Diving with tarpons

There are situations that mark you and give you great souvenirs. This was the case during this night in the warm, clear waters of Bonaire  in the Caribbean Sea where I was able to dive with tarpons.Of course, during previous dives, I could see some huge specimen passing in the distance

Night dive with tarpons: a dive in a mysterious world

That evening, we decided to make a real night dive (see article: The golden rule to succeed in his night dives) hoping to live our first “neon dive” since this is possible in these latitudes.

Une araignée de mer cachée dans une éponge
Cachette idéale ? | © Different Dive

Three hours after dusk, we start our dive next to the drop-off in front of our hotel. Strangely, the reef seems to be asleep: a few tiny fish come in front of our powerful diving lamps.

We descend to the tongue of white  sand at a depth of 25m and look around.

Shadows pass by…

And all of a sudden, one shadow surprises us, then another and finally a third. The tarpons come and stay relatively distant.

In this lunar atmosphere, we twirl our torchs to attract them and have the opportunity to observe these incredible fish.

We then go up the drop-off, cross some parrot fish asleep and arrive at a depth of -10 m.

Emotions and sensations

And here we enter the realm of tarpons: 3, 4, 7, 10,… they are all around us coming to touch our leg, shoulder, head,… which gives me a somewhat scary feeling, whoaw have you seen  the size of this fish ?

The tarpons take advantage of the light of our diving torch. They tilt their bodies and move sideways to swalow their prey with a quick movement. Their hunting group leaves no chance to small fish passing by misfortune in the beam of our lamps.

It’s time to leave the realm of tarpons. We then decide not without difficulty to put an end to this dive completely out of the ordinary … And extraordinary.

The next day, during our last dive in the heart of this Caribbean paradise, the tarpons will  evolve in broad daylight with us … until the next night?

Plonger avec les tarpons permet l'observation de beaux spécimens comme ce tarpon solitaire dans les eaux de Bonaire.
Solitaire | © Different Dive

A few words about tarpons

Tarpons are large fish that can measure up to 3m, weight more than 150 kg and live up to 50 years! Common during dives in Bonaire, they are observed in the warm waters of West Africa and the Atlantic sides of Latin America. A voracious fish, it has a silvery chipped body, a prominent jaw and impressive big eyes. Not very fierce, the tarpon will be approached without too much difficulty. Stay calm and still and he will gladly pass around you several times.

It’s on… I’ll come back diving with tarpons

Have you ever come across these huge fish? What were your impressions? Tell me about this in a comment below.

And above all… remember to be happy 🤗

Hélène

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