Friday, October 10, 2008


This morning we planned to go visit Marco. Marco is a young male dolphin that apparently lost his mother at some stage and lives in an area close to the north part of the bay (near the hotels). I already dove once with him and it was a special dive. This time we went with several people who didn't see him before.

Since he is a wild animal, we can't plan to see him. But usually he really likes divers company and if he sense us he comes over to see what we are doing. The place he usually hangs out is around a beach where there are various speed boats coming and going. As such it is not the best place to dive. For this reason we decided to go in early when there is little or no boat activity.

Again, woke up at 6am. Waked matan by phone and together with Avi we headed to the parking north of Meridian hotel. In this beach there is a restaurant that is built like an underwater observatory, and so you can sit below sea level when you eat your fish. The area around it a sandy bottom with little growth, although they have artificial reef around the restaurant windows.

We went into the water, Matan, Avi, Kineret, Inbal (Arnon's wife, not Spoky's fiance), Elena, and her nephew Aviva). As we stepped into water I walked over a sea urchin. Luckily (for me) the soles of my shows are pretty hard, and so I got stung only on the side of the foot by two or three needles. I pulled these out and hoped the pain will subside.

We got our gear on and went under water. As we were going around the structure of the restaurant, Marco showed up! Elena who knew the drill apparently, put her hand into the sand as though she found something there and Marco immediately came to investigate with his nose and sonar what is hiding there (turns out that this a common behavior for dolphins).

For the next half hour or so Marco would play with us. He would come to one of us to see what we are doing or just to check us out. After few minutes he would go upwards to the water surface and then return.

He seems to enjoy the company and in few cases tried to convince us to touch him (a big no no in this interaction).

Near where we played with him there was a structure on which various corals were seeded (apparently for installation next to the restaurant once they grow). Kinneret found there a large croc fish and a pijama nudi-branch and so I photographed them.

Later I found out that while I was doing this Marco came along to investigate what I was doing.

After about 45 minutes we came out of the water. I totally forgot about the sea urchin incident, so apparently it wasn't that serious. We got our gear off and into the cars and went back to the hotel. Since this was Avi's last dive we planned to move our gear from his car to Matan's. And so
he parked next to Matan's car and we started taking the gear off, disassembling it and putting it into its boxes. When I finished I did a round to check for equipment and went to search for my camera where I usually put it (next to where Avi keeps it in the trunk of his car). It wasn't there. I thought maybe Avi and Matan moved it to Matan's car, and so asked them, and they said they didn't see it.

I started thinking where did I last see the camera, and then recalled that upon getting to the car I put it on the roof so that I don't drop any equipment on it while taking it off. I look to the roof, and I find the camera hooked onto a structure that serves for putting roof rails... Luckily for me it didn't fall in the drive (more than 2km) from Meridian to our hotel...

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