Another rule in the sea: anything brightly colored should be avoided. From my reading these creatures store poison in vesicles, which it releases when threatened. So the bright markings are a warning. The shot you need is to see the horns and the tuft. These two guys were not too far from one another. I lifted a prayer rug and there they were. Prayer rug? Yes somebody discarded a rug into the sea. And the one on the white coral is striking in contrast. The actual size is about that of your little finger nail.
It’s a jellyfish. I have never seen one like this. And I have never seen one here on the reef till now. I was following my dive buddy and he swam over it. He said he’s seen them and thought nothing of it. Well I saw it move unnaturally to the current. So I poked it. Sorry. And it moved. So it was alive. Now I lifted it? And I could see the sucker pulsating. It didn’t have tentacles and it wasn’t translucent. But otherwise it behaved like a jellyfish. So I got my first shot of a jellyfish. Looking at it on the sandy sea bottom, it really didn’t look like much of anything. It’s a moon jellyfish in the guidebook.
These urchins show up here and there. Unlike the spiny ones, this one doesn’t look dangerous. No matter. Don’t touch anything. It’s a rule. Every time I brush something by mistake I pay later. I now wear a wetsuit just to keep the coral from giving me skin rash. I was late to start wearing one. But I swear by it now. Compared to other things on the reef this urchin is not a common find. And it hides during the day. So this urchin also can move about. There no eyes. So this appears an easy photography target if you find one.
Moray eels usually stay within the coral just showing their head. But on night dives they come out and sometimes swim in the open ocean. Since you are watching for movement they are easy enough to spot. But then the trick is to catch up and get a shot. This guy was slithering along the bottom and wished we were not spotlighting him. He was soon gone. I’d have liked a better image. Someday I’ll get one.
These guys are tiny. The trick to finding them is to poke around under the coral and shine your light until you see a reflection. It’s the eyes reflecting back the light. Then as you approach, they tend to disappear. So you have to siddle up and hope it doesn’t duck. Did I tell you this is a hard shot?
I’ve seen this trick but never pulled it off myself. And please don’t tell the kids I was annoying the wildlife. Puffer fish get a bright flashlight beam in their face and they don’t move. So I grabbed it. It puffs. It’s not air. I was wondering. No, it’s water. The feel is like sandpaper. He was not hurt. We got some pictures. Night diving is a challenge to get exposure. The fish looked better then I did. Hey! It was my camera. But I didn’t take my own picture.
Spooky. There is a type of diving, which I love. It’s night diving. Fish come out at night when they think danger is less than during the day. These fish were swarming on the bottom. They weren’t headed anywhere. They turned toward the flashlight. So I got a head on view. I can say it was spooky to see them just going nowhere. What were they doing? You never see them during the day. So where do so many fish hide? I have questions. Meanwhile it’s a strange encounter. And if you’re afraid of the dark…
This is a worm. At least the reef guidebook says so. They contract and disappear when danger is about. The worm is on the reef in the shallows. It seems they like the sun. It looks complicated and it surely doesn’t look like it moves. They are seen in different colors. They are tiny and easy to miss. You still have to sneak up on it or it will contract and disappear.
It is dive time. Carol complained gently a year or so ago that she was waterlogged. I quickly switched to fall leaves. But right now I just completed fourteen dives in about five days and each day was pretty amazing. So you will have to put up with the fishies…until Carol complains again. This large fish was part of a group that hung out in this area of the reef for a couple days. They moved slowly and majestically.
What excites a photo diver? Unusual subjects – if you don’t see this fish often. Clear water – you need to keep backscatter to a minimum. And a head on shot is preferred. The side shot is like catalog shooting. Most fish do not like a camera pointing at them. And the fish certainly object to some big thing blowing bubbles approaching. So it is hard to get that head shot.
This was a big fish and not too intimidated. I settled for what he let me have.
So if you were along for the rescue lesson yesterday, here’s what we saw. I almost swam in on the surface to allow Farid to have a good dive. Bu we agreed not to separate so we shared air. It was a bit restricting and I did not expect many photo ops.
Farid has the instinct of a hunter. We came over the rise of some coral to see a giant thorny ray settling into the sand before us. As usual I did not see it at first until the sand settled. Crank up the tele – I got some shots. It was an unexpected bonus to our unintended rescue dive. I was attached to Farid by the octopus. I couldn’t approach! The ray was settled and posing. It is the only ray of this type we have seen in almost three years diving. Farid held steady and I got my shots till the ray moved onward.