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Intro  •  Eco2 & Lodging  •  The Diving  •  Site: The Monoliths  •  Site: Crypto Mania  • 
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The Monoliths

The Monoliths rise from the sea floor some 150 m below as a large limestone formation with columns (monoliths), gorges, and channels that give the site a very dramatic air.

If we were lucky, Martin said, we would be met by one of the resident Giant groupers that often rises from the deep to check out the intruders. But we needed to go down fast to ensure that the grouper didnít get enough of us before we even saw it. So we threw ourselves over the side, gave the ok signal, and headed downwards.

The reef appeared at 18 metres. We continued down alongside one of the monoliths and at about 35 metres we slowed down and stared intensely into the deep.

Giant grouper with Golden trevallies (juv.), The Monoliths

At first yellow flashes distracted our attention but it quickly turned out to be a 2 metres long, 150 kg heavy black-greyish monster fish surrounded by a school of bright yellow juvenile Golden trevallies.

Our meeting lasted for perhabs 40 seconds in which we sort of eyed each other. Once satisfied that we didnít intend to take up permanent residency the grouper disappear again with its yellow entourage.

Looks arenít on the side of the Giant grouper, one must give him that. But he did very much emphasize the dramatic atmosphere of the Monoliths.

We ascended to the top of the monolith, crossed a deep gorge to the next monolith that stood a bit taller. In this way we had the perfect multilevel dive from one monolith to the other and ended at 11 metres in a cloud of Black pyramid butterflyfish.

Batfish, The Monoliths

Normally, Martin said apologetically, as we once more found ourselves at the surface waiting for the dive boat, we should have seen this and this and this. Cool. But Iím still excited about the monster fish, the Giant grouper.

One of the ways to check the health of a reef is to note the number of groupers. Not a dive went by without seeing several different species. One of the more curious species is the Chinese grouper. Itís a bit difficult to take a predator seriously when it resembles a zebra with yellow lipstick. But then, I wasnít the prey.

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