As a guide I get to see loads of animals. And yes sharks are fab, manta’s awesome! But if you ask me what I really like? Animals that are hard to spot and even harder to interact with. For instance this lovely puffer 😉
Now I had seen her many times before. She lives on a reef called Rasdhoo in the Maldives. But usually we dive that spot somewhere in the first couple of days. And that means to me as a guide that I am too busy with my guests to fully enjoy this sweety. But every time I saw her, I thought I hope I get the chance to take my (new) camera and play with her.
Puffers are very shy animals, especially these porcupines. Yes they can blow themselves up to a spiked ball. And yes they are a potentially deadly delicatessy in the far east. I heard they can only do the spiked ball thing 3 times, and pissing off an animal is no fun. What I like is getting a shy animal like this interested.
One day, as we did Rasdhoo at the end of the trip, I took my chances and brought my camera. Jumped in and in the channel, right next to the ledge I found her. As soon as she saw me she turned away and tried to hide. So I thought I need to show her that I am not a threat to her. So next to the reef at about 20-25 meters, quite close to her, I just hung around. Hoovering just above the sand and I laid down my camera and most of all, not looking at her direct. But just being there. After a minute or 5 she started to come out on the sand. Still a bit nervous, but slowly starting to look for food. And I just let her do what she needed to do without moving a fin. After some time passed I took the camera and just pointed the lens towards her but holding it next to me. So I did not focus my energy on her yet and again let her get used to that. After that just clicking away. Not making any interesting pictures but for her to get used to the sound.
Step by step, taking maybe 15 minutes I let her get used to what I wanted to do. And in the end she was relaxed, searching for food and even swimming into my wide angle just minutes before my NON deco limit came close.
Loved every minute with her 😉
Hugs and loads of bubbles, Anke @ Blue Voyager