Thursday, 29 December 2011

Turtle at Sipadan

This guy swam directly over my head during a dive at Sipadan Island off Sabah. They are so friendly and unafraid of divers.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Turtles Mating

This shot was taken at Sipadan off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. Turtles are very common around the island and when a female is ready to mate she can find herself surrounded by prospective mates. This female was being harrassed by the two males in the shot, but several others were also showing interest.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Alien Invasion

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island in Sabah. The jellyfish looks like something from outer space.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Titan Triggerfish

The Titan Triggerfish is well named, dwarfing the angelfish behind. The female of this species can be quite agressive to divers when she is guarding her nest. The large upper and lower fins in front of the tail are used for propulsion and they can move surprisingly fast.This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Orange Basslet

This was my first ever shot at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Borneo. The larger fish nearer the top, with the elongated dorsal spine, is an Orange Basslet - a common sight around here. There are many varieties in this shot and some are very well hidden!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Ringtail Unicornfish

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. The Unicornfish is rather strange with the elongated nose looking like a horn. This guy was at a cleaning station having it gills cleaned out.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Christmas Tree Worm - Spirobranchus giganteus

These cone shaped tube-dwelling worms (two here) live on coral and most of their bodies are in a hole bored into a live calcareous coral. The colourful spirals are their tentacles, which are used for feeding and respiration. The coloured part is only about 3-4 centimetres in size and they are retracted into the burrow at the slightest movement near them.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Western Red Scorpioncod

The Western Red Scorpioncod has extremely venomous spines and contact should be avoided. The shot is the final posting from my dive last Thursday at Robbs Jetty just south of Fremantle in Western Australia. This variety varies in colour depending on the depth of water it is living in - the deeper the water the more red coloured. This one was only around 8 metres deep and is more brown.

Senator Wrasse

This Senator Wrasse was sitting, nicely camouglaged, among the soft corals on one of the remaining posts of Robbs Jetty, which is just south of Fremantle in Western Australia. This fish is very common and is found all along the southern half of the coast of Australia.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Mosaic & Fan-Bellied Leatherjacket

A third instalment from my dive at Robbs Jetty last Thursday. There were quite a variety of Leatherjackets on the site and they all seemed quite relaxed in our presence. The first shot is a Mosaic Leatherjacket and the second is a Fan-Bellied Leatherjacket, both quite common in this part of the world.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Teira or Longfin Batfish

Another shot from yesterday's dive at Robbs Jetty, a few kilometers south of Fremantle in Western Australia. The Teira Batfish is extremely rare in this area as they are normally only seen in the northern half of Australia and up in to the tropical waters around SE Asia. This one is a juvenile as the upper and lower fins get shorter as they mature.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Prickly Leatherjacket

                                                     Tasseled Filefish

These shots were taken this afternoon on a dive at Robbs Jetty, which is a demolished old jetty with only stumps left in the sand underwater. The dive site is just south of Fremantle and is a shore dive with entry directly from the beach. Visibility was reasonable for this site, around 5 metres, and the jetty stumps are all covered in soft corals and weed.  The first shot is the Prickly Leatherjacket and it is fairly uncommon. I have only seen them on this site. The second shot is a Tasseled Filefish and is more common, however I have now discovered that they are both varieties of the same fish and both names are inter-changeable. It was interesting to observe the fish as they both seemed to change colour as we watched.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Lunartail Bigeye

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. I only saw a couple of these fish, but have read that they are fairly common around south east Asia.

Monday, 31 October 2011


Another shot from last Friday's dive at Mindarie. The Moonlighter is common on the reefs here and is also known as the Six Banded Coralfish and the Vinculum.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Masked Stingaree

A fairly uncommon sight in these waters! The shot was taken last Friday on a dive NW of Mindarie Marina in the northern suburbs of Perth. The Masked Stingaree is quite attractive but has a venomous spine on the tail. This one was around 50cm across.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Common Scalyfin

This shot was taken this morning on a site called Coral Gardens, which is about 5 kilometres NW of Mindarie Marina in the northern suburbs of Perth. The depth here is between 18 and 25 metres and vizibility was about 15 metres. The Common Scalyfin, not a very pretty name, is abundant around here and they are usually very bold - coming close to make popping noises and to nip at your extremities.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Paddletail Snapper - Red

This is a similar fish to the one I posted on 16th October, but the colouration is totally different. This shot was also taken at Sipadan Island.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Coral Rockcod

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. The Coral Rockcod is also know as the Coral Trout and it can be found in caves and crevices throughout the area from the north of Western Australia up into Asia. The Turtle behind it is resting as they seem to do for most of the day, only surfacing every half hour or so for a breath. If you look closely, there is a little blue and white fish at the bottom of the shot, as yet unidentified.

Truncate Coralfish

This shot was taken two days ago on a dive five kilometeres north west of Mindarie Marina, which is in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. I used to dive here regularly, but it has been some years since I was last here. The weather was overcast and visibility was around 5 - 10 metres, at a depth of 20 metres, with a lot of particles in the water. The Truncate Coralfish is very common on the reefs around Perth and they are usually seen in pairs.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


This shot is from Sipadan, off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. Damselfish come in many varieties and form colourful shoals over the branching coral. They can quickly dart for cover when they feel threatened.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Grey Nurse Shark

This shot is a bit of a cheat! I was diving in the main aquarium at AQUA, The Aquarium of Western Australia which is located at Hillarys Marina in Perth. The Grey Nurse Shark swimming towards me was 3.5 metres long and passed within touching distance! AQUA allow (for a fee!!) divers to go in the main tank in a group accompanied by one of their dive masters. It's fun to look at the other patrons looking in to the tank from the other side of the glass with shocked expressions on their faces. There is a huge range of fish and sharks in the tank, but they are very well fed and quite docile.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Blue Boxfish - Juvenile

This is typical of the bottom at 32 metres on one of the reefs NW of Hillarys Marina in Perth Western Australia. The little Blue Boxfish starts life as quite an orange colour which gradually changes as it gets older. The older males are quite blue and the females a duller yellowish/green. Blue Boxfish are often seen on the reefs around Western Australia and are also known as Smooth and Robust Boxfish. They are poisonous and should not be eaten - probably too cute to consider eating!!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Dark Surgeonfish

Another shot from Sipadan Island off Sabah, formerly Borneo. Surgeonfish come in many varieties and this one is just swimming past a Blueface Angelfish. In the distance you can see how steep the sides of the reef are, almost vertical down to 500 metres - much too deep for scuba diving, which normally only goes to around 40 metres.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Longfin Batfish

Another shot from my all time favourite dive site in the world - Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. The Longfin Batfish are very common throughout the Indo-Australian Archipelago and often congregate in quite large shoals.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bigeye Trevally

This shoal of Bigeye Trevally were cruising along the reef at Sipadan Island and the seemed completely unperturbed by our presence. The depth was around 15 metres and water temperature was 28 celsius!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Leaf Scorpionfish

Leaf Scorpionfish seem quite uncommon, but I think they are so well camouflaged that we just don't notice them. They are only 8-10cm long and sit quietly on the reef looking just like leaves! Their bodies are tall and slim and they sway gently in any current. They vary in colour from yellow through red to brown and black. These two shots were taken at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo and the fish were only a few metres apart - hopefully they are a pair.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Paddletail Snapper

This shot as taken at Sipadan Island which is situated off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. Snapper are very common around Australia and up into the tropical water of Asia. There are a huge number of varieties and they are a staple in the Fish and Chip shops here. I rather like the colouring of this one as I seldom see them.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Freckled Hawkfish

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off the NE coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. It has taken me some time to find out the exact species but I finally tracked it down- good old Google!! It's quite common on the tropical reefs around the north of Western Australia and further up into Asia.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sea Hare

Firstly - sorry about the quality of this shot, it's not as clear as I would have liked! Nonetheless, it's an interesting creature. The Sea Hare is a large invertebrate which has no outer shell and which feeds on seaweed and algae, They are rarely seen when diving and are sometimes found washed up on beaches. This one was spotted on a dive at the Abrolhos Islands and was around 75cm long. The long appendages on the head look like ears, making it look slightly like a hare.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Feather Star

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off the NW coast of Sabah, formerly Borneo. The Feather Star looks like a plant but it is in fact a creature which feeds by filtering food from the water by using its arms and passing it down to the mouth situated in the centre. they can be found at all depths and fossilised Feather Stars have been found dating back many millions of years. They are found attached to coral or as they grow older, free swimmimg.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Giant Sea Snail

During another dive at the Abrolhos Islands north of Perth we came across two of these snails within about 30 metres of each other but have never seen anyhing like it again. The snails were approximately 40cm in length, maybe larger, and both were as pictured wandering about on the reef.

Blue Angelfish

The Blue Angelfish is relatively common around the reefs of northern half of Western Australia. This shot was taken at the Abrolhos Islands, off the coast, 400Km north of Perth near Geraldton.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Lionfish - Juveniles

These two shots of baby Lionfish were taken at different times. The first is a very young Red Firefish and was captured at the Abrolhos Islands. My buddy had spotted it and was pointing to it, but I could not see what she meant. I took a shot and it was only when I was back on the boat that I could see what I'd taken. A very lucky photo as the fish was only a couple of centimetres long. The second shot was taken at Sipadan Island and is of a slightly older Common Lionfish.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Beautiful Sea Urchin

This shot was taken on a recent trip to the Abrolhos Islands, off the coast at Geraldton, 400km north of Perth. This sea urchin was incredibly brightly coloured and 'looked' soft to touch, although I didn't try! We only saw a few in the four days we were there.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sixband Angelfish

This shot was taken at Sipadan Island off Sabah, formerly Borneo, during a trip in May 2010. This species can be found in the tropical waters from the north of Australia and throughout SE Asia.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Horseshoe Leatherjacket

This species of Leatherjacket is sometimes seen on Three Mile Reef off the coast of Perth, where this shot was taken. Leatherjackets have a large poisonous spine just behind its head, and care has to be taken when handling them. The spine is usually folded down, as in this case, but when the fish becomes agitated it raises the spine. The markings on its side make it easy to guess how it got its name.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Yellowtail Angelfish

This shot was taken at the Abrolhos Islands which are off the coast about 400 kilometres north of Perth. This is about as far south as this species is found as it normally lives in tropical seas.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

At the Safety Stop!!

At the end of a dive we do a safety stop at a depth of 5 metres for 3 -5 minutes to allow the nitrogen that has built up in our bodies to dissipate. There is nothing much to look at during this time as the bottom is usually 30 metres below and out of sight. All there is to look at is blue water all around or the other divers from the boat. It can seem like a very long three minutes!! The middle shot above is of my dive buddy, Carol, and she is carrying a torch and cray loop which are used for catching Crayfish during the open season.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Black Spotted Puffer, Map Puffer and White Spotted Puffer

These shots show three different varieties from the Pufferfish family and all were taken at Sipadan Island off Sabah, formerly Borneo. The first is the Black Spotted Pufferfish which can vary in colour from grey to yellow and blue and all have dark lips. The second is the Map Pufferfish and the third is the White Spotted Pufferfish, which is at a cleaning station being 'serviced' by two Bicolour Cleanerfish.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Peacock Rockcod

Another shot captured at Sipadan Island off Sabah, formerly Borneo. This species can be found all over the tropical seas to the north of Australia and it inhabits the caves and crevices of coral reefs.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Beaked Coralfish

This is another shot from Mabul Island and shows a pair of Beaked Coralfish. They are part of the Angel and Butterfly Fish family.