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Sunday, 30 September 2018

Living after midnight

Now I like a good dive as much as the next fish, but night diving is always great as it adds an extra dimension to the possible things you get to see that you wouldn't normally see during the day time.

We fell in the water just before dusk and scoured the hard pan for the little critters and see what we could see. On the travel out, it pays to pay attention to the sea fans in the shallows as they are an excellent place for sea hares and especially tritonia hamnerorum and their accompanying egg ribbons. The only down side is getting a steady enough shot in the shallows whilst being buffeted by the surge. Good times.

 And not only did the sea fans provide a veritable macro bounty, but there was an abundance of bristle worms out and about as well. I love these things. They're so fluffy!!!!

 Cruising out to the mini wall and scrutinising the barrel sponges gave us some more wonderful surprises with a nice selection of long eared favorinus. Which of course were in the most difficult position imaginable to get a camera rig and human body into. I should get some part time work as a circus contortionist........

Also managed to find the smallest flamingo tongue known to man kind. Well certainly the smallest I've ever seen. If anyone has seen one smaller, then let me know. I would say this one was about 3mm long, maybe 4mm at a push. This was a really lucky find. 

  With the night drawing in, the reef was starting to take on a different tone and noticeable colour palates with hard corals coming to life and feather stars out for a stroll. 

In among the hard coral under strobe light, the secretary blenny makes a contrasting subject against the radiant surrounding glow.

And whilst i was busy taking a shot of the blenny, I completely missed a channel crab that was feeding beneath me although if you know how big these things get, you'd wonder how I managed to miss it. I do get rather focused on a subject some times.Couldn't get it all in frame either.

A little ways of, Jill was busy focusing her light  up to the surface and it took me a good few attempts to figure out what she was watching as all I was catching was the odd bit of movement here and there in the water column. Once i got the modelling light trained on it, it looked like some sort of jelly. It doesn't match up with anything in the Reef Creature bible, so if anyone out there has a clue, let me know.

 And of course by this time the blood worms started to make an appearance and they tend to get annoying and in the way of things when your shooting macro. Being attracted to the light, it's fun shining it on the hard coral and watching them exploding in little puffs of viscera. Cruel, but fun. That'll teach the little blighters. They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring!

Swiftly moving on to avoid the following clouds of worms I found a really nice example of a christmas tree worm and I don't often see ones of this particular colouring, so it made a pleasant change from the norm. The pink/red fringes really popped against the white main body.

 Heading back to the shallows and over the hard pan gave me one last shot during the safety stop with a nice little star eyed hermit crab shimmying up some fire coral. Say cheese!

Night diving is always entertaining on so many levels and we don't do nearly enough of it (it's not everyone's cup of tea) but hopefully we'll get out in a few weeks and see if we can drag Miss Leslie with us to. She loves a good old fashioned night dive. 

Till the next time, safe diving!

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The world is not enough

Here's a little something something for you all. If you are looking for an excellent source of dive related articles, news, tips, reviews and just plain wholesome watery goodness, then show some love and support and save this website in your browser. 

Go on, you know you want to....... 


Sunday, 9 September 2018

Caballo diablo

"Wild as a coastal barranca,
Swift as the wind blowing free,
With two eyes like fire brands that glow in the night,
Somewhere up there he's waiting for me"

And that pretty much sums up the weather conditions again but with two out of three hurricanes in the vicinity, things were never going to be pretty up top. Just as well they were pretty amazing down below. 

Turtles were first on the list for the morning and we had one that was more than happy to cruise along with us out the the main wall with occasional stops for a nosh on the odd bit of sponge.

No angel fish in tow with this beauty but they did make an appearance once we got down at depth to one of my favourite little sponge formations.

And of course Spot turned up as well to hang out with us for a little bit whilst we fought against a stiff current to maintain position for some shots. Not easy, whether your behind or in front of the lens, it really takes it out of you.

We got a few more in on the wall before we headed back into the shallows. Lovely rope sponge formations as always, still healthy and intact crowded with fusiliers and basslets. Spectacular.

We made one final pass over the sand patch and garden eels before a stop at Amphitrite for another one with Spot, then we got down to the serious business of hunting for the small stuff.

Dusky jawfish are always interesting to shoot and patience is priceless when it comes to taking shots with these little guys. Very low and very slow is the order of the day. And then wait. And wait some more. And then some more till it gets used to you being there. Then have at it.

Pretty much same technique for orange saddled blennies as they can prove to be a bit flighty at times, so you really do need to wait till they settle down.

A good backdrop of colours and textures will also help add a little something something to the subject as well.

And if you're really lucky you can capture some sweetlips having a shouting match as you're passing by. Go on my son! Get in there and give it some!

But the real star of the show needs no introduction. Not often found but sometimes if you look hard enough, you might just find what you need. Hiding in the usual spot as all the others I've found previously, but the wife lead me to this one so props to her.