This is another unusual sighting. I saw a spotted eel three times. With my kids we saw part of one during a night dive. And once again on another night dive I had a pretty good look too. This time we had an eel in broad daylight. It swam along, tried to hide, and then made a run for it. I got movie and stills. The white balance was off because it was moving through layer of shadow and depth. The eel is basically yellow with brown spots. I got images but the color was not perfect. This is why you go down and keep trying. And once again this is not a snake. Snakes don’t breathe underwater.
There are holes in the sand. They are present where there is no coral. The sand patches are like little deserts. I never see any activity around the holes. I have been told that there is a sentinel fish that guards and looks out. And there is a shrimp below who makes the hole. Both fish work together. This particular weekend I was fortunate to catch everyone home together. Notice the little antennae of the shrimp. And the fish is looking up and to the left. The deceptive eye marking is on the tail and to your right. Yup, you don’t see this everyday.
We were headed back to base. The late afternoon fading light made it hard to get shots. I was still experiencing camera woe. And there swimming before us was an electric ray. At least this is the name in my book. It was interested in getting as far away from us as it could. I have seen an electric ray only once in three years. So this was pretty special. And yes, I played with the wildlife to get him to stay in view long enough to get a decent shot. I shot a bunch but these images were the best of the lot and not excellent as is my usual luck. But an image of an electric ray is special no matter what.
Of all the things I have seen this was a spooky scene. I have seen sea cucumbers in the daytime. They are nondescript and uninteresting. My camera points away from the dull uninteresting color. Anywhere else but there is preferable. But Farid turned this one over and it was like a monster zombie flick. Tentacles! They wove and waved in a surreal pattern as though vomiting from a hole on the underside of the cucumber. We were fascinated. I don’t know what it was that caused Farid to turn it over. I had given him a dive stick after my kids left in January. He has made it a well used gift in what we have discovered.
Our night dive was going slowly. Then Farid stopped and pointed at a common urchin on the seabed. But his pointer led me to two boxer shrimp lying in the shadow of the urchin. I guess they use the urchin as sort of a symbiotic protector.
Having been stung by an urchin I am most certainly careful not to ever go near an urchin. Not one but two shrimp were there! And they were lazy. I swam in close and used my flash and they hardly budged. The antennae stick out a long way. The bodies are small and hardly make a bite. I was just so happy to catch them in the open.After so many dives you live for these rare special moments. They don’t come often.
This was found on a night dive. It is translucent and slimy. As we grabbed for it I thought it would pull apart and so we stopped. I’d have liked to seen all of it. For a brief moment we saw the other end, the head. But there was no way to see it all at once. The book says fire worm. It doesn’t look fiery but that matches the picture in my book. Fire coral burns when you touch it with your skin. It’s yellow colored. Maybe this fire worm is the same. Did I say we touched it? Yes, but with gloves and the dive stick. Remember, do not touch anything! It will cause some adverse reaction that you will likely regret. Nothing! Nada!
This was a big one in relative size about two inches in length. It was still hard to see. But the horns are a part of the picture. You try but don’t always catch them. And, no, this time I did not play with the wildlife to get the shot. Finding nudibranch is like the game we played in school where you had to spy objects in the classroom. Once I show you where to look and my enlarged image, hey, it’s easy. No, every time down does not result in a sighting.
Nemo! I haven’t posted one in a while. The anemone has a mouth of sorts. It is well covered by the tentacles. Usually I can get a shot of the mouth but usually there is no clownfish on guard. I happened to get one today.
In all the night dives over the past three seasons, I had yet to encounter a Spanish dancer. It is a mollusk. I have seen a picture on a poster at the dive center. But it was a goal of mine to finally see and photograph one myself. So on this night which started so slowly, Farid suddenly began swinging his light wildly to make me stop and join him. I have to admit he finds some of the best wildlife.
I had to check my book later. But, yes, it’s a Spanish dancer! And yes we played with it. Lifting it above the sea floor it flapped and wiggled down to the sand again. I guess that’s why they call it a dancer. Or otherwise it is the skirtlike edge which reminds you of a Spanish dancer’s skirt. Either way this was pretty thrilling.
What I learned is that you never give up on a dive. Something turns up to make it special. And with all my familiarity with the reef, there is always something I haven’t seen.
The octopus tried camouflage, then it ran, and finally a squirt of ink. I had been surprised by ink before so I was prepared to keep an eye on the octopus’s movement. No we weren’t there to eat it. So after I got my shots we retreated and the octopus swam away free of our encounter.It’s hard to ever see an octopus in the open. I have seen just parts of their bodies. Then, recently, I had the luck to see them frequently and even during a night dive. There are enough in the ocean to fill seafood stores and restaurant menus. I still find an octopus encounter a rare event when diving. And now I am getting some shots with tentacles. Great!