Monday (just not working)

The Caribbean, Bonaire, N.A.

A peacock flounder is painfully obvious, trying to blend in on top of a rock.

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It is one of those days … Mondays, I mean. I’m never at my best on Mondays. Mondays are odd, bizarre, unpleasant, tiring. You fight through it and hope to survive. Like this poor flounder; he was not having a good day.

Let’s face it: The flounder is a very funny-looking fish in the first place. It’s the whole “sideways” thing, with both eyes popping out on one side of the body and so forth. The peacock flounder has it even worse with all the blue spots and rings. When things are working right the camouflage works extremely well: Settled in a sandy patch and covered with a thin layer of sand, the rings break up the fish’s profile and help make it nearly impossible to see. As long as the flounder does not move, predators (and divers) swim right by without ever seeing the fish in the sand. Divers who do catch sight of one usually feel lucky. Having noticed a flounder, we point the poor fish out to all our friends (but we always try to take care not to actually disturb the fish).

Frankly, I have no idea why this guy decided to move. Maybe it was Monday for him. We had passed by without seeing him, when suddenly this foot-long flounder darted out of a sandy patch between rocks on the reef and fluttered across the reef. He took light on a rocky patch; no cover there. He moved to a small patch of sand — too small; can’t hide there either. Nothing was working for him. He moved a few more feet, coming to rest half on rock with only his tail on sand. Then he seemed to decide “the heck with it” and stop trying. Stubbornly, he now stayed completely motionless as if sheer stubbornness and willpower would get him through.

Some Mondays, nothing seems to work right.

(Canon Powershot G9 in an Ikelite case with no working Ikelite DS-125 strobes,* integrated lens at 7.4mm, ISO 400, f/3.2 at 1/30 sec.)

*I was having a Monday too: I had two strobes but they flooded on this dive.