Making Friends

remoraI was looking through more photos from my recent trip to North Sulawesi, and came across this, which I had completely forgotten about!

A few minutes into a dive at the Sahaung II dive site in Bangka, I felt a strange sensation on one my legs, sort of a repetitive nibbling feeling. Of course, since I generally don't like having my leg (or any other part of me) nibbled while I'm diving, I looked down and found this remora (Echeneis naucrates) firmly attached to me.

Remoras are highly specialised fish which use a modified dorsal fin to stick themselves onto larger animals, hitching a free ride and picking up food scraps.

My immediate reaction was to look around for a large fish, shark or marine mammal that the remora might have been with before finding me, but I didn't see anything. I figured it was no harm letting the remora tag along for a while, until it decided to move on.

Throughout the entire 70+ minutes of the dive, my little friend literally stuck with me, moving up and down my body, occasionally venturing a few metres away, but always coming back. As I came up for the safety stop, I took a few pictures of my piscine pal, who followed me all the way up to the surface, and probably would've gotten on the boat with me if it could have.

Hope my little friend found a new buddy to hang out with after I so callously abandoned him.