Today I am feeling under pressure already and my day hasn’t even started yet. Followers of our Facebook page will have seen the discovery of something very rare in our bay and everyone is talking about it. It actually happens quite often in the bay, no-one knows why, but maybe because you tend to be swimming slower due to lack of current and clear water, that divers are often reporting odd sightings to us. The one and only place I’ve seen a mimic octopus was in the bay a few years ago!
This latest sighting is of a frog fish, virtually unheard in Sharm, although very common further up the northern coast in Taba. There was one on Jackson Reef years ago, but since then, only a few unconfirmed reports. We now have a real life one, that’s been photographed, and of course we all want to see it. But that’s the problem, spotting the little fella! They are the masters of disguise and are even harder to spot than a stone fish. Don’t like my chances, but you’ve got to be in it to win it, so off I go with my divers.Can you spot him?
I’ve been given the location, and he’s bright yellow, so how hard can this be? As I contemplate the embarrassment of having to go back to the centre without having seen it, I remember that I’ve got check divers today, so before the hunt can begin, we have a few basic skills to run through. My guests have over 100 dives each, but haven’t dived for a while so are happy to undertake a quick refresher before their weeks diving. Having never seen a frogfish, they are more enthusiastic than me, so they complete their skills in record time and with no glitches to correct, we head straight out. Following the directions I’ve been given by the lucky few, we arrive at the ‘secret location’, well I think we have. As I start scanning for a bright yellow blob, I’m becoming slightly panicky as nothing stands out and I’m going to have two very disappointed guests on my hands soon. As I do one last scan, I wonder if I can sneak into the centre and sprint home before anyone notices. I turn round to my hovering guests to end the search just as they start pointing in unison at the reef. And there he is, where he’s been for the last few days (they are very lazy and don’t tend to move much!). Happy guests make for a happy (and relieved) instructor, so mission accomplished and we head in.
As we debrief, the guests are contemplating doing a day on the house reef tomorrow instead of the boat and I’m preparing my speech for the bar later, you know, the one where I boast about finding the Frog Fish and then going all shy over the location. No-one needs to know it was the guests……