Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
This is it!!! Finally! I've met him! Today, in Crystal Bay. I'm happy, happy, happy! My new friend is called mola-mola, or sunfish.
It's a big beast, really huge, with a two-three metre wingspan, from one end of each fin (upper and lower) to the other. A big fish, then, and not too shy, despite the dozens of divers circling it in a string of bubbles.
However, at the beginning of the dive, I am not very optimistic. We go along, as the previous times, the falling, right hand. A little surf, but the current is manageable. We'll wait a few minutes in the blue, where the reef becomes a wall. But nothing.
Good. U-turn, pulling edges, because of the surf.
I scan the reef, now to my left, looking for smaller creatures to flash. A few common nudibranchs, the usual tropical fauna... I still glance to the blue, to my right, just in case.
Mola-mola in sight!
And then the divers in front of me start to get excited, while the "ding-ding" of those banging against their tanks resounds.
No doubt about it, so much commotion means: "Mola-mola in sight!" Wayan and Made, our dive-masters, turn to me, waving their hands, clenched fists, thumbs and little fingers outstretched. This is the sign for molas-molas. Peter, a German instructor who has been my buddy for several dives, widens his eyes in my direction. I get it.
Except that, once again, I'm lagging behind. I pick up the pace, but the current isn't in my favor. I flipped and flipped, but to no avail.
Wayan, who was gently mocking me on the boat at the briefing, because I'm the only one who missed the sunfish the day before, turns around and charges at me. He grabs my hand and flippers like crazy to pull me right up to the beast. He's a powerhouse!
Here I am on top of it, descending another 20 metres to get closer. I can hardly believe my eyes. It's huge! Dozens of divers surround the poor beast.
It's a huge, living disc, more oval than round, with a slightly astonished round eye, two huge, powerful fins above and below, and two smaller ones on the sides.
Face to face
I switch on my camera and start shooting. No time for photo adjustments. The images I'm showing you here are very blue, because they're taken from my videos. But never mind, they give you an idea of the animal's general appearance.
The mola-mola, which first shows me its profile, accompanied by two small coachfish, suddenly turns towards me, looks me straight in the face, then continues its flight to move away into the blue, after showing me its other profile. I have a front-row seat. I'm screaming with joy into my regulator.
The mola-mola dance video
On the landing, I'm wriggling happily, one hand on my head, the other under my buttocks, imitating the mola-mola swim. The others laugh into their regulators.
I pose with Made, then Wayan and Kimberly, a Californian dive-master, and Peter immortalizes us with his camera... The video rendering from my little A95 isn't fabulous, but it makes for some nice memories all the same (thanks to Peter for the images of me "dancing"):
Cuttlefish in the current
What a beautiful day! On our first drift dive at Pura Mas Gading, we also came across a large, placid cuttlefish. Despite a furious current, I clung to the reef and managed to get a good shot at it.