Playa Pabou Reef (cont'd), Kralendjik, Bonaire

The next shots from our album of Playa Pabou are of the Great Barracuda. This one was a beauty. I would guess at least 4 feet long. When I first spotted him he was sitting slightly above the reef at about 40'. As I approached he slowly moved off in another direction, but at a speed that allowed me to easily him and get several pictures (sorry the quality is not that good).
First, no yelling and screaming. We did not kill the Great Barracuda you see pictured to the left! We happened upon some fishermen on Aruba who had just speared this Great Barracuda. Paul being an avid fisherman (who never goes fishing) just had to get a picture with him and Paulie holding the Great Barracuda. This one was about the size of the one we saw at Playa Pabou. They must be easy to spear as they are quite approachable. However, there is an element of danger, albeit small, that they could attack you, and with the chompers they have (pictured right, sorry for the quality) they could definitely do some damage. I touched the teeth of the one Paul is holding and I can attest to the fact that they are very sharp and quite long.

Spotted Moray Eel

Queen Angel (see Salt Pier for more Queen photos)
Altogether we made three dives at Playa Pabou. Each seemed better than the other. Our first dive was a thrill because Paulie was on his first dive. On the second dive we saw the Great Barracuda. The third dive, however, started out in a good current and for two thirds of the time there was virtually nothing to see or photograph. I was really beginning to write this dive off as a nothing dive. But the return to the entry point turned out spectacular. About half way back I looked slightly above and to the right and spotted a young Hawksbill Turtle feeding on something. Of course I was excited and immediately swam over toward him. As I approached I expected him to turn tail and run and they so often do, but whatever he was eating was much more important to him than the nuisance I was going to be. He stayed put and let me take about a dozen pictures of him feeding.

After enjoying watching him feed and taking some photos he finally noticed my annoying presence and began to swim away. Another fantastic opportunity to get some pictures.

It absolutely amazes me how these gentle giants of the deep seas move so gracefully and effortlessly through the water. While this was a young turtle with a mantle only about two feet long.

I managed to stay with him for a little while, exerting much more energy than he was I assure you, to take these two parting shots
Anne and I are proud to be members of the Turtle Conservation Bonaire an organization dedicated to the study and well being of sea turtles. They have done much to assist these gentle giants and insure their natural habitat. If you are interested in joining (individual, family and corporate membership fees apply) you can contact the STBC at:

Kaya Niagara 9
Kralendijk, Boniare
Netherlands Antilles

Web site

E-mail STBC

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