Category: Guided Tours


7/2

I made it! Monaymonaymonay! One million pelagos, baby!!! For a few seconds there, I was a millionaire. And the best thing was, it was those cheapskates at the aquarium that put me over!

First things first—I returned fr0m a long vacation in the Southwest and needed a few days to get settled back home. The first thing I wanted to do when I got back to Nineball Island was paddle around Gatama Atoll awhile saying hello to some old friends. Then I had to finish recruiting Violet, the Pacific white-sided dolphin. I really wish there was another way to get to the Deep Hole, because I’m sick of crawling through the Kelp Tunnel—three weeks off did nothing to change that. It took two more dives for Jean-Eric to break his silence and announce that Violet was a companion. We had a very nice play date together, then I brought her back to her new home in Nineball Lagoon.

Next I took a nattily-dressed fellow named Matthew down to the Zahhab Region Depths so he could see popeyed grenadiers. These are especially good tour fish, because they glow, and as you know, when it comes to client payoffs, glow means dough. We toured the depths, did some salvaging, spotted the oarfish and the giant squid, swam all the way back to the surface and topped it off with a grey whale ride for dessert. Matthew paid out 3956  P for the tour. The salvage yield was poor, but it still brought me within a few thousand pelagos of the million.

That was enough for me to call it a night, but over the vacation, the fam and I visited a nice little aquarium at the Albuquerque Zoo, and I wanted to compare it briefly to EO’s. Really, the biggest drawback of the Tokyo Aquarium is that the main tank is far too big. There’s so much room, even with a couple of fully grown whales in it, that it seems stark and uninteresting. And there isn’t enough junk on the bottom—fake coral, rocks, pirate skeletons, to liven it up or make it look natural. The fish seem lost and depressed, and I can’t blame them. Honestly, when I have  ‘real’ oceans to swim in, why would I want to waste my time in what amounts to a city-block-sized holding tank?

Well, the word from the visitors wasn’t very positive either, as Hayako wearily informed me. On the other hand, receipts were steady if not spectacular, and so far no one had taken to relieving themselves in the tanks or dropping fishhooks over the sides, so so what? I was about to breeze out the door again when Hayako reminded me that I got paid for this gig, whether I put in any work or not. She presented me with a grudge-check for 2,400 P and with a tip of the hat and a smirk I was gone.

Back on Nineball Island, Jean-Eric immediately comes up to compliment me on my money management skillls. He wishes Oceana could be so frugal, spending all her dough on sea pig purses and fancy fins and whatnot. While I’m expecting this to lead to a not-so-subtle hint that she needs a man to help keep her in line, he suprises me by saying that we’ve got a big salvage job waiting for us…in the Cavern of the Gods!

I guess the paycheck from the aquarium put me just over the 1 million pelago mark—the irony! Oh, and we get a 50% discount from somebody for some reason, so that 1 million pelagos? Didn’t need it—we can keep 500,000 of it. The Cavern of the Gods is open whenever we want to return to it.

And that was that. No fireworks. No streamers. No cakes or balloons. Just another job waiting.

Time to get back to work.

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But their treasure wasn’t gold. It was knowledge. Knowledge was their treasure. — Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

6/3

Cortica River—My indifference to the Cortica River part of the game is well-documented (i.e., repetitive and  boring), but lately that’s were some of the most interesting things have been discovered.

I was on a routine salvage hunt a couple of weeks ago when, after finding the Diamond Telescope, I decided to amble downstream with the  multi-sensor to see what else I could pick up. Scanning the Cortica riverbottom turns out to be some fun, as it’s often a challenge to reach through a thicket of roots or electric eels to get at your glittering prize. At one point I picked up an unassuming canonball and took it home. Polished off, it proved to be a crystal skull, and while it didn’t glow, buzz, read my mind or turn into a super-magnet, it drew a respectable 10,000 Pelagos on the collector’s market.

The next discovery began a few days later, when I awoke from a nap and passed Jean-Eric on the way to the beach. “Perfect timing,” he muttered, folding his newspaper. You can always tell something’s up when Cappy’s been reading the paper.

“It says here a monster’s been sighted in the Cortica River. Witnesses say the creature is pitch black, is seen only on rainy days when the river is running fast. Something about a gigantic black thing. You should check it out.”

For various reasons, I didn’t get around to looking for it until last night. Rain was pelting the river, as it usually is, and you can see the little rings made by the raindrops from under the water—a nice effect. Heading upstream, I kept stopping to announce that I thought something was watching me, then I turn around and nothing’s there. It’s all very ominous—is there some new maneater or Creature from the Black Lagoon I’m going to meet up with? 

