Up close of George
View from side port
We began the morning early and headed out of Blue Pearl Bay about 7:30 and traveled around the point Hayman Island and around to the other side of Hook Island. We passed Butterfly Bay, Maureen’s Cove and Luncheon Bay, mooring at Manta Ray Bay about 9:00.
We were moored close enough to the coral that we could dive off of the back of the boat. This was the best coral that we have seen and also many other species of fish. The sun was bright and the colors were magnificent. We saw a small Sea Turtle and spent a few minutes watching him.
We had been told that there was a very large Hump Headed Maori Wrasse name George who was very gentle and liked being around people. As we were taking off our wetsuits we were bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t seen George. Almost immediately, Michael said “There he is!!!”. Michael and I climbed back into our suits and spent about 15 minutes swimming with him. There was also a school of Yellow Tailed Fusilier Fish and one large black (don’t know what kind) fish and more of the Angel Looking Fish. Ruth and Danny started throwing bread out to them and we had a great time watching the feeding frenzy that would occur. It was a wonderful end to our morning outing.
We had been at our mooring for over two hours and were being stalked by another boat, so we reluctantly pulled out of Manta Ray Bay and traveled about 10 minutes to the next bay called Luncheon Bay.
We spent some time relaxing, blogging and downloading photos.
In the afternoon we took the Tender onto the beach at Luncheon Bay and spent about 1 to 1-1/2 hours snorkeling. This area seemed to be the best that we have seen so far. It was amazing to cross over the reef shelf and have the water go on forever underneath you and you not be able to see ANYTHING in it. There were several areas where many different species of fish were feeding and got some great photos there. We saw a bunch of giant clams, many in brilliant colors from blue to spotted brown. When you would dive down and wave your hand over them, they would close quickly as if to say “do I know you!!!”. Michael and I swam over to one of the rocky points and swam along the rocks. It was interesting to feel that there was a huge something beside you and then realize that it was a rock cliff. When we were swimming for any longer distances, we would hold hands and it was a LOT of fun seeing the reef together.
I had purchased a fairly cheap underwater camera and we have been really pleased with the results. Originally, we were taking one photo at a time and it was hard to tell when the photo actually took. Then, I found a “Burst Photo” setting which takes 3 pictures one after the other and those have worked great. Normally at least one of the three pictures is a good one.
After getting back to the boat, we all had naps or spent time reading and then had dinner. We all collapsed about 8:30. Unfortunately, the boat was rolling a bit and it caused the water in the freshwater tank to slosh around, making VERY loud bangs on the hulls. It definitely changed our sleep patterns for the night.