Diving With Trisha At The Junkyard

Trisha and I met up at The Junkyard to do some fun diving and we encountered an eel neither of us had ever seen before…

 

Trisha’s  mantra while taking the Open Water Diver Course was, “I’m not going to be a weenie!”  By the time she had completed her fourth open water dive, she was definitely not acting “weenie-like” and her confidence had skyrocketed.  I was one very proud instructor to see a student come so far!  Because we had such a good time during her certification, we both wanted to go diving together again in the future.  After numerous times of the weather not cooperating with us, we finally made it out to The Junkyard.  The weather was so calm and the visibility was great.

 

Trisha At The Junkyard

 

After giving a sight brief, we suited up and did our pre-dive safety check.  While doing so I noticed Trisha had gotten bitten by the “scuba bug”and had already made some great purchases for her own gear.  It’s always awesome to see new divers share a passion for exploring the underwater world.  We discussed some of the cool features on her gear and then it was off into the water.

 

Sea Cucumber “Walking”

 

Thankfully the tide was in so making our entry was easy.  The Junkyard is definitely not a spot to go to during low tide for several reasons.  First, walking out along the coral shelf can be personally dangerous – easy to fall over or twist an ankle.  Second, there is a good possibility that you will step on, crush, and kill the fragile coral.

 

Trisha Checking Out A Crevice In The Coral

 

We kicked out to the entry point and then made our descent.  For our first dive, we headed out to deeper water.  There were lots of fish and the coral was beautiful.  One of the cool sightings we experienced was seeing a sea cucumber “walk” across the coral.  Most of the time sea cucumbers are lame and boring because they don’t do anything so seeing it “walk” was a pleasant change.  Besides that, nothing exceptionally awesome happened.

 

Crown of Thorns Starfish

 

For our second dive, I suggested that we stay within a depth of 20 feet right near the entry point.  We both agreed that there was lots to see, the water was unusually calm with no surge, and it would make for a long, relaxing dive.  Our game plan was to move slowly in order to check out all the cool little details found at a shallow depth.  It definitely paid off!

 

 Friant’s Sea Star

 

Right where you descend, there are some little crevices in the coral that made for some interesting places to check out.  If the water is rough, it’s not advisable to swim into these spaces because you can get thrashed around along the sides if not careful.  Today it was super calm so we went into one and had a look around.  I also got a cool photo of Trisha coming through the opening.  After exiting the crevice, we continued along the coral wall and had the opportunity to admire numerous types of starfish, including a Crown of Thorns Starfish and a Friant’s Sea Star.

 

Snowflake Eel At The Junkyard

 

As we swam into another little inlet, an eel came down to the rocks in front of us to begin looking for a meal.  Trisha and I cautiously approached to get a better look but not wanting to scare the eel away.  Once the eel realized he was being watched he retreated below some rocks and only poked his head out to get a look back at us.  I immediately began taking massive amounts of pictures with my camera.  I had never seen this type of eel before and wanted to make sure I got some good shots so Trisha and I could share the experience with family and friends.  After about 3 minutes of watching and photographing the eel, I noticed he seemed a bit agitated all of a sudden.  “Ok, time to head backwards!”  Right as I was about to signal to Trisha that we should back up, the eel turned tail and swam away from us.  It was lighting quick!  I didn’t see him wiggle out from the rocks even….it was simply a small cloud of sand/pebbles being kicked up from his sudden movement and then he’s swimming away from us with speed like I’ve never seen from an eel.  I was so thankful he didn’t come at us in such a way!

 

Snowflake Eel

 

After the snowflake eel took off, I looked at Trisha and I could tell she was also relieved!  I looked back to where he had been positioned under the rock and saw ANOTHER eel poking around.  After the dive Trisha and I discussed the whole matter and came to the conclusion that the second eel must have freaked the first one out.   Our behavior during the whole interaction had been very passive and we had kept our distance (I used the zoom quiet a bit on my camera).  The second eel was the only logical explanation as to why the first one acted as if it was shot out of a cannon suddenly.

 

Trisha and I finished off our dive by heading back to the entry point because we were both getting a bit chilled.  On the way back we came across some Christmas Tree Worms and a giant clam…both photo worthy objects!  When we came to the surface I asked Trisha, “What did you think of that dive?”  I was a bit worried she would think it was boring because we didn’t go deep; however, I was presently surprised to hear her say, “That was awesome!”

 

Christmas Tree Worms

 

On our way back to shore the second time, the tide was starting to go out.  We inflated our BCDs and floated in to where no coral was growing and then slipped off our fins.  So began our somewhat hazardous walk across the shelf and out of the water.  First, Trisha lost her footing but she kept a good attitude.  “I’m going to just roll in like a beached whale!” was all she kept saying.  After getting back on her feet, we started back in…and then I fell over.  Falling down in shallow water is always so annoying and it’s had to get back up.  Thankfully, Trisha gave me a hand and then we were back on our way.  Woops!  There went Trisha again but she quickly got back up.  If someone had been watching us, I’m sure they would have found the whole affair rather hilarious.  Thankfully, I didn’t see anyone out there so hopefully we don’t end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

 

Giant Clam

 

I’ve started diving at The Junkyard more and more and it’s starting to turn into one of my favorite spots, especially when the water is calm.  I’m all about photographing the wildlife and The Junkyard makes to a great spots because of it’s rather shallow depth (maintains the true colors of the subject being photographed) and there is lots to see (macro and micro).  Also, diving with Trisha made this an awesome dive.  She’s really chill, funny, and a good diver!  What more could you ask for in a dive buddy, right?!