Feb 162016

Old wives

Two weeks from today I will be on the lovely Carpe Vita in the stunning Maldives with thanks to Liquid Diving Adventures. I’m doing a run to the Deep South for an 11 night liveaboard. We hope to see sharks of all varieties – from fast hammerheads to small reef sharks to really big whalesharks. With some mantas, turtles and tropical reef thrown in for good measure it promises to be a great trip.

Curious fish

With that in mind I thought I had better get out into the ocean and get back into the habit of chasing down some fish. Sven and I headed out from Portsea for a look at the reef off Point Lonsdale. While the seas were relatively flat there was some swell running and the surge was very evident between the rock arches. The kelp was a continuous bed of movement. There was a huge amount of fish life around and I concentrated on timing my movement with the water to get nice and close.

These two old wives were particularly surprised to see me as I headed around the corner. They hang out in pairs and usually have to confer with each other on which direction to swim in. This held them up for a few seconds and gave me enough time to snap this shot. Fish that run present a different photographic challenge to fish that follow – the wrasse in the second shot was determined to get in front of the lens for a proper inspection. My main difficulty was trying not to fry him with too much strobe light as he darted backwards and forwards.

While the reefs we dropped onto appear to be all kelp on first inspection, the channels and gulleys between rocks hold colourful sponge life. Sven and I spent the dive ducking into small hidden spaces to scare the fish life. While the surge made life a bit more interesting, the vis was good and the scenery had fantastic colours. There’s a lot to be said for boring temperate water reef diving. And now I remember how to do it…bring on the tropics!

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