My path eventually takes me to Queen Lake. Suddenly…rising from the depths…a black form takes shape…and materializes into…a big fat manatee. Oh Cortica, once again you disappoint me! Mama Cortica, so we’re told, is a benevolent spirit on the river, saving capsized fishermen, uniting young lovers, and frying up cassava cakes for all the children. Very nice, but what was all that about a big black monster? Who reported that story, Don Knotts?

Mama Cortica

Yes, the Cortica River is a queer place, but I’ve saved the best and queerest for last. I was taking a woman named Lisa on a trip to see the Piraibo catfish at the mouth of the temple. Bored, I decided to investigate a rumor that there was a secret hole in the riverbank. This isn’t part of the story, but apparently a glitch in the game programming that was reported by several witnesses on the GameFaqs message board.  In first-person view, you swim up to the left of Spirit Falls, just where there’s a clump of vines growing in the corner. Then you surface, turn to the left, and there it should be—a rent in the space-time continuum. I’d attempted this trick several times in the past, but hadn’t had any success. I was beginning to think this was an anomaly on only some people’s games, but tonight there it was—a jarring, jagged hole in the screen, and through it I see…OH GOD! IT’S FULL OF STARS!

A rabbit hole in the riverbank.

Not exactly, but an endless stretch of open water under a clear Amazonian sky. Dive again and you’re faced with the riverbank, but here’s the cool part—you can penetrate through the wall into the open water on the other side! Swim in any direction, it seems to go on forever and is impossibly deep. Turn around to look back, and below and above the water you see paradoxical vistas of twisted pixellation, semitransparent walls, and cutaway sections of the river.

Looking back on the rabbit hole (arrow)

Hello, Dali!

It’s like an out-of-the-body experience. I can see Lisa staring uncomprehendingly at the empty space where I used to be. Jean-Eric frantically shouts that I’ve lost my partner, but I don’t care—I’m free! I’m transcendent! I’m outside the game looking in.

The riverbank and the 'other side'; Lisa left behind.

After a few minutes of this I pierce the wall again and return to the game, then disappear through the portal once more to see if it still works. It does, and I can reenter the game through King Amaru’s Aqueduct, or I imagine, through any point I choose.

X-ray view of King Amaru's Aqueduct

There’s really no point in looking for fish and treasure now, so I drag us home to develop the pictures I took on the other side. Lisa is sorely pissed that I left her behind; she reads me the riot act and leaves in a snit with no tip. She’s right—I’ve violated my principle of always satisfying the customer—but honestly, I couldn’t care less. I’ve just passed into the twilight zone, and saw that it was awesome.

The Cortica River has just become a lot more interesting.

It’s been a slow couple of weeks on Nineball Island. Between work, holidays and the end of the school year, there hasn’t been much time to devote to diving, let alone blogging about it. A tour here and a salvage there, salting the money away as it comes.  I’ve been back to Zahhab a few times, one of my favorite places. For color, variety and sheer numbers of fish, nowhere in EO can match it.

Coral Valley

Blackfin barracuda swarm near the Super Dropoff

Yellow longnose butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus)

Big Boeing over Mushroom Rock.

I discovered this Crown of Thorns starfish almost by accident.

Stone Castle

 

I swear that thing was THIS BIG!

5/19

I had to take a client up to Northern Canada to see ribbon seals, so while I was there I decided to continue my study of Greenland sharks, which I’m publishing here under the title,

Some Observations on Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) in the Waters of Northern Canada

In this field study, I observed three Greenland sharks roaming the north Canada coast. For recording purposes, I’ve named them Geerg, Grieg and Grimm. 

Geerg

Grieg

Grimm

Greenland sharks are the second most agressive species of shark in Endless Ocean, after great white sharks. However, unlike the white sharks of Ciceros Strait, Greenland sharks are highly territorial and keep a respectable distance from each other, never hunting in packs. Geerg can usually be found circling the area south of ice hole D1-2, where it feeds on injured sea otters and half-eaten capelin left behind by hunting narwhals.  Grieg patrols WNW of the same ice hole, and Grimm haunts the far northwest region all around ice hole A1.

Adapted from Phisheep, 2010.

