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I took this photo of this soft coral encrusted ships wheel surrounded by orange fairy basslets on an incredible reef called Big Brother's island off the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea. This is from a wooden schooner that sunk sometime around the 1890's and was re-discovered in the early 1990's. We were among those first to dive it and I consider this place to be one of my all time favorite dive sites. As multiple ships and schooners sank over the years, the corals grew so fast that they would literally preserve the vessels in a living coral reef. A site to see! It has been sometime since I last was there. I hope it is still the same! This reef is a sea mount that comes up from thousands of feet of water in the very middle of no where. On top of the reef it is about 4 feet in depth, just a short distance to the west of the reef wall it drops off to several thousand feet. The top edge of this reef is covered with tremendous giant anemones with dozens of clownfish, huge brilliant red, purple and pink soft corals and clouds of brilliant red and orange fairy basslets swimming everywhere. It is also home to the largest manta ray, whale shark and oceanic white tip shark I have ever seen in my entire life of diving! The word "Gigunda" came to mind when I saw them and I had just come from the silver banks photographing humpback whales underwater and I was used to seeing BIG things! The rocks just breaking the surface are covered by thousands of clinging, multicolored mud skippers that look straight out of a Dr. Zuess novel, that jump from rock to rock to get away from you. Only fish I've ever seen that jump out of the water to get away, instead of jumping in the water to swim away. Let me sum it up like this, in other words, an underwater photographer and nature lover's paradise! As you swim out over the edge and look down, the incredible clarity with hundreds of feet of visibility makes you feel like you are almost parachuting into the depths. This type of drop off gives "wall diving" a new meaning! And speaking of walls, the peaceful nature of this image, and radiating blue water with the sun in the background, looks perfect in any room, and has an awesome story to go with it!
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