We pulled up both bait stations out of the water today, and with them our hopes to find and photograph large shark species off Aldabra also dried. Inshore, however, we did enjoy a last dive at high tide with the black tip reef sharks, photographing them silhouetted between the champignons. Conditions were not great – a pumping current, which was dragging us and the sharks with it, combined with a rocking bottom surge made it very difficult free diving.
No sooner did we get out of our wetsuits were we rushing down the beach again with cameras in hand. On his way to get his dive equipment from the boat Dan spotted several crabs coming down to the water’s edge together – clutching a bundle of black eggs. For a split second in the flurry to grab cameras and flashes I thought perhaps we were in for the biggest crab treat of all – to see the coconut crabs spawning. They were not coconut crabs but cardiosoma crabs, a terrestrial crab that lives inland and in the mangroves. Still, witnessing these crabs crawl down to the beach en mass at this new phase of the moon specifically to release their eggs into the ocean was a memorable Aldabra surprise.