The Rules of the Game
Rule 1: Sharks
Shark spottings must be identified by species in order to obtain points. Saying “we saw sharks!” gets 0 points and makes you look like a novice. Stretching out the arms to indicate shark size results in a deduction of 5 points. Bragging that you want to swim with a white pointer one day because “they are not actually that dangerous really, so long as you don’t threaten their food source, uhuh, yeah” is not a penalty, but does make you look like a real tosser. Your choice.
Rule 2: Fish
Saying “I saw lots of pretty fish” gets no points. Once again, species must be named. Rules regarding arm stretching apply as per sharks. Mentioning schools of fish is acceptable and gains 5 points, 10 if the species can be named. Saying ‘pelagic’ fish is better than saying “big predatorey-type fish”. ‘Perdatory’ is in fact a real word. Saying the Latin name loses you 5 points and at least as many friends.
Rule 3: Turtles
Saying “we saw a turtle!” is the mark of an amateur. You must give an approximation of shell size and depth at which the turtle was seen. A normal turtle is 5 points and anything over 80cm is 10 points. Watching a turtle being tagged is 15 points, unless you haven’t done it, in which case it counts for nothing. It is generally better if you can say that the turtle did not immediately swim away from you in terror. This suggests that you are somehow “in tune with nature” and not just another flapping, panicky menace to all aquatic life. It is worth 5 extra points. Actually holding the shell of a turtle and riding it is worth 15 points.
Rule 4 Rays:
Stingrays are worth 5 points, a worried glance from your opponent and possibly a digression on Steve Irwin. Eagle rays are worth 5 points. Small rays are worth nothing. Mantas are worth a base of 10 points. If your opponent argues that they have seen manta rays while diving, you may counter by saying it is cheaper and better to see them snorkelling on the surface. However if an opponent tries this on you, you may counter by saying that diving with rays means “you get to see their faces and you just feel more like you are with them and in tune with them and its just so amazing you should try it.” Each trick is worth 5 extra points if played correctly.
Rule 5: Dugongs
Dugongs function in a similar way to the joker in a game of cards; i.e. they trump everything (other than whale sharks and leafy sea dragons whioch are in the advanced set). Games that you are losing, or D and D conversations that are generally irritating you, can be brought to an end swiftly and efficiently by saying “yeah well we saw a dugong, so you can just bloody well shut up.”