Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Underwater Guam and a Special Find

Guam's underwater world has defied expectations. With the level of human habitation and building on the island, I expected the reefs to be less that spectacular to say the least. It appears, however, that I was presumptuous. While the windward (eastern) side of the island bears all the marks of heavy wave exposure, relatively barren turf algae covered pavement with large boulders, the leeward side of the island boasts wonderful reefs which, although devoid of large fishes, harbor a multitude of smaller fishes, corals, and invertebrates. Indeed, some of the reefs on the leeward side of Guam have had some of the highest levels of live coral cover of any on the trip. I have continued to see lionfish, clownfish in their anemone homes, butterflyfish of every variety, and the occasional Napoleon wrasse.

Yesterday's first dive yielded a particular find as I spied an Olympus digital camera in an underwater housing lying on the reef. Flying the board over to pick it up, I found it still had power and was in fine working order. Nothing special (1.3 megapixels) but you can't beat the price!