Trip Report and Photos
Clipperton Island - April 10 - 25, 2010

Trip Report and Photos © Elaine Jobin. May not be reproduced in part or whole without advance written permission.
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Clipperton Trip, Day 1
Clipperton Trip, Day 2
Clipperton Trip, Day 3
Clipperton Trip, Day 4
Clipperton Trip, Day 3
Clipperton Trip, Day 6
Clipperton Trip, Dap 7
Clipperton Trip, Day 8
Clipperton Trip, Day 9
Clipperton Trip, Day 10
Clipperton Trip, Day 11
Clipperton Trip, Day 12
Clipperton Trip, Day 13
Clipperton Trip, Day 14
Clipperton Trip, Day 15
Clipperton Trip, Day 16

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.

Clipperton Atoll in the Distance, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Clipperton!!!!

Next a pod of dolphins joined us on the last leg of our arrival. It was like having a dolphin escort. Very cool!

Dolphins at the Bow
Dolphins at Clipperton Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Dolphins at Clipperton Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Dolphins at Clipperton Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Dolphins at Clipperton Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Dolphins at Clipperton Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin
Dolphins at Clipperton Island, Photo © Elaine Jobin

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!
Harry catches a fish, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Harry catches a fish, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010

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.

Arrival at Clipperton Island
Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Waves Breaking
French Flag at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
French Flag
Palm Grove at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010Palm Grove
Palm Grove at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Palm Grove
Old Shipwreck at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Old Shipwreck

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.

Bait Ball at Clipperton
Booby Bird at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Birds at Baitball, Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010

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.

Hard Corals at Clipperton Island
Hard coral formations at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Hard coral formations at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Hard coral formations at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Hard coral formations at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Hard coral formations at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Hard coral formations at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010

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.

Some Clipperton Reef Fish
Moorish Idols, Zanclus comutus at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Moorish Idols
Zanclus cornutus
Clipperton Grouper, Epinephelus clippertonensis, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Clipperton Grouper
Epinephelus clippertonensis
Clipperton Gregory, Stegastes baldwini, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Clipperton Gregory
Stegastes baldwini
Striped-fin Surgeonfish, Ctenochaetus marginatus, at Clipperton Atoll,  Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Striped-fin Surgeonfish
Ctenochaetus marginatus

Clipperton Angelfish, Holocanthus Limbaughiem, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Clipperton Angelfish
Holocanthus limbaughiem>
Leather Bass, Mero Cuero, at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Leather Bass
Mero Cuero
Fine-spotted Moray Eel, Gymnothorax dovii at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Fine-spotted Moray
Gymnothorax dovii
Blenny at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Blenny
Guineafowl Puffer, Arothron melegris, at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Guineafowl puffer
Arothron meleagris

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.

Blenny at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Blenny at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010
Blenny at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin 2010

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.

White Tipped Reef Shark, Triaenodon obesus
White Tip Reef Shark, Triaenodon obesus,  at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin
White Tip Reef Shark, Triaenodon obesus,  at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin
White Tip Reef Shark. Triaenodon obesus,  at Clipperton Atoll, Photo © Elaine Jobin

Arrival day at Clipperton had been a very full and exhausting day!

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