Diving for almost five years now, there has been lot of meeting up with friends underwater – few astonishing, some endearing, others surprising or mystifying but most of them so wonderful. The thrill of seeing these wondrous creatures has always been overwhelming, putting them in words is not enough, surely won’t give justice to describe how marvelous it’s always been. Marine world completely blow me away, simply I fell in love with the underwater realm.
One of the species that I found magical and awe-inspiring is jack, a silvery fish belonging to the family of Barracudas, Tunas & Mackerels, Chubs, or Mullets. Locally known as Talakitok or Trakito, the larger version is better known as Trevally. As food fish, it’s superb and admittedly it’s one of my favorite. But I’m more interested of Jack out there in the wild, not on my dinner table. I better knew him in the deep, swimming coyly and gazing at me, at an arm’s length in his world.
There are three remarkable spots so far where I had magical encounter with jacks – a large number of them or aptly described as in school. Apo Islandwith its great marine life and healthy ecosystem, was teeming with bigeye jacks in school.
For sure, the local community’s effort in preserving and protecting the surrounding waters was not futile. Lining up and swimming in unison in the blue before me – what a sight!
Right in our very own Mantigue Island in Camiguin, when I first dove at the sanctuary I never expected an encounter with jacks, no one mentioned it to me. Awed, when silvery jacks appeared before me, again in unison swimming coyly, as if listening to the vibration of my own movements.
There is some kind of magic that this humble Trakito can bring! Lastly, in the great Tubbataha Reefs, large school of jacks decorated a sandy slope after I got mesmerized with a whaleshark & reef sharks parade. They simply appeared like a wall, those huge glassy eyes staring at you. Even with current, they hung in mid-water with flawless grace. Their unity in going to one direction, or how easily they shift in opposite direction in accord is mind-boggling, as if someone is in command. The school moves with quiet order and control.
There is a majesty and power in the movement of a unified mass, a kind of beauty and harmony that can only come from moving and thinking as one. It is still a mystery to me, indeed how vast the marine life to unravel. My jacks in school is just one of its wonders!
NB. Photos courtesy of Angel, using Olympus Tough 8000 and PT 045 as casing