Saturday, November 16, 2013

Near Rinca Island

Another hot day at Labuanbajo (Indonesia) so another day of snorkelling. We motored to a small island (S08°35.964' E119°42.372') near Rinca where Jordan and I and family Aaron and Dee were all alone with no other boats around.

We swam with schools of fish - safety in numbers - they were everywhere! Fish in schools make it harder for their predators to pick them out of the crowd. We also watched fish flitting in and out of the coral heads, hiding as we approached. If you didn't see them go in the coral, you would think there were no fish there, till they peeked out to see if it was safe.

The very cute clown fish live and hide among the tentacles of sea anemones on coral reefs. There are 27 different species of clown fish, each with its own distinguishing pattern of brightly coloured bands. It's always fun to watch as they try to hide from us in the anemones.

We saw some unusual sea creatures this time. This sea snake, 1 of many varieties, had a jointed body and a tentacled head and must have been 3 metres long...

Then there were these clear, see-through, tiny orange fish keeping acquaintance with black and white striped fish...

Another that we don't know the name of, perhaps a "spaghetti worm"? Whatever it is, it's not fishing line or spaghetti! You can see on the left what looks like a "mouth" where the tentacles all seem to originate from as they stretch out and wrap around corals. Very interesting...

We had just read about the unusual razorfish earlier in the morning in a National Geographic magazine when, lo and behold, eagle-eyed Dee spotted 4 swimming in a line!! We watched them swim upside down (their head points toward the sea bottom) flapping their little wing-like fins. Razorfish have big eyes and their long "noses" are pinkish coloured. They are small and very skinny; the ones we saw were only about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long.

Trumpet fish have elongated bodies and long tubular snouts with minute teeth. They have dorsal fins near the tail fin and inflexible bodies...

An Indonesian fishboat arrived attempting to retrieve fish baskets that it had left on the ocean floor. Jordan dove down to help locate and lift them onto the fishboat, making the fishermen very happy as they didn't need to get in the water!

Helping hand

After an exciting day of exploring the wonders of the ocean, we went in search of the anchorage to the Komodo dragon park off Rinca Island before he sun set. However, we had erroneous directions from a couple of sources and couldn't locate it. So we dropped the hook at a nice quiet spot - Goats Island - (S08°37.781' E119°42.294') where we enjoyed a bonfire on the lonely beach.

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