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Monday, 21 May 2012

All for the love of sunshine

With the weather being hit and miss on the East coast this weekend, we packed up and headed West to worship some sun, sea and sand. It was a glorious day with 16 degrees at the surface, 8 in the water and some decent visability although there was still a modicum of particulate hanging in the water today.

Deckchairs and sunscreen at the ready
We were meticulous as ever in our pre dive planning, which went straight out the window in the first three minutes due to circumstances I will not mention here although I think a length of bungee cord might have to be used next time...

Shooting mostly mid and macro given the conditions, there was plenty of opportunity for the most ardent photographer.

Butterfish in the muck
Swimming crabs, hermit crabs, butterfish, gobies, blennies, squat lobsters, langoustines, plumose anemones, nudibranchs, dog fish, conger eels, cuckoo wrasse and even a cuttlefish (which Elaine claimed to have seen), they were all out in abundance.

Squat, hairy and lobster like
Starting out on the shallow reef at 7 metres on the left, I worked down to the mid reef at 15 metres on the right and spent some time down there befroe heading straight down to 30 metres to try and get some shots in the muck. The langoustines where pretty quick off the mark today and where down their holes like a flash.

Diver ahoy, down the hole, double time!
With some shots in hand and a quick flick of the fins, it was off further to the right to land on the mystical 30 metre reef. It's called the mystical reef for a reason which I will not go into here, but maybe Elaine will relate the tale to you one day......

Exploding firework anemone
After a bimble on the mystical reef it was back up to the shallows and a saftey stop after 71 minute run time and some well deserved bacon butties. The second pre dive planning was even more meticulous and thankfully bungee cord was not required this time as we both headed to the right to do a couple of laps around the platforms and carry on down to the second mid reef to watch an orgy of nudibranchs getting it on.

A goby soaking up the rays
The conger eel that Elaine found proved too tough to shoot as it just didnt want to come out from under it's rock. A particularly shy example if ever I saw one. Still there were plenty of giant starfish, decorator crabs and nudis to keep us occupied.

Juvenile dogfish
I found a really nice pair of flabellina verucossa on some weed in the shallows who proved to be a veritible challenge to shoot as they just wouldn't sit still, the little scamps.

For something so small it sure is active!
With 81 minutes of run time and a bladder full of tea, it was time to wrap up and head for the shore. Another great days diving in superb sushine, if only we could have more days like this.

The creature surfaces up from the depths!