Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cool Discoveries Diving Lau Lau

I went golfing Saturday morning which killed diving for me that day. Given a choice, I'll choose diving over golf any day, it's cooler, cheaper, and honestly I just have much more fun underwater. I did manage to get out with my dive buddy Doug Sunday afternoon though. We went out in search of turtles, I was looking down on the coral, while he was checking under the ledges for them. Neither of us had any luck finding any, but that's ok, I can always find something to keep myself amused. As I was working my way back in along the pipeline I saw a couple Phyllidia pustulosa nudibranchs, so I went down to take a better look. This guy was doing a balancing act as the front half of his body was just floating in mid-water. The nice thing about this particular nudibranch is that not only are they big enough to see easily, they are usually about 2" long, but the color of their little bumps also shows up nicely. When looking for nudibranchs, the slower you go the more successful you're likely to be, and you need to be hovering right above the dirt or the rocks as some of them are very small and hard to spot. Such was the case with this little guy. His coloring doesn't necessarily stand out, and he was less than 1/2" long so it is hard to pick him out from his surroundings. It was actually his movement that gave him away to me at first. This was the first time I have seen one of these guys, he is called a Thuridilla bayeri. Some of them also have blue spots along their body, and some have hints of orange under the folds of the mantle. After I saw the first one and knew what I was looking for, then I saw another, and another, and another. They were popping up everywhere. It's like so many other things, they have probably been there all along, but until I took the time to look closely enough to see one they were invisible to me. Like I said, it pays to go very slow and look very closely. Then as I was looking under the pipeline, I discovered this cool creature. It was the biggest Mantis Shrimp I've ever seen. He was about 8" long and pretty thick. He wasn't really very cooperative about posing to get his picture taken though, he kept trying to dart away and hide. I managed to follow him for quite a while though and got a few shots of him. He definitely got the prize for the most colorful critter I saw on this dive though. Here are a few more shots of my elusive friend.


bigsoxfan said...

I quess you are over the dinosaur days. I'm not sure I could pass up an eight inch shrimp without breaking out the steamer. Great colors, I'll ask someone else how they taste.

Bev said...

You went golfing w/ out me? grrrrrr.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

There is another difference between the two sports. You can't throw your tank as far as a club. (:-))

Wonderful color on all those shots. What do you have the color settings turned to?

Nice work, Harry. Still looking forward to that nite dive.


Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you on this one. Diving before golf anyday! Heh.

Joking aside, I wanted to say thanks for the beautiful pictures and descriptions. I always enjoy things like this.