I’ve dived Flinders Pier before and regularly but it’s been a while. Looking back through my photo archives, it’s been more than 6 months since the macro lens went on the camera. I think there were probably good macro opportunities in Truk Lagoon but it’s hard to concentrate on little things with great big shipwrecks in front of you. In just three weeks I’m off to the Maldives for two weeks of sharks and tropical waters, with a few hints of small critters. I thought I had better get the macro lens dusted off and back in service.
It was a stunning evening at Flinders with the tide creeping in as the sun went down. I disturbed a big stingray as I walked into the water and his surprise appearance set the scene for my encounters on the dive. I spent a few minutes with the first weedy I spotted before leaving him to motor off into the seagrass. The next one was the guy above, much more relaxed and happy to hang around for a portrait. I noticed this eyebrow isopod on him as I downloaded the photos afterwards.
As I was changing angles on him, I spotted a tiny cuttlefish hanging out to the left. He was not in a good spot for a good angle. However he was convinced he was totally camouflaged and didn’t move as I circled around to try and find a shot that would work. From there I moved on to yet another weedy and was just lining him up with a pylon when I realised a piece of grass was in fact the pipefish below. I doubt I would have spotted the pipefish at all if he hadn’t passed across my viewfinder – a nice surprise.
After one more weedy seadragon encounter and after watching a huge school of tiny fish flee through the pylons, I was thinking about heading back to shore. On the way home I was swimming a meter or so above the bottom when a massive octopus swooped under me and engulfed a rock. His tentacles went looking for dinner to flush out into the waiting mouth, with his flared shirts preventing escape. With the rock cluster cleared of dinner, he retracted and scooted over to the next target. I watched him cover half a dozen rocks, half sad that I had the macro lens on and no way to capture the behaviour, and half glad that I could watch without worrying about angles and opportunities.
He jetted out of sight to good hunting and I headed back to shore on the surface of a very calm sea. There’s a lot to be said for summer diving in good vis and good weather. Here’s hoping the Maldives are as calm, as clear and as fruitful – I reckon I might be in luck!