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Clarion angelfish

Our beloved Clarion Angelfish

The ocean is emotion incarnate. She is unpredictable, temperamental, warm and embracing at times yet unforgivingly brutal at others. None other is more so than the Eastern Pacific, but that is why we love it.

Perhaps one unfortunate week we may see as few as two sizable sharks per dive with some dolphins in the trip (and that’s not bad as far as diving in general goes). And perhaps another week we may be privileged enough to be in the company of a pod of 10 dolphins, a school of hammerheads, and curious Galapagos patrolling the surreal reefs all on the same dive.

The past few days have been one such occasion, where our divers moved in tandem with over 10 varieties of pelagics–communicating space and body language underwater–soaking in one of the few last untouched spectacles this world has.

To do so in a sustainable manner is even more of an accomplishment: Enjoying the archipelago without adversely affecting wildlife and allowing life to be life and wilderness to remain wild is an accomplishment that CONANP deserves commending for. We do not control the life here (it is not Sea World) and neither should we (or would I if given the chance) we expertly negotiate shared space with our neighbors of the world here and accept the privilege of doing so with grace and fun.

Being forced by current to jump from rock to rock without a mere shadow of a shark can sometimes be frustrating, but with close attention one might notice that the custodians of our beloved animals, Clarion Angelfish, sometime swim nervously up wondering if our divers might be guests to clean and groom… a nuance that the over-expectant eye may haplessly overlook.

One might appreciate that a volcanic island, San Benedicto, has had the lifeforce capable of producing WHOLE coral tables since its last eruption in the ’50s. These are details I will never take for granted after finishing a skiff drive and pumping tanks under the Pacific sunset, as fickle as her waters may be.

Thank you Wakan Tanka, and bless our sailors in these waters.

– Garrett A-Wei, Divemaster, Nautilus Undersea

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