Cruising the Eel Garden

Cruising the Eel Garden

Image by Boogies with Fish…
Well, here is is on a Monday evening at 19:30 and I’m dead tired and behind the eight-ball. Monday was what Monday’s are. How does so much messiness accumulate over the weekend when everybody’s supposed to be playing or resting or otherwise not creating problems for someone else to solve?

So, I’ve had my beer and my cigar and I’m going to sit here for a while and annoy you. It’s my hobby, being annoying and inserting my absurdist opinions and philosophy cagily into these supposedly informative and amusing accumulations of words that we refer to as posts.  I’m like the guy with the huge model train layout in his basement who, after dinner, forces guests to lumber down the steps to the dank recesses of the underground toy railway where they will be treated to several hours of mind-numbing narrative concerning the building, operating and care of . . .

Excuse me. I drifted off into my alternate universe there for a moment.

Anyway, when we were cruising The Eel Garden  on Saturday, we surprise a few critters by blowing masses of poisonous air at them and flashing blinding lights in their eyes. This critter was neither surprised nor blinded. It’s dead: Sometime recently, possibly the preceding night, this poor little bivalve met its maker. Fortunately it had no brain to wither in fright nor mouth with which to scream. It is, nevertheless, a sad little scene. I vainly tried to find a shell book here at the house to identify it, but I think that I must have hauled them all off to the office. I call it the Alien Writing Shell;  always have and always will.

I was showing Kate the comical floppiness of an Elephant Ear Sponge when this surprised Brittle Star crawled out and said, "What the . . . " We flashed it with the Men In Black memory zapper thingie that is built into my camera and left it to recover. It will be blissfully unaware of the experience.

Monty Armstrong was busily snapping away with his new Canon G11. We now have three of them in our little gaggle of divers, though Rich Jones has yet to baptise his: His excuse on Saturday was that he had a cold. Personally I think that his decision to forego diving had something to do with the fact that there were no less than six bikini-clad young ladies on board our two vessels. I’m too old to notice such things, of course.

This male Purple Anthea (Pseudanthias tuka)  was at least as surprised as I was when I flashed him. It was a snap shot that I didn’t expect to come out at all. I had just popped over the top of a bommie and he was desperately thinking about which way to flee: This is the only good shot of the male of this species that I have. It was simply dumb luck to get it.

A Dardanus  species Hermit Crab was likewise surprised and equally annoyed when I knocked his house down much the same as the wolf did to the three little pigs: This one seemed particularly peeved and simply glared at me for a while before reaching down and pulling his abode upright again. Not all crabs are created equal. Some are crabbier than others.

A rarely seen Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyallarus)  gave me only about two seconds before scurrying under a ledge: I sometimes amuse myself by pondering what these creatures would think of us if they could, in fact, think at all. If they were the philosophical equivalent of humanists, would they count us as miscreants or mentally disturbed? If they had religion would we be Gods who disturbed their peaceful world for our demented amusement? I can dig it either way.

If I’m lucky, I won’t dream about that tonight.

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