Photo Copyright 2010 by Barry Fackler
As promised in a previous posting, here is a photo of yours truly with a pair of Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp tending to my dental and facial hygiene. The critters tend to pick between your teeth rather vigorously and this experience isn't for everyone.
By no means did I come up with this myself. I saw a picture of someone doing this in a magazine article and thought I'd give it a try. It was pretty easy providing you can hover well and make no sudden moves. When you have to take a breath from your regulator, just start to close your mouth slowly and the shrimp will get the message to evacuate.
There is a videographer here in Kona who likes to show video of himself getting his teeth cleaned by shrimp. He breathlessly tells audiences of tourists that it took many dives to the same spot for the shrimp to finally trust him enough to enter his mouth. This was not my experience at all. I just took up station near them, opened my mouth and they swam right in and got to work. Maybe I need to work on my storytelling technique!