Greenland sharks are wary predators, preferring to circle their prey at a safe distance for some moments before abruptly charging in to attack. For this reason, it is easy when straying into their territory to disregard the “Warning” sign and assume that they are not an aggressive species. This common and dangerous mistake can lead to many unpleasant suprises, as this observer can attest. For, once the Greenland shark senses blood in the water, it will rejoin its attack relentlessly. Then the circling behavior of the Greenlander becomes especially dangerous, as it is often hard to find in the turbid waters until it suddenly strikes from nowhere. An encounter with a single Greenland shark can sometimes be as terrifying as a pack of great whites.

Greenland sharks can be evaded with strong swimming, but they have been known to follow divers well out of their assumed range. Many is the time this observer has thought he had escaped a Greenlander, only, whilst fumbling for camera equipment, to be reminded of its presence with a smart thwack on the back of the head.

In the case of the Greenland shark, often the best defense is a strong offense. Approaching the shark with a pulsar gun ready, aggressively zapping it while it is still circling, will usually stun it enough to allow the diver to pass unmolested. A successful pulsing (usually 4 zaps in quick succession) is generally effective for about 3 minutes, after which the shark will shake it off and return for more. However, if you leave the range of the shark, the effects of the pulsing wear off immediately. It is best to do one’s business efficiently and quit the area for good.

In the real world, Greenland sharks are benthic swimmers, preferring to hug the seafloor as deep as 6,000 feet below the surface. Encounters with humans are extremely rare, except when the sharks inhabit shallow waters like parts of the St. Lawrence Estuary. The flesh of the Greenland shark has unusually high concentrations of urea, making it poisonous, not to mention unpalatable. Nevertheless, with laborious preparation, Greenland shark meat is served as an hors d’oeuvre called kæstur hákarl in the finest restaurants in Iceland, where people will eat literally anything.

For more information about the Greenland shark, visit the fabulously awesome Web site of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG) at http://www.geerg.ca/.

Raffi

5/9

Nineball Island—I’m beginning to feel a little sorry for Finley. Sure, it was fine when I was making fun of him, but now everybody’s in on the act. As I was talking to Hayako this morning, she leaned forward conspiratorially and said, “Do you think Finley is…” What? Gay? Cute? Presbyterian? But before she could finish, he showed up. When he sat down with us to talk with us about Raffi, Oceana said, right to his face, “I don’t like you, but…” But how do you really feel? I’ve heard Jean-Eric grumble about him, and I’m sure GG if he cared would have something to say. If we held a seance with Matthias and Finley’s name came up, his spirit would groan, “Oh, not THAT guy!”

Nobody gives him any respect. Respect he’s probably due.

Sure, he lacks in social skills what he doesn’t lack in self-confidence, and he needs to clean the crumbs out of his three-day growth of beard, but maybe he’s just one of those dudes who gets along better with animals than he does with people. I know some people like that myself, and in real life they don’t do cool things like give you tips about where you can find  dolphin friends—lucretive ones, at that. You got to give him his due—he blazed a path in EO  long before we even preordered Blue World, and he’s got his imprint on odontoceti in every region of the game. It’s Finley’s world, we just play in it.

So no more teasing Finley—he’s…tolerable in small doses in my book.

Anyway, Finley was here to tell us about a false killer whale in Valka Castle.  We’d know him by an ‘x’-shaped mark on his head. There’s already a f.k.w in the Castle, in the Mermaid’s Ballroom, but I never noticed the mark before. After he left, I picked up a tour out to the castle, hoping to find and befriend it. “Chloe”, alias for a certain avant-garde pop diva seeking to escape the pressures of fame (and get costume ideas) wants to see a sea robin. Nothing simpler—you trip right over them as you enter the castle.

We wind our way to the Mermaid’s Ballroom, but by now I should know that you can’t complete a quest while you’ve got a client in tow—the ‘x’ on the whale’s melon won’t show, and we have to content ourselves with feeding and pulsing fish and treasure diving. Chloe went “gaga” over the glowing sea slugs (look for her to be wearing one on her face soon), and we stuffed the bag with loot. We also discovered a mauve stinger and the weirdly poised largehead hairnail, an eel that floats vertically with its head pointed to the chandeliers. I made sure I showed her the window where Thanatos cruises by, eyeing us hungrily.

I'll be luuurking...for youuu...

Back at Nineball Island, “Chloe” paid me 5308 P for a 1500-P tour. She has to shock people, even when she’s on vacation. The salvage tally was also massive. I’d read on one of the message boards that you could pull up 25,000 pelagos on each visit to Valka Castle. That didn’t sound right to me, but sure enough I made over 20,000 with only 15 items in my bag. With GG I would have easily cleared 25 grand.   

