When you thinking of diving in a tropical location, you think of clear vis, amazing corals, wonderfully bizarre animals and huge schools of fish, right?
Well, next time you have a chance, take it a little farther. Most tropical destinations have mangroves and mangrove channels, that sit where the salt and fresh water meet. Many are pretty shallow, and you can easily explore them by snorkeling. But if you really want to get down there and look closely, take your scuba gear.
By chance I wound up in the mangrove fringing the Utwe Biosphere Reserve with snorkel gear and no camera. What I saw was amazing and I went back, with scuba and camera.
It’s a whole different world.
Fish that we don’t often see on the reef: Humbug and Blacktail Dascyllus, Picassofish, and Monos for instance, corals that are adapted to this very harsh environment and the most amazing sponges. And did I mention the surreal effect of the mangrove roots?
It’s not for everybody, as I said the water is shallow, currents can be fierce and the visibility is usually not crystal. But if you are looking for a new environment to explore, it might be just the thing.
Here are a few photos from my “exploration”: