Sunday, July 29, 2007

Turtle Scratch

So while Harry was out combing the Grotto for nudibranchs I decided to see what Lau Lau Bay had in store. As he discovered this weekend the Halgerda guahan and Halgerda malesso were at it again in the Grotto. I had seen one a week or so ago at Lau Lau Bay and it looked pretty calm despite the overcast skies. It was a tough decision but….

Long story short if you want to see photos of nudibranchs you'll need to visit Harry's site. Despite keeping an eye out for the mating nudies I spent most of my dive filming the cleaner shrimp and Lizardfish at the anemone on the pipe.

At about 50 feet deep this anemone is often a very busy cleaning station for Goatfish and Lizardfish among others. This particular day it was a Lizardfish and he didn’t care I existed for the entire time I was there. The only flinch he made was when one of the cleaner shrimp dug in a little too far. I had come to get some shots of this action so when my light batteries gave out I was feeling pretty good about the results and began heading back to the cut along the pipe.

Looking hard for any sign of those little white nudibranchs inching their way to sexual bliss I passed low over the sand and coral heads thinking - "well that was good but so far nothing that makes this dive stand out as a once in a lifetime birthday dive". With my head down and eyes on the lookout for little things I wasn't using much in the way of wide-angle peripheral vision when I damn near ran into him……

Trust me when I say he didn't have a care in the world about me either. At first he was determined to take care of a very difficult to reach itch and then it was on to having some chow. Despite being down to little battery power I was able to film him up close and personal, complete with a full ascent to the surface for air and a return decent for more food.

This video is only but a taste!


Harry Blalock said...

Absolutely amazing video Mike, you made the right decision by going to Lau Lau from the looks of it. Yes, I went back to the Grotto and did find a bunch more nudibranchs and quite a few more egg ribbons. I think we should try getting together once a week or so to sit at Oleai, have a drink and share dive stories of the weekends. Let me know if you're interested and what day works for you. Or we could go to Porky's if Bruce promises to vote for my blog instead of his own.

scubatripp said...

Thanks Harry!
I'm in for a beer at Porky's! I'd also like to hit the grotto again and have you show me where you saw the egg ribbons. Was the one you saw two weeks ago there last weekend?
Wed afternoon may be shaping up like a beer day for me!

Harry Blalock said...

Well since Bruce didn't promise to vote for my blog, we had to go to Oleai again. Thanks Mike, had a great time with you and I'm looking forward to what next Wednesday evening will bring.

:: Suzanne :: said...

gorgeous gorgeous pics. Thx for positng them.