4/24

Zahhab Region—I’ve decided to take seriously Jean-Eric’s requests for magazine photos. I’d been avoiding them after my “E” grade, but once I saw Waltmck’s YouTube video of  A&B winning shots (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf8RPtXoeu8), I was emboldened to give it another try. The request with the most pressing deadline is for a barreleye, which, my marine encyclopedia shows, can be found in the depths of the Zahhab Region. I take Hayako with me, but despite her useful fish maps, I can’t find a single one.

Next I took Kaneko, who came to Nineball Island in open defiance of her overbearing architect father, to Zahhab to see some green sea turtles. It was almost too easy, so while we’re near the Twin Crevasses, I persuade her to follow me down to the depths. Of course, it’s highly irresponsible to take an inexperienced diver below 50 fathoms; I should have my PADI license revoked, but I gotta find that barreleye. Again I didn’t find one, but down in the narrow canyons I saw something emerging out of the gloom. Large but too misshapen to be a shark, it turned out to be a Risso’s dolphin. It was a welcome sight to find a fellow mammal down this deep. On our way back to the surface we found a few more new things: a common fangtooth, one of those all-mouth deepsea monsters that would be horrifying if it weren’t a little pipsqueak; and an oarfish—decidedly not a pipsqueak, but a long silver ribbonlike thing with a rooster’s comb that trails behind it for what seems like fifty feet.  We also met the giant squid rising vertically up the canyon wall, so we followed it up to 270 feet, where it turned around and returned to the depths. Emerging from the crevasse, we took the requisite gray whale ride, then headed west to the Coral Garden, where another new creature turned up at a fish feeding—the blue and yellow banded butterflyfish. Back at Nineball, Kaneko paid me 3610 P for the trip.

Hey you! I'm talkin' to you!

Next I went to northern Canada to photograph a harp seal. I threw out my worries and simply tried to fill the viewfinder with the animal and made sure it smiled pretty for the camera. The photo earned me a “C” and the magazine paid out 2000 P, twice their initial price. I’ll take that.

My first passing grade

Finally, I couldn’t resist taking one more trip to the Zahhab depths, this time with Bob, an olympic medalist using thrill therapy to deal with the aftermath of a terrifying ski jump accident. He wants to see a sea pig. These little Pokemon nightmares litter the sea floor around the Chimney Forest. We also take in the vampire squids, the popeye grenadiers, the splendid alphonsos. Bob was cured of his PTSD and paid me 3610 on the docks. And hey, I finally found my barreleyes—they were hiding in a closeup zone because they’re so small. I got as close as I could and took many pictures—all prizewinners.

Sea pig (file photo)

The only problem is that once I got home, I exited the game without developing the pictures and lost everything!

Blame it on rapture of the deep.

Special Thanks to Waltmck!

4/22

Gatama Atoll—In honor or Earth Day, I’ve been concentrating on healing the most critical (purple and red) fish as I go about my business. Frankly, I’m exhausted. I haven’t used the pulsar as anything but a defensive weapon since the “Help Me” quest ended abruptly, and even then I used it mainly on large fish and mammals. It’s quite a different thing when you swim up to a coral head to pulse a cloud of tangs. The screen turns into a kaleidoscope of ill fish with targets around their necks, clamoring to be healed. Remember that scene in Jesus Christ Superstar where Ted Neeley is healing lepers and they start to surround him and he like, totally freaks? It’s like that. Not that I’m comparing myself to the Man from Galilee—I’m just sayin’, it’s hard to be a miracle worker. And what makes it tougher is that, as the fish you’re pulsing get better, they also get friskier and try to dart away from you. Sometimes you have to chase them around the reef, like a mom with a spoonful of cough medicine after her suddenly “all better” children.  

Anyway, I pulsed about 150 fish today and received a 3,300-Pelago bonus from the Conservation Society. I also managed to get in a little treasure hunting. FF came in with his unidentified map scrap. Once again, my technique of redrawing the map on a piece of paper paid off, and I located the Golden Shield Treasure almost immediately. FF handed us 12,500 P at the dock,  then just left—no name-calling, no snarks, nothing.  GG’s heartbroken.

