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Monday, 16 December 2013

Hey brother, pour the wine

A blustery day on the high seas couldn't dampen the enthusiasm for jumping in the water today with an 11 knot Easterly wind, a strong Northerly current and limited viz doing it's best to ruin the diving. But once we had battered our way through to calmer water on the main wall, all was right and well.

Spectacular shoals of fusiliers and trigger fish were wafting back and forth like a giant fans in the wind as well as regular visits from barracudas on their way to wherever it is that barracudas go to at weekends.

We made a sweep to the left and investigated some of the tighter cuts to see what could be seen and were rewarded by a hoard of angel fish that were mooching around not to mention some fantastic rope and barrel sponge formations that proved to be very photogenic indeed.

We hopped out on shore for a bit to let the sun slide lower over the horizon and also to allow the little stuff a chance to make it's way out onto the hard pan and get settled before we got back in to begin our hunt.

The bristleworms were out in force this evening, scuttling out in the open as well as getting onto and into everything they could find. It's like watching a miniature loo brush doing some sort of twisted mating ritual, lots of fun to be had.

I was particularly pleased to find an absolutely tiny grape-cluster nudibranch hidden away on a single strand hydroid, a very lucky find as blink and you would miss it. One of my favourite nudibranchs to photograph so far this year.

Not to be out done for attention, the crustacean contingent made a strong showing this evening with some fine examples of mud crabs, sanddollar pea crabs and star eyed hermit crabs.

Of course as the old adage goes the best is always saved till last and just before we got out, I had the good fortune to spend some time with this little fellow which put the icing on the cake for me.