Trip Report and Photos
Clipperton Island - April 10 - 25, 2010Trip Report and Photos © Elaine Jobin. May not be reproduced in part or whole without advance written permission.
Somewhere, mid morning, on April 14, 2010 we finally arrived at Clipperton Island. At first, almost straining our eyes, all we could see was a very small spot on the horizon.
Next a pod of dolphins joined us on the last leg of our arrival. It was like having a dolphin escort. Very cool!
Harry, the man with the most toys, spent his morning fishing off the back of the boat. He was elated when he caught his first fish on the trip.
Harry Catches his First Fish!
Captain Gordon took us up closer to the island so that we could get our first good look. Clipperton appeared much as I had remembered it, but, with a new French flag.
Then our captain pointed the Nautilus Explorer back out toward sea. He wanted to investigate a huge bait ball traveling off shore. It was amazing. A huge flock of birds, that I think were mostly boobies, flew in frantic circles and dove head first into the water. It was amazing that they never seemed to collide with each other. Dolphins were also present and feeding on the fish. At times it looked as if the surface of the ocean was boiling like a pot of water on a stove.
After lunch, it was time for our first dive safety briefing and our first dives. The site was fairly typical of the Clipperton Island underwater topography. No large sea fans and soft corals but plenty of hard coral formations.
On the second dive, I decided to change lenses and do some fish photography. These are some of the fish that are very common on the dive sites at Clipperton. The Clipperton Grouper, the Clipperton Gregory, and the Clipperton Angelfish being found only at Clipperton Island.
One of my favourite fish quickly became the small blenny that was very common in the coral. They hop out of their crevices to feed in the water column. Sometimes they would become alarmed by my presence and dive back into the safety of the reef crannies, and at other times not. The fish at Clipperton are not used to seeing divers.
Another favourite fish to photograph were the small curious and at times aggressive reef sharks. They would swim very close checking me out. Sometimes they seemed curious and at other times territorial. They also displayed little fear of divers.
Arrival day at Clipperton had been a very full and exhausting day!
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