Underwater at Thala Beach Lodge

When I was staying at Thala Beach Lodge, the ocean was clear and I spent a day swimming around the rocks with my underwater camera. Within 200 metres of Thala’s shore is another world that only a handful of people have ever seen. Freediving to the bottom in just 5 or 6 metres of water I entered an astonishing world of corals, algae-encrusted rocks, sea fans and sea whips. I was also surprised by the variety of fish: Including tuskfish, barracuda, sardines, butterflyfish, blennies, rock-cod, trevally, surgeonfish, darts, wrasses, butterfish, drummers, sweetlips and damselfish. At one point only 20 metres from the shore, I held onto a pinnacle of an oyster encrusted rock just breaking the surface, trying to remain as motionless as possible. The rock rises up from the bottom like an arching rhino horn. In the gentle surge, my body was swaying rhythmically with the algae when a large Green turtle approached. Normally they are very timid, but this individual allowed me to watch as it grazed algae from the same rock and less than two metres away. Underwater, I could even hear the rasping of its bill. After ten leisurely minutes it drifted away around the point towards the long sandy beach. I am posting up a few of my photographs taken in this magical ‘other-world’.

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