After Candyland, we figured we’d do a south-coast dive for contrast. This would be our last day with the Rust Bucket, so we took Drew and Patricia down to one of our favorite sites, and we had a great dive. There’s a bit of a swim out to the reef, over sand, and even the sand seemed eager to share its critters with us. Here’s a spot-winged comb jelly, a (female maculated?) flounder, and (probably) some kind of hydromedusa.
And then we got to the reef, and we saw some great sponges.
And some sea cucumbers
And this giant anemone, full of squat anemone shrimp.
We saw several different crabs, including this nimble spray crab, left, and a clinging crab to the right.
Also from the “small things” department, here’s a flamingo tongue and a banded coral shrimp.
It wasn’t all critters, though. The giant schools of fish that we’d seen on previous visits were absent, but there were a lot of individual swimmers. Here’s a big grouper and a small-ish drum.
And here are the two life stages of the blue tang, juvenile in yellow and the adult with only one yellow spot left.
And here are two very good friends hunting together. (Actually the parrotfish is an herbivore, and the trumpetfish is the one hunting, using the parrot as cover.)
Here we have a goldentail moray and a schoolmaster snapper.
And here, the widely-feared Jazzfish exploring a range of coral landscapes.
On the way back to land, the sand offered up more surprises. Like the chaetopterid worm, left, or the acorn worm burrow top right. And as we were taking pictures of the chaetopterid, a little crawly critter that we have yet to identify came hauling across the ocean floor. Maybe some kind of scale worm?
And finally, a rosy razorfish. Jazzfish for scale.