dives !!! After providing everyone with a good laugh at my expense I was pleasantly surprised with my 1 fining ability, however there are some amusing videos in existence with my foot kicking out at about 100 times of the finned one!! Turns out my effort was worth it as I got the best Thresher Shark sighting I have ever had and was able to get some pretty good shots!
Today I remain on land willing the infection not to get out of control and to let me get back in the water with both fins as soon as possible!
Best Thresher sighting yet.
Manta Ray eclipsing the sun as it passed overhead (the next few shots I couldn’t get the whole animal in view as it dropped even lower!)