Blue Corner

The closest thing I've experienced to a dive at Blue Corner is the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Outer Reef Exhibit.  Except at Blue Corner you are surrounded, flying at the end of a reef hook  that ensures your seat at an amazing 3D show.  Every angle of your peripheral vision is filled with movement, above, below, in front, and behind you.  Huge schools of black snapper, black tangs and jacks swim and circle in synchronous schools.  Gray Reef sharks, predominantly females, calmly and confidently move through the schools as if the fish did not even exist.  The sharks circle, and you begin to wonder why.  They are not feeding, but all accompanied by one remora, attached in various places. Their cat eyes seem to glance at the weird bubble makers as they orbit so effortlessly in even the strongest currents. 

Even with the constant shark parade, I could feel something was watching me.  I turned around to find the iconic Napoleon Wrasse about six inches from my face.  I struggled to turn my camera against the current, and even with a fisheye lens, it was a challenge to get this whole guy in frame!  Blue Corner truly lived up to all the expectations dive magazines had put into my head over the years. 

Ulong Channel

A dive at Ulong Channel begins similarly to Blue Corner, hooked into a reef watching the ocean circle around you.  But after unhooking from the reef, the incoming tide brings you down a yellow brick road of a white sand channel.  Gorgeous reef walls on either side of the channel call you over for closer inspection, but the current will keep you from staying in one place for too long.  This day we had amazing visibility, possibly 200', and the best I had ever seen outside of a swimming pool.  On the right of the channel is a huge patch of very healthy lettuce coral.  Usually one head is seen at a time, but to see an entire field of it was simply amazing.  I looked up to the left and could see a green sea turtle descending from a top a coral covered wall.  He wasn't very interested in my bubbles, so he kept on his way down the channel.  Ulong is home to baby gray reef sharks, and we spotted a school of about 10 sharks.  They circled and followed each other around the sand.  Too soon it was time to surface.

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