Tofo SCUBA, Mozambique
The Mozambique Indian Ocean is home to some of the most fantastic
SCUBA diving in the world. Hundreds of unexplored reefs lay just offshore
Many amazing animals call these reefs home.
Most of my diving was done between 70-110 feet.
Watch the dive video.
Even getting into the ocean is an adventure in Mozambique.
There is no harbor in Tofo. All the dive boats are pushed into the surf with a tractor.
John the owner of Tofo SCUBA spends much of his day driving the tractor that launches and pulls out the dive boats.
If successive dives are done. The boat is not trailered. A pole just pushes the boat back towards the surf.
Once the boat is at the water's edge, all the divers wait for a wave and grab a side of the boat to pull it into deeper water.
An aerial view of the boat launch with my RC helicopter and GoPro camera.
Motoring out through the waves.
Launching the boat. Notice the dive master looking up at my RC helicopter.
Off and away.
Clear warm water.
The ride takes anywhere between 20-90 minutes to get to the dive site.
When the ocean is calm, it's an easy ride. When it's rough, you need to strap in and hold on.
Notice the foot straps on the floor that help prevent the divers from being ejected during the ride.
Anemone with resident fish.
Notice the moray eel sticking its head around the side (bottom right).
Anemone and clown fish. Finding Nemo anyone?
Although stationary on the bottom, sea anemones have are actually a predatory animal that have stinging cells
to subdue their prey. Certain small fish species use the anemone as defense and a hiding place from larger predators.
By regularly swimming through and brushing against the anemone polyps, these fish become immune to the sting.
Weedy scorpion fish.
This is really the color they are! Notice this one somehow has a brittle starfish on it's back.
A dragon moray eel.
A really fat star fish.
Every ledge and cave just seemed filled with life.
A giant clam underwater.
Giant puffer fish.
This sting ray was sleeping in a cave. It was about 6 feet across.
Helena, my dive buddy.
Very often, larger pelagic fish school above the reefs.
A lion fish hiding in a vase sponge.
A spiny lobster often called a "crayfish" in Africa.
A mantis shrimp crawling around the reef.
A couple "selfies" with a GoPro and a mono-pod.
Notice all of the shrimp cleaning this moray eel.
Nudibranchs are usually very small but incredible complex looking. They make great photo subjects.
A larger grouper. In Mozambique they are called "potato bass".
This is a giant sea slug actually eating the live coral polyps.
Giant schools of triggerfish.
Brittle stars on live coral.
A pair of crocodile fish.
A post dive sucker. It really goes well with all that salt water in your mouth.
Beaching the boat consists of riding a wave and using full throttle to hit the beach at as high of a speed as possible.
Aerial shot after the dive.
Not too far from Tofo beach is an estuary which has its own unique ecosystem. The best way to explore these waters is
during slack tide (so you don't get swept away). Getting to the right spot is about a 1km walk across oyster flats.
The water is relatively shallow, so full dive gear is not necessary, just a mask and snorkel. Here are a few photos of
my night time visit to this unique underwater habitat.
A light is shone from the entry point so we can find our way back in the darkness.
A giant tube worm. These things crawl out when the sun goes down and filter feed the flowing water.
These tube worms were up to 6 feet in length. You are seeing less than half of the animal in this photo.
A fish hiding in an empty clam shell.
The anemone crabs have living anemones attached to their shells. This helps camouflage the the crabs and gives the anemones
a free ride as they collect food particles from the water column.
Juvenile angel fish grow up in the estuary. This protects the young fish from the bigger predators
that they will eventually face in the open ocean.
Cuttlefish (my favorite).
This eel was free swimming when I first saw it. Then it backed its way into the sand so only its head was sticking out.
Close up sea moth.
This shrimp has buried itself in the sand. You can see the eyes to the right and tail to the left.
Starfish in the shallow eel grass. I like the reflection of the surface water above.
(Click here to see the rest of Mozambique)