Being watched

As a child I was not as fond of the sea as I am now. I always had the idea that big wild scary animals would bite my feet off if I walked into the sea. And to be honest I was also afraid of the deep part of the pool after seeing ‘the killer whale’ a fantastic movie about the revenge of an orca. Anyway, I’m pretty much over my fears now as I’m at sea full-time and like to explore the depths where I’ve never seen such a scary beast as my fantasy showed me when I was a little girl. Yet I still have the feeling that we are being watched and occasionally I meet the spy myself.

A tiny shrimp with a full belly

Carmen is a professional photographer for a Spanish magazine and even though she is not a professional underwater photographer, she does come with a super camera setup on board. Carmen is traveling with Maria and both Spanish ladies regularly go on a liveaboard. This week we are going to the Saint Johns region in the Red Sea which is a fantastic place for Carmen because she likes to do macro photography. We don’t have many guests who want a guide so we divide the small group we have in two and that’s why I do a lot of diving with Carmen and Maria. Enjoy bimbling in the shallower parts of the reefs, quietly finding our own way and enjoying the little beauties that the sea and mother nature show us.

Stunning clams that live inside corals

The funny thing is that I find myself doing either a reef dive or a blue water dive. What I mean is that if we’re diving for sharks and I’m lurking in the blue water a lot, it’s very difficult to put my focus back on the reef later on. Somehow I keep looking in the blue. The same is true the other way around when I do a reef dive and then completely forget that we have a completely blue side. Also on the dive with Carmen and Maria or Habili Ali. This reef is quite large and the top of the reef does not touch the water surface but stays 2-3 meters below it depending on the tidal movement. This means that we can only dive with calm seas and on this wonderfully warm summer day the sea is just that. That is, the waves on the surface are very small, but that does not mean that the current is just as calm underwater.

A puffer relaxing on the corals

On this dive we take the zodiac to the north to dive with the reef on the right side with the current towards the boat. We won’t know if we make it until we make the dive, because it depends on the current. Carmen and Maria are the only divers following me and we are going to do a shallow dive where I can only hope that the current is not strong. Maybe not so nice of me towards the other divers because they like to drift, but we go for the Macro and so a calm dive is nice. As soon as we are ready and the zodiac has brought us to the jump point, we roll back. I see the other divers descend to the depths and swim towards the blue water, as we calmly go to a 10-15 meter right next to the reef. We peek in all the little holes, check the tiny caverns, overhangs and every opportunity we come across.

We see a long-fin, a black fish with white spots that is really shy. I can just point out the fish before it shoots away again, hm difficult animal for the camera. Fortunately, we are often spoiled by mother nature with a pajama slug, citrus slug and various shrimps. While I’ve just been staring at a sea cucumber, I swim back a bit and get that ‘I see you but you don’t me’ feeling that I often had as a child. The chills ran down my spine and I turn my head to Carmen and Maria. I tap my tank and as soon as they look up I give them an OK sign, yes they are ok. Hmm, I still can’t get rid of that feeling of being watched. I look below to see if maybe one of the other divers is trying to get my attention and no they are nowhere to be seen. Now you would think that I would be smart enough to look into the blue water, something you can expect from a guide, but no. I try to shake off the feeling and search the reef with my eyes for Macro fun. I can’t concentrate, that feeling chases me and now I’m getting a bit restless. The feeling has been bothering me for some time now and it clearly bothers me when I suddenly have a hunch: let me look into the blue! I turn my head and almost get a heart attack: I’m looking straight into the eyes of a huge tuna. What an enourmous animal and certainly the largest tuna I have ever seen. The animal hung directly over my left shoulder, unbelievable that I had not seen it, hahaha. The feeling that I had a lot as a child was confirmed, yes… we are being watched.

Skin of a crown of thorns

For the rest of the dive I continued to have some uncomfortable feeling. No need of course, but yes your brain can play tricks on you and so I didn’t forget to look at the blue for the rest of the dive. All in all a very nice dive with a surprise that once again teaches me that even if you are the guide, that certainly does not mean that you see everything, even if it is literally right next to you.

Love life… Blow bubbles.