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Dive In
“I am more than delighted
at seeing the incredible soft
coral cover over the west
wall, the barracuda being
cleaned, the jacks, tuna and
the Napoleons.”
that clownfish.’ he certainly doesn’t like to be ignored.
Small Brother
A dive that should not-be-missed is the wreck of the Numidia. This
We have barely finished dinner before we hear the crew shouting
English-owned vessel struck the reef on its maiden voyage in 1901,
‘shark, shark!’ I wonder how they manage to see a shark in the dark,
broke into two parts and sank. The largest section of the wreck clings
but then I see they have turned on some big spotlights on the deck.
vertically to the reef wall, from depths starting from 14m to 80m.
In this light we can easily see the unmistakable white dorsal fin of
looking at the position of the wreck, you feel that this large vessel
an oceanic whitetip shark. close to the reef is a bait ball of snappers,
could at any moment fall to deeper water on one last journey. luckily,
which reflects the boat’s light. The shape of the bait ball changes
for our dive it holds position and we enjoy the incredible soft coral
from a circle to an oval shape, then back again. The movement of the
cover which has taken over the wreck, as well as the vast number of
snappers tells us when our shark is getting close. But at that moment,
glassfish. Just as our thoughts turn to venturing inside the wreck,
they seem to lose their nerve and suddenly the bait ball falls apart.
an oceanic whitetip shark appears. There is no contest – I much
Now it is just the individual snappers swimming. When the danger
prefer a shark to a wreck. like the Napoleon, our oceanic friend is
heads off, they gather together once again. Watching parts of the
very curious. Making some very close moves, he follows my exhaled
snapper bait ball drifting in the water, it seems this may not be the
bubbles to the surface and then comes back for more.
best survival strategy. The fact that night diving is forbidden within
marine parks, we have to stay on the deck watching this feeding
Issue  october / November 2009 www.cdws.travel 25
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