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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Flying in a blue dream

I think it would be far easier to mention what we didn't see this morning because we seemed to see everything else out there today. Conditions were nigh on perfect barring the odd muppet doing a descent right on my head. The whole ocean to choose from and she drops right on top of me. Idiot.

Anyway, we had great viz, next to no current, pretty flat calm on the surface and just shy of a 3 hour runtime, it couldn't have got any better, but it did. Everything just started appearing, we really didn't have to look too hard to find most of it. Straight away we had a couple of nice peacock flounders gliding over the hardpan, as well as some yellow spotted rays.

We also had quite a few trumpet fish not only in front of the camera but also doing their ninja trick and getting tucked in beside your main tank, which you don't know about until someone tells you or you turn around very suddenly.

One in front and and one behind.....

Getting tucked right into the mini wall unearthed some nice little spotted cleaner shrimp sitting on some cup corals just waiting for someone to come along and take a picture, and who am I to deny them?. We also had some nice banded coral shrimp and some snapping shrimp to keep us entertained.

Juvenile filefish where also practising their stealth techniques by taking refuge underneath my modelling light for a good portion of the dive, which would have made a great shot if I'd had a camera to take a picture of my camera! Luckily there were a few more hiding out in front of the lens. Blink and you'd miss them.

There were great examples of red reef hermit crabs hiding out on the sponges along with other fine examples of many legged wonders of the world like decorator and neck crabs. Wave your legs in the air like you just don't care!

And did I mention nudibranchs? no? well there was some nice ones to be found if you had the eye of an eagle! Elysia crispata, elysia ornata and dendrodoris krebsii to name a few. Epic!

Moving onto something a little bigger, we were buzzed by some low swimming squid followed by a turtle for the encore. And yes I know the shot of the turtle isn't framed as well as I would have liked but it was an off the cuff shot using an ultra macro lens with no adjustment. But, hey, it's the first turtle we've seen for a little while.

We also had a rare sighting of a flying gurnard in the shallows at about 5m which was pretty spectacular as you dont't see them that often. If you've never seen one, it's like a lobster, a hummingbird and a porcupine fish all got together and had a bastard abomination frankenstein love child........

And now back to the small stuff once again with some fine examples of cyphoma gibbosum and a great selection of gobies and blennies (of course it wouldn't be a dive without them).

And with a final hurrah towards the end of the dive we have a bristle worm looking nice and fluffy for the camera. It's so fluffy! Exceptional shore diving today which I've always been a big advocate of as you don't have to throw yourself off a perfectly good boat to see the good stuff and you get the added benefit of staying down as long as you want without having to worry about other people waiting for you. But boat diving is still nice too :-)