Posted by: Kaj Maney
Yes, the big (BIG) news this week is that we saw a whale!!
One of the dive boats was very late coming back form the afternoon dive. They had only gone to Serena Besar, which is only about 3 minutes away by boat, but behind a small island, so I can’t see it from our dock. I was just about to jump in another boat to go and see what was happening, when it appeared around the island. I could hear ‘whooping’ and see very very happy people. “What had they seen?” I thought to myself… “Hairy Octo? Dolphins?” Well it turned out they had seen a large whale, about 10m long!!! They had only seen it from the boat, after they had finished the dive, but an amazing sight!!
And then, about 30 minutes later, the whale started cruising up and down in the Strait, right in front of KBR. It even came into our bay. I tried to take some video, but the pesky cetacean didn’t let us know in advance where it would be coming up next. Anyway, I got a small bit of video, taken form our dock to prove it really was true. We’re not 100% certain, but we think it was a Minke Whale.
This week’s small critter video is of a rare pipefish, the Honshu.
Pipefish are one of the hardest small critters to photograph or film. Not only are they small, they are also long and thin. One of the problems that we face when capturing images, whether moving or still, is ‘depth of field’. When you are shooting macro, to get the magnification you lose depth of field (DOF), which means that it’s only possible to get a small part of the critter in focus, hopefully it’s eyes, but the rest becomes blurred.
So pipefish, with their long thin bodies and almost continuous movement, are always tricky. And these Honshu Pipefish are shy on top of that! However, as always, with some patience it is possible to eventually get some good images. Apart from good patience, the other important factor is a well behaving subject. Critters, like us, have personalities and some are less inclined to hide than others.
Even though these Honshu didn’t stay in one place for a long time, they did at least stay in one place for longer than any I have previously found. And one of them was also a pregnant male. The males of the pipefish species, after the eggs have been fertilized, keep them on the underside of their bodies. Half way through this video you can see the eggs underneath the big male. Big male? Size-wise, the ‘big’ male is about 4 cm long.
And the rest of the week has been excellent too. Our House Reef has been fantastic, with Blue Ring Octopus, Flamboyant Cuttlefish and Flamboyant Cuttlefish eggs, yellow and pink Bargabanti Pygmy Seahorse, Xeno Crabs, Starry Blenny and a lot more. And the boat dives have given us more Blue Ring, Mototi, Algae, Mimic, Wonderpus, Coconut, Long Arm and Reef Octopus. We seen more Flamboyant Cuttlefish, including some hatching, as well as Pygmy and Broadclub Cuttlefish. There are a lot of Frogfish around at the moment, there must have been a big birthing event recently, as we’ve seen lots of small juvenile Clown (Warty) Frogfish, as well as Painted, Hairy, Occellated (Coin Bearing) and Giant Frogfish. Pygmies Seahorses are still doing well with Pontohi and Severn’s Pygmy Seahorses still around as well as many yellow and pink Bargabanti Pygmy Seahorses. There have also been Common and Thorny Seahorses, Winged, Honshu, Network, Bent-Stick, Orange-Banded and Ringed Pipefish, as well as Rough Snout, Ornate and Robust Ghost Pipefish. And we’ve seen Ambon Scorpionfish, Melibe and Solar Powered Nudis, Madonna’s Bar, Pegasus Sea Moths, Helmut Gurnards, Stargazers, Snake Eels, Spiny Devilfish, Mandarinfish, Leaf Scorpionfish, Electric Clams, Ribbon Eels, Dwarf Lionfish and much more. And finally the crustaceans, with Tiger Shrimp, Harlequin Crabs, Bumblebee Shrimp, Orang Utan Crabs, Sumo Crabs, Donald Duck Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Hairy Shrimp, Hairy Squat Lobster, Elegant Squat Lobster, Xeno Crabs, Whip Coral Shrimp, Skeleton Shrimp, Emperor Shrimp, Porcelain Crabs, Cleaner Shrimp, Fingerprint Coral Shrimp and many more.
Thanks to great guests this week, from the States, the UK, Holland, Japan, Russia and the Ukraine.
To see all of Barb’s great photos form this week just click on the photo strip at the top or bottom of this blog.
Date Posted: September 17, 2012 @ 9:42 pm Comments (1)