Huge… and Green

First dive we did with the pick-up truck – just Jack, Delph and I. Lu’s been doing a course with Patrice all week. We went down south.

Ah, the south. We’d heard so much about it. The south of Bonaire is home to the huge, free-swimming green moray eel. The south has the same fringing reef as most of the rest of the island. Just a bit wilder. And the morays often pop up, swimming around. When they’re fully grown those green morays are huge. And green. Did I say huge?

It would be something amazing to see. Especially since we’ve had the classic film, The Deep on Quest for years now. One of its characters is an enormous green moray who hides in the movie’s shipwreck. Not so friendly. Kills the bad guy. Sorry for the spoiler. The movie’s old.

The reality is that green morays have been known to become friendly with humans. Resident eels on shipwrecks have often been likened to ‘playful dogs’. Hmm.

I’ve only seen them hiding in the reef. You can often spot the end of their large bodies poking out from underneath a coral. If you follow it back, you get glimpses of thick and winding bodies. Their heads are often hidden from view. Gulp. Hope it doesn’t think I’m the bad guy.

We met our friends Mark, Janine and Hilde at the dive site. Official dive sites run all the way down the south coast. Their bright yellow stones lie on the side of the road, pointing them out. Their floating yellow buoy hangs just out to sea, where the reef drops down. We chose Red Beryl dive site for its easy entry. It’s tucked in a bit from the swell, next to one of the island’s kite-surfing spots.

Firstly, Jack and Delph went deeper than anyone else. They went 10m deeper than me. I get to a certain depth – and even though I can equalise my ears – I still feel an odd, overall pressure. I can deal with it, but it gives me a sort of overall cellular squeeze.

Those two touch their final depth, put their dive computers in the deepest spot they can find, and hike back up the reef. My husband is a depth junkie from his years of deep-dive training. He’s trained his girls to be the same. He isn’t decompression-diving with them – yet.

I met them back on the reef. It was nice. Nicer coral than under Questie. You don’t really get soft coral under Quest – and it’s so lovely to see it wafting underwater. Trees, fans and coral bushes in among the hard stuff.

We were on our way back to the entry, skimming over the soft coral. I heard Jack call my name. Over two metres easily, sinuous and well… so green. The moray was coming towards us. It’s large head really is a bit like a dog’s head I thought.

When it wasn’t quite within arm’s reach, the moray turned away. We stayed absolutely still and watched it swim away. So slinky. And huge. And green. Went off, maybe looking for the bad guy.

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