Company Coming (April 2011)

by Barbara Eller

We got a message from Patrick's daughter: "We are coming down for a visit." Great! We have been inviting them for a couple of years and they finally decided on the spur of the moment to pack their bags and hop on a plane. Patrick's daughter, Cheryl, and her husband, John, and their children, Alex, 15, and Andrew, 14, are all divers so I knew I was going to be in the water a lot once they got here.

The first three days we saw nothing but dark clouds and rough water because of high winds. Everyone was disappointed about not being able to get in the water so we did some sightseeing in the area. Then one morning we woke up to a clear sky and very little wind. We couldn't pack our gear into the car fast enough and head for Zona de Buceo Dive Shop.

John is into underwater photography and he wanted to use his macro lens, so Jorge took us to Rio Bermejo, a dive site where we could find lots of little critters. The water was clear and the visibility was perfect; even the water temperature was a nice 87 degrees. John started taking pictures and videos as soon as he hit the water. Lionfish were one of the first fish we saw. Unfortunately since their invasion they have multiplied at an alarming rate. John found some Sea Plumes and, as I swam closer, I saw what he was focusing on—at the end of the plumes were small tentacle-like extensions that had "flowers with little fingers" on the ends. Remember that these are living plants and animals and each have their own unique way of getting food. These "flowers with fingers" are catching very small organisms to ingest which are in the water.

Andrew helped his dad find some interesting things to photograph and he signaled that he had found something. It was a juvenile Spotted Drum, black-and-white striped, measured only about an inch, and the dorsal fin was extremely long (to me it looked like a long ribbon flowing in the wind). Nice find, Andrew; we don't see too many of them.