Next I took a  guy named Gabriel on a quick guided tour to Twilight Temple. Disappointingly, the giant catfish has shed her golden scales and King Gigide was nowhere to be seen. While we were there, I pulsed some more fish, then whipped out the multisensor for a little last-minute treasuring. Lucky I did, as I turned up the Incan Treasure, worth 12,000 P.

All told, I made off with a cool 30,000 P tonight. Not bad considering I wasn’t even trying.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, Disney’s Oceans opens in theatres today. I’m working on convincing my son to get over his nature-documentary fears to join me this weekend. Here’s a link: http://disney.go.com/disneynature/oceans/

4/19

Ciceros Strait—Two tours take us back to Ciceros Strait once again.

Ebiike was stuck in rush-hour traffic one day when he looked up and saw a city bus, and on the side of this bus, he saw a silk screened image of an Indo-Pacific Sailfish, probably advertising a new action film. Something about the savage grace of the creature awakened within him a desire to transcend the bonds of his dull, colorless life, to seek out adventure and discovery, to meet that noble beast on its own terms, reach out and grasp the source of its power. So he rolled down his window, thrust out his head, and cried to his chauffeur. “I say, James—to the airport—immediately!”

Meanwhile, in Madison, Wisconsin, a young student named Jeanne is playing another round of quarters at the local pub. It’s 1:30 AM and she’s losing—her quarters, her judgement, the buffalo wings she consumed for dinner. Her bleary eyes settle on the t-shirt her opponent is wearing—a clown wrasse that appears to be shouting, “I CLOWNED AROUND IN CANCUN! PIKES SPRING BREAK 2009”. It’s so damn funny she’s got to leave the table right away. In a moment of clarity as she’s hovering over the toilet, she thinks, “I gotta get out of this place…need to see something else in this world…get back to nature…”

And so they both arrived at Nineball Island today. I took Ebiike out first, returning to the North Canyon area after my fruitless quest for the mysterious sea shadow. I like this place—it’s teaming with large fish and tall basaltic columns that are fun to climb down and swim between. The only sharks onhand are the relatively placid pelagic threshers, which eat right out of my hand. The sailfish are a little more problematic—they’re fast and greedy and take they food away from deserving mackerals and sardines. We swim west to the wreck of the Pride of Athens. I’m trying something new tonight, diving in the first person view rather than the third. At first I thought this would be disorienting, but it’s not, it’s liberating. I’m not in my own way anymore, my motions seem more natural—it’s a more immersive experience. Funny how, even 84 hours into this game, I’m still discovering new things. It makes me realize, caught up in these searches, how little real exploring I’ve done. I’m so grooved-out on swimming (or maybe it’s nitrous oxide in my air tank) that I spend over an hour feeding fish, taking pictures, petting octopi. Then the cloud evaporates and I gotta wrap this up to usher in the next client.

Ebiike, Ciceros Strait

I take Jeanne to Valka Castle, first ascending the Spiral Tower all the way to the surface and look down on the bonnethead sharks circling below us. Then, after a detour into the Collapsed Gallery (always a waste of time), we enter the castle proper, with stops in the Armory and Treasure Vault, where a curious longtooth grouper inspects us.  I discover a coin and a new species—the sunset anthias, another of the many female-to-male transgender fish found here (Ciceros Strait is where nature gets her freak on). I’m in such a benevolent mood that I even feed the lionfish—I’ve always avoided their spines before. We find the clown wrasses she’s here to see in the Underwater Gallery, and before we leave, visit the Mermaid’s Ballroom.

Clown wrasse, Valka Castle

Ebiike was reservedly impressed by the tour (3,622 P), while Jeanne is gushing about how great everything was (3,924 P). They could’ve paid me in shin-kicks and I still would’ve been smiling.

And so, as the sun sets on Nineball Island, we leave our two tourists to return to their daily lives: Ebiike, newly refreshed to pursue that leveraged buyout; Jeanne, inspired to once again switch her major, this time to Marine Biology.

Angelshark

4/12

Ciceros Strait, daybreak—I’m leading a tour for a guy named Eliike, whom I suspect is really Tom Cruise hiding behind a pair of aviator sunglasses and an absurd alias. He wants to see a Japanese angelshark. Alrighty then, let’s go!

