Recent Return to Rapid

by Steve Reynolds

I returned to Rapid Bay jetties, for the first time in two months, for a dive on 5th June. My dive was particularly enjoyable for a number of reasons. Apart from seeing the moonlighter with the unusual colour pattern on its right side, as reported in More About Peculiar Colour Patterns in Fish, I made a few other observations. I enjoyed my encounter with this Rainbow cale: –

I was quite taken in with this view of a scallop: –

Just prior to seeing the unusual moonlighter, I came across this male senator wrasse: –

Certainly, there is also a moonlighter in the frame. The moonlighter came across my view just after I had seen the senator wrasse. I normally struggle to photograph senators as they don’t usually keep still enough for me to photograph them successfully. This one, however, was just laying ahead of me, just as the moonlighter came through. Although it wouldn’t be an ideal shot, I moved a little nearer for a closer  shot: –

I still don’t know what the senator wrasse was doing so intently. Perhaps it was a fish cleaning situation, with the senator wrasse being cleaned by another fish.

I tried to get a better shot in and this was the result: –

The senator wrasse actually turned side on and allowed me to take a good side shot of it. Unfortunately, it then started to swim away from me. I managed to take a couple more shots of it as it swam through the algae: –

It was just after this that I noticed a few moonlighters swimming nearby, including the one with the strange colour pattern on just one side.

A little later in the dive, this blue-throat wrasse was begging for my attention by continuing to pose in front of my camera: –

This was later followed by the opportunity to photograph this mosaic leatherjacket: –

Then there was this small dusky morwong hiding in some scaberia: –

And this magpie perch (morwong): –

And this pygmy leatherjacket: –

I don’t usually have much luck photographing fish, but I felt that I was doing pretty well on this dive, despite less than perfect visibility. I had also enjoyed photographing invertebrates such as sea stars, sponges, ascidians, molluscs, etc. I was quite surprised when I stumbled upon this soft coral growth on a jetty pile (Carijoa sp.): –

This was found on the old jetty, half-way up a jetty pile not far from the shore. A little later, I found this crab (Guinusia chabrus) on a jetty pile: –

From there, I returned to the new jetty where I soon found this other nice Golden decorator crab (Naxia aurita): –

All in all, I had seen plenty to satisfy me during a 69-minute dive, despite not travelling too far. I will be happy if all of my future dives are as rewarding as this one had been.

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

3 thought on “Recent Return to Rapid”
  1. I have a video of a senator wrasse wriggling (as if to itch) from Rapid Bay, Sept 2019. Happy to pass it on if your interested. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *