Monday, July 30, 2007

A Special Encore Show

Of course I spent most of the weekend in the Grotto once again trying to see if last weekend was indeed the grand weekend of reproduction for these elegant looking nudibranchs, the Halgerda guahan and Halgerda malesso. The one in the picture above is a malesso, remember it has the yellow dots on it and the yellow lines around the edge. I didn't see them in the numbers as last weekend, but I did see about 7 of them Saturday, and then about the same number on Sunday. I was particularly happy with the shot I got of this guy, with the blue sky showing through the water behind the nudibranch, contrasting his gills. I just thought the color combinations were awesome. And no I didn't pose him, I was taking his picture for about 20 minutes just waiting for him to move into the perfect spot. Fortunately I was looking the right direction when it happened.

There are many stories to tell about this weekends diving, and I'll get to them this week, but the one I wanted to tell first was actually the one that happened last. I was doing a rather lengthly deco stop on the rope yesterday evening, my dive was over 3 hours long so you can guess how much time I had to spend on the rope, when a very cool thing happened. There was a Halgerda malesso on the rock below me and I was just watching him for the longest time, but he wasn't moving much. Then I saw a fairly big Halgerda guahan, about 3", come out of a hole on to a rock to the left of me. He was about 20' below me, but because of his size and the fact that he was so bright I could see him fairly clearly. He got out to a spot where he was clearly visible and then just parked there. About 20 minutes later (I told you this was a really long deco stop), I watched as another Halgerda guahan came crawling out of another hole. He seemed to know right where the other one was though and made a bee line straight to him. He, or she, I'm not really sure who was who in this scenario, got to the other one fairly quickly, about 5 minutes or so, and trust me that is fairly fast for a nudibranch. They spent about 15 minutes going at it, (ok, so it was a really, really, really long deco stop) and then they parted ways and each headed back to their own hole. But I got to watch the whole thing unfold all because I had to do such a ridiculously long deco stop. Just one more advantage of having a big tank and being able to do 3 hour dives.

This seemed to be the weekend for them to be laying egg ribbons, but that's going to have to be a later entry. I also got pictures of some nudibranchs I haven't seen before, and got to watch the animal come out of a laqueatus shell. That's all coming up later in the week, so keep reading, I have some very cool pictures coming up. And yes, this is all why this is the favorite Saipan Blog - sorry Angelo.


Angelo Villagomez said...

Sorry, I listened to your show for about 3 minutes today before I finally had to shoot myself in the head.

I heard you were campaigning for best blog on your show. Unfair! I'm calling the FCC.

Bev said...

amazing nudi shot Harry. Missed you on our boat dive. Maybe next time? =P

Harry Blalock said...

Cool, Angelo is out of the competition since he shot himself in the head.

And I'm sure the FCC already has a huge file on me Angelo, but as long as they have Howard Stern and Don Imus to push around, I don't think they much care about me.

Harry Blalock said...

Thanks for the compliment Bev. I missed you at the Grotto while you were on your boat dive. I'm not really into boat dives, unless it's Bruces boat, he doesn't care when I go down or come back up.

Hopefully we'll make it back out again soon!