Trigger Finger

A Queen triggerfish fell in love with me today. It’s not often I get to say that. And I’ll have to put up a stock picture because Jack couldn’t get close enough to get a good video of it. The triggerfish didn’t want to see him. Nope. It only wanted to hang out with me.

We’d gone down at Karpata in the north. If the south is all critters the north is structure. Not as much sea life perhaps on view – but the coral here is bad ass. Like cathedral level. And no where more so than Karpata, tucked into a little corner.

You dive over ridges at Karpata, almost as if mountain climbing. Instead of clinging to the rocks though, you hang over them. It gets all astronaut-y in these moments. Jack waved at me at thirty-five metres and carried on. He likes to hit fifty or so metres depth for a few moments before returning. It reminds me of when our dog, Fin gives an eyeballed look and shoots off.

I waited, hovering over a ridge, watching him go deeper. I don’t much like the nitrogen narcosis past forty metres. I feel a little twitchy. So I’d levelled out and was waiting, when what swam right towards me? Only one of the most beautiful fish in the sea. Well, the Caribbean Sea. The Pacific has like, everything. The Caribbean in comparison has only a few jewels. The Queen triggerfish is one of them.

The triggerfish came right up to me, as if for conversation. Its tail more like a bird’s than a fish. Wouldn’t be surprising if that thing had a feather on it. Double-pronged and delicate.

I know triggerfish can be mean – rather protective of their egg nests. These are the fish which can bite you quite fiercely – at least in the Pacific where there’s a million of them. Here it’s rare even to see one. Though we’d seen a couple on the east coast just the day before. But in Karpata, on the popular west coast?

Luckily, it started feeling like a mutual appreciation society. The triggerfish danced round and round me. And when Jack came back up the slope, with the same brand of Fin’s sheepishness, I pointed excitedly at my new friend. Come and film it! Jack got out his GoPro with a flourish, having just taken such nice footage of the golden sharkie.

As soon as he came up with his camera however, the triggerfish took one disdainful look at him and swam away. Huh. That was strange.

I stayed still. I waved at the triggerfish. ‘Hey beautiful.’ The trigger came right back to me. Jack saw and tried to film it again. The trigger swam off again – its two-pronged tail turned into a middle digit formation this time. Jack and I looked at each other and laughed. When you’re this beautiful it seems you can be picky.

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