The nearby islands of Ai and Banda Besar also proved to be loaded with unusual sea life. The dive on Ai Island, started out calm and easy, but suddenly became one of those experiences in raging current you are not quick to forget. Before we were blown totally off the reef, the dive guide and I found a rock to hide behind; once we settled down we discovered we were not alone, six giant groupers were hunkered down with us. What a sight….two divers and six groupers!!!
Night diving in the harbor was a treasure chest of the uncommon. Under the hotel pier, in among the rocks, at dusk, the Mandarinfish put on quite a show. The big males were usually first to appear and then the smaller females came up from their liars to find one, two, three or more suitable males to mate with. These fish are not shy!! One evening we spotted a tiny Pinnate Spadefish…no bigger than a quarter; it was seen on the successive dives as well. Schools of Razorfish danced in and around us as we explored the rocks and pier pilings looking for other suitable candidates for our cameras. We were not disappointed.