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Sunday, 27 January 2013

All creatures great and small

Well another attempt to get to my favourite place for macro again proved to be a bust thanks again to the weather with a 12 knot Easterly. I wasn't looking forward to the alternative site as it has never had a good track record for the small stuff but as it turns out I was very pleasantly surprised.

Right off the bat we had a nice yellow stingray cruising around at the entry point but he wasn't one for sitting still to get a decent shot of but no complaining, it was still nice to see one.
"Sit still !!"
We spent just over 3 hours in the water working between 5 and 15 metres looking for some juicy shots. I found several juvenile drum fish dotted all over the place but I just couldn't get a decent shot as they were hiding in recesses and just moving way too fast to track.

I was checking out a brain coral and was about to move off when I had a second look at what I thought was a clump of sand stuck on it. Turns out it was a juvenile sun anemone shrimp which is a bit rare here. It was bloody tiny, about 4-5mm and the surge wasn't helping either but I think I got a good shot, I love the translucent back end, the strobe light just went right through it.
Small and perfectly formed
So that was the main excitement on the dive for me but there was still plenty of other nice stuff to see. I did find the smallest bearded fireworm in the world hanging around on a zoanthid but as I'm not 100% happy with the shot, I wont put it on here. It was even smaller than the sun anemone shrimp. 

I found that I hadn't lost my well deserved reputation as the lobster whisperer as several large spiny lobsters heeded my summons and came forth to do my bidding. And pose for a picture or two as well.
Spiny lobster getting intimate with the camera
Now you know how I love my nudis and that there is an absolute dearth of them on this island, so I was squealing like a little girl when I found the mother of all lettuce sea slugs (which is good as it gets here). 

It was a monster, easily touching close to 3 inches and as always had to be in the most awkward position imaginable, so I had to get jammed upside down in a crevice just to get the shot. Again, not my best but it was a whopper and worth the effort.
Truly a behemoth in the slug world
I think another 8-10 hours with the new lens will allow me to get it dialled in properly before I need to head off to Belize in a couple of weeks time. Heaven forbid I miss any nudibranch shots whilst I'm there!
This cleaning goby knows the dive site like the back of my hand. Ho ho!
The current started it picking up in the last quarter of the dive so we had a nice little drift back down the reef with the odd check in the nooks and crannies to see what we could see. There was a nice red reef hermit crab sitting on some sponge so I thought it would be rude not to grab a shot of it.
Lovely vivid colour
And the old standby favourite of a juvenile goldentail moray was peeking out from under a coral head so I bagged a quick shot of him too.
Look into my eye......
I clocked some video footage as well just for fun, but it's not great as the AF on the new lens doesn't react super fast to fidgety subjects so ignore the constant focusing. :-P

So today started with minimal expectations but ended on on the upside after a couple of lucky finds. Given that it's bank holiday here on Monday, it'll be another excuse to get back in the water although with the current forecast, I might end up doing a couple of laps around the bathtub instead.....

Safe diving!