I’m a little nervous because I don’t remember what an angelshark looks like. The tour takes me straight to Ciceros—no chance to consult the marine encyclopedia, no chance to draw up Hayako’s fish-finding maps. Guess I’ll just have to wing it. We start in the North Canyon and work down and across, feeding and petting fish along the way— goldeye rockfish, Mahi-mahi, red stingray, sea goldies, white tipped reef sharks, monkfish. I can tell he’s pleased, but he’s the kind of guy who only chimes once when you stop and feed fish. If I don’t find his beloved Angelsharks, I’m not going to get paid. Manta rays, hammerheads, great whites—0ne thing I notice today is that the great whites aren’t haunting the Wreck of the Emerald Lady; instead, they’re off at the Flamingo. That confirms my suspicion that old Thanatos and his gang move from place to place, shaking down the locals for protection money. Good to know for later. Still, they’re no angelsharks. We manage to intersect a right whale and hitch a ride north—that’s got to count for something, right? Marlin, trevallies, barracuda…

Finally, around the Triton Village ruins, we find angelsharks. See Tom—er, Eliike, I saved the best for last! Heh, heh! Relieved, I can now get on with my own business. I’m still missing sections on my map, so I toggle to the closeup maps by pressing “2” on my remote.  There are some gaps in the red and blue dome areas, to which we proceed forthwith. In the Red Dome, we find literally dozens of angelsharks basking in the sunlight and shallow water. Who knew? Blue Dome is carpeted with little green rays. Having filled in the maps, we return to Nineball Island.

Japanese angelshark

At the dock, the man who calls himself Eliike hands me a whopping 4,940 P—the most I’ve ever made for a single tour. Since the tour sold for 1,300, that’s a 280% tip! Must be a Scientology thing.

I’m so stoked by the tour payoff that I’m not even bummed out by the other news: Oceana isn’t sending off the charts of Ciceros Strait, so I mustn’t’ve finished it, and the magazine rejected my photo of the western bank of the Cortica River. On a scale where, I assume, a top photo is an ‘A’, I got an ‘E’—ouch! Still, they paid me 1,000 P for my trouble. I wish all rejection slips came with a check.

4/6

Gatama Atoll, sunrise—Today I’ve decided to spend the day shuttling tourists from Nineball Island to the Deep Hole in Gatama Atoll. This is what I imagine giving real dive tours is like—repetitive. There are four trips lined up today, so let’s get started.

First up is Lisa, who wants to see Japanese Eagle Rays. She’s only mildly impressed with them, as all they do is swim around and look pretty. But she really goes wild for the pinecone fish, who have bioluminescent organisms living on their chins. These little beards light up in the dark recesses of Deep Dome. You can tell when a client is happy, because a little jingle goes off as you feed the fish. Lisa was jingling off the hook, and I collected 3,612 for our little trip.

Next, I’m off to find the Ruby Telescope for some guy. I’ve learned from past mistakes that you can’t squeeze a treasure hunt in on a guided tour, so this is strictly sensor work. For the Ruby Telescope I get 1,200 P. No tip, but hey—it only took five minutes.

Third up is Dirk, who I think is the guy who’s never impressed with my dolphin shows. He wants to see Goldeye Rockfish, and I’m determined not to disappoint him. We dive at sunset.

By now the community around the Deep Hole are so familiar that I’ve given most of them names. There’s Sol, the sunfish who hangs over the Mouth of Truth; Sluggo, the tiger shark who harrasses us in the Coliseum; Big Gus, the giant grouper; Cecil, the ribbon moray eel; and Pee Wee, the pygmy sperm whale, who at sunset likes to shyly crawl out of the hole for a little exploring.

Sol

Sluggo

Big Gus

Pee Wee

 We feed them all and I even get in a little scavanging, filling my bag with loot.  This time, Dirk is impressed—he hands me 3,000 P for the tour, which is fortunate, because the salvage bag was full of relatively worthless junk.

Last up is Gabriel, who wants to see Big Gus. While I’m taking him around, I discover that there’s second giant grouper in the Deep Dome. I always assumed that was just Big Gus  following me around, but now I guess we’ve got Little Gus. Gabby also goes gaga over the pinecone fish, and hands me 3,656 P at the dock.

Little Gus

All tallied up, that brings my day’s wage to roughly 13,000 P. 

By now it’s dark, and I go over to the Hayako to ask her about something, but I’m not listening because there’s a sparkle on the shore behind her. Following it, I find it’s a carving of something called the Ancient Mother. Suddenly, Jean-Eric is at my side (I hate when he does that!) to explain cryptically that it’s some kind of whale that he doubts even exists, but allegedly lives at the North Pole, or is it the South? So great, another legendary creature quest.

Well, it’s been a long day, so I settle down in the beach chair and watch the fireworks display, then to bed.