Thursday, December 27

A Kruger intermission, an underwater sojourn

Sodwana Bay, viewed from Jesser point

After a year of working quite hard on safari I was definitely missing my “alternate” world – under the sea.....

So when I realised that I was not working over Christmas (for the first time since 2007) I immediately made plans to go diving.

I hadn't been on the reefs of Sodwana Bay for almost four years and as one could, at a stretch, say it was on the way to Durban, where I planned to visit my extended family, well, it was the obvious diving destination.

Blue-lined & Yellow snapper

My timing was good, the sea has started getting warmer, there were enough divers around to make up a boat load of “advanced” divers to visit further reefs, but not yet the school holidays, so I could get some “off-season” discounts (plus the beach wasn't too crowded).

And, wow, I had forgotten just how glorious the diving at Sodwana can be!

Here are just a few of my photos, but they cannot really give you a feel for what we experienced:-

Paper Fish

The gorgeous, colourful hard and soft corals, sponges, anemones, clams and fish that proliferate on the reefs stretching north of Jesser Point;

Two-bar anemone fish

 The large manta ray swooping over and around us for most of another dive;

Ribbon Eels

Five different types of moray eel one afternoon, including the “cheeky” black-cheeked moray that nipped my hand as I struggled in the surge to take a photo of another;

The brilliantly coloured, tiny nudibranchs dotted almost everywhere we looked;

A view through one of the many arches on the reefs

A school of dolphins circling us playfully as we snorkeled with them after one dive;

Turtle tracks etched on the dunes as we skimmed past every morning;

The majesty of a large “raggie” shark winding away from us;

 And, at the end of a long morning's diving, that unique post-dive state of exhausted euphoria.


Ribbon-tail Ray

Giant clam

After that wonderful, diving break I am back to Kruger Park tomorrow, totally refreshed by almost 9 hours of immersion in the Indian Ocean, and ready for the bush again :)

I hope you have all had a happy festive season, and best wishes for 2013.


Gaelyn said...

A delightful break from the land animals. Hope to catch up with you in Kruger in Feb.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Gaelyn.

I look forward to meeting as well:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Coral .. sounds positively idyllic - and I loved seeing the photos. Have a very happy 2013 ... cheers Hilary

Rose Solomon said...

Hi Sue, I'm wildly jealous, but I shall be there at the beginning of Feb. Happy new year may it be a good one.