Jennifer and I have to thank the Dirk and Linus travel agency for this one. My original plan was to go to Ningaloo Reef after Perth, but January is just very much the wrong season to go, many dive shops are half closed during that time, and odds of sighting a whale shark in January are about 0.
So Jennifer and I flew to Xmas Island from Perth after linux.conf.au was over, and met Dirk and Linus there who had arrived the previous day. Turns out Xmas Island should really be part of Indonesia if you look at a map (it's just south of Jakarta. It is however quite far from Raja Ampat where we dived a few months prior), but for historical reasons, Australia got it as a territory some time back, and it's a 4H flight from Perth (thankfully, with a real plane and no luggage restriction like Lord Howe Island).
There is a lot to see on the island, but I have a separate post on our visit of Xmas Island and its many crabs.
There is a single dive shop on the Island, Wet n Dry run by Hama, and he did a great job getting us good dive sites every day, even if we came at a time when whales sharks which are usually not uncommon happened to be allusive during the week we were there. Hama does a great job running the dive shop. He does 2 dives a day every morning, and knows all the spots you can go dive at depending on the day's current conditions. Between dives, he usually got us a spot to snorkel where we could see dolphins or other cool critters while he was changing tanks on the boat between the dives.
Hana, hard at work :)
We got privileged to get Lynne as a guide who made sure to show us her world famous clit rock as well as phallus cavern :)
'Yes, post on the internet about my clit rock, I named it!'
Here's the map of where we went:
Before the pictures, here is a great summary video from Dirk:
Below are some of the pictures I took.
one cave I surfaced in during a dive
a few fish
a few more fish
a few more other fish :)
clown fish can be mean :)
our partners in crime
I love this juvenile rockmover wrasse:
Fish being cleaned:
those fish can turn from black to white with their mood.
I love these big puffer fishes:
Between the dives, we got to snorkel at nice spots:
snorkel with dolphins
some quick vids where we got to snorkel with dolphins, Manta Ray, big fish and sharks:
Between dives, we also got to see little fish that liked to jump on rocks and apparently could breathe air for a while:
those fish jump on the rock and seem to breathe air
Frigrate birds seen from the dive boat:
And that was it, after 5 days of diving, we got to see quite a bit in super clear water. Xmas Island was definitely a good place to go to, even if we didn't see any whale sharks :)