About the site
Rye Pier is a long, shallow shore dive. The pier is probably most noted for the annual invasion of the spider crabs which I photographed in 2012. They’re in the area at the moment and have been spotted at Blairgowrie Pier recently. They’re now on the move and will likely be seen at Rye over the coming days. While we were hoping to see the start of the crab invasion on Sunday, it was a fairly slim possibility. It was nice to see the pier life before it gets overrun by crustaceans. The rest of the year, Rye is known for orange sponges and lots of pot bellied sea horse.
About the dive
We intended a Sunday afternoon splash as a shakedown dive for some upcoming cave diving. Unfortunately Dave and Sandy discovered some vital bits were missing as we geared up and our water entry was slightly delayed while they were retrieved. We ended up staggering down the beach in far too much gear just as the sun went down. There was a little bit of chop on the surface but the vis was excellent underwater. A bit of a surprise given the number of divers removing wetsuits in the carpark at the end of what must have been a busy weekend at the pier.
There’s been a fair bit of caving in my life recently. As a result it’s been a long time since I’ve had the macro lens on the camera – this might even have been the first macro dive for the year. Certainly the last macro photos I posted here were taken last November. My critter spotting skills were definitely rusty as it took me nearly the whole dive to find my first pot-bellied seahorse. I’m sure I swam past a couple of dozen laughing at me down their long noses from camouflaged positions. I did spot a small eel, a small school of squid, endless hermit crabs and chase a few fish down for their portrait.
About the shot
The water was registering as 12 degrees on my Petrel so after a lap to the end and back I was looking forward to getting out. As we got back into shallow sandy territory I noticed this little jewel sitting on the bottom. I manoeuvred around to get a shot from the side as he tried to dig himself in. Luckily for me though unfortunately for him, he’d picked a bit of sand that he couldn’t get into. Just after I took the first shot here he relocated to a softer spot and rapidly made progress down into safety.
One of these little guys was one of my favourite photographs from my Dumaguete, Philippines trip. That was partly because I spotted him all on my own and partly because I think the shiny colour combinations on these squid are amazing. Seeing one in home waters was very cool.