Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Back to the Surface!!!

The end of a perfect dive under perfect conditions. This shot was taken at the Abrolhos Islands after a 30 metre deep dive, while doing a safety stop at five metres. The visibilty was great and the water warm. The skipper, Luke, was waiting to take our cameras before we climbed back on deck and lunch was ready and waiting. Fantastic!!

Red Breasted Wrasse - Sipadan

Another shot from my trip to Sipadan last year. This colourful  Red Breasted Wrasse seems to have lost part of its tail - but it didn't seem to slow him down!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Humphead Maori Wrasse

This shot was take at Sipadan Island off the north east coast of Borneo. This fish is fairly young as it has not yet developed the characteristic hump on its head which grows with age and they can get to over a metre in length. I'm not sure what the blue 'thing' is to the right of the fish!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Batavia Wreck Site (1629)

Firstly - apologies for the quality of these images, but they were taken under difficult circumstances while snorkelling on the ancient wreck of Dutch ship Batavia, which struck a reef at the Abrolhos Islands on 4th June 1629. The ship was lost but most of the 322 crew and passengers survived the sinking. Due to the fact that there was no food or water on the islands and fighting between different factions, many perished. Part of the hull of the ship has been recovered and has been restored and is now in the Western Australian Museum - Shipwreck Gallery in Fremantle. The site is protected as a historical wreck and lies in only 7 or 8 metres of water around 200 metres off Beacon Island in the Abrolhos Islands. The first image is of a canon and the second is an anchor. Both remarkably well preserved after 382 years under water.The site stretches for quite a distance around a central patch of white sand, from where the surviving timbers were raised. Many artifacts, including canon and anchors still lie on the bottom, but most have been removed to Fremantle.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Blackfin Barracuda - Sipadan

The dive site Barracuda Point at Sipadan is well named! The schools of Barracuda can be huge as they sit in a strong current, constantly circling. In the shallower parts close to the reef the water is 10 -12 metres deep and the current so strong, that you have to find something solid to hang on to, just to stay there and watch the fish. In the deeper water the schools seem unperturbed as you swim among them. The current, although strong, is quite safe as it quickly dissipates a few metres away as the water gets deeper.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Blue Faced Angel Fish

This beautiful shot was captured while diving at Sipadan Island near Borneo. It's easy to see how it got its name!!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Harlequin Fish

The Harlequin Fish looks very like a large trout and they are found regularly sitting on the bottom on the reefs around Perth. This shot was taken at around 25 metres deep and the fish was quietly resting on the bottom.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Red Fan Coral with Long Nose Hawkfish

This beautiful fan was growing at about 15 metres deep on a vertical face. The little fish in the middle  is a Long Nose Hawkfish and is perfectly camouflaged in the coral, just waiting for a meal to pass by.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Ornate Ghost Pipefish

This cute little fish was incredibly difficult to find as it is only around 3 inches long. It's head is at the bottom of the picture and it hovered in the same spot without appearing to move. We dived the same site, at Sipadan Island, a few days later and it was still in the same place, just outside Turtle Cavern.

Cleaning Station

This was in interesting collection of different fish species and a turtle at a cleaning station, where several small blue fish were removing parasites, dead skin and other debris from the patient queue!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Scorpion Cod on Key Biscayne Wreck at Lancelin WA

This Scorpion Cod was among some hard and soft corals on the base of the wreck of the Key Biscayne, a drilling rig that sank during a storm in 1983 whilst being towed to Fremantle for repair. The rig lies upside down in 42 metres of clear water and is on a sandy bottom. The fish is extremely well camouflaged and difficult to see, but the beady eye gives it away!

Big Bitey!!

Not sure of the species but this shark was 3-4 metres in length but it seemed fairly relaxed and just swam past me. This shot was taken at Bega Lagoon in Fiji.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

White Tipped Reef Sharks

Reef sharks are very common in tropical waters and they are generally quite timid. These shots show that on the more popular dive sites they become used to divers and it is quite safe to approach them. Both of these sharks were five to six feet long and the lower shot shows one 'resting' on the bottom. It also has a Remora attached to it. Remora are often seen attached to sharks by small suckers and they eat scraps of food left when the shark feeds.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Bumphead Parrotfish

On a recent visit to Borneo I was lucky enough to see a school of Bumphead Parrotfish slowly parading along the edge of the reef. The school was in a column which was about five fish deep and five fish wide and they took several minutes to pass. When the tail end got alongside us, the rear fish started to turn around and go back and before long the whole school had turned around and slowly passed us again.


I don't often see an Octopus and when I do they are usually completely hidden in a hole with just a beady eye looking up. This one was slowly moving across the reef either on the 'hunt' or moving from one safe haven to another.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Busselton Jetty - Bullseyes, Globe Fish & Mosaic Leatherjacket

Busselton Jetty, situated about 250 kilometres south of Perth was built about 145 years ago and is constructed of timber and is 1.8 kilometres long. There is an underwater observatory near the end which enables members of the public to view the scenery normally only viewed by divers. The first shot shows the wooden piles which support the structure. They are surrounded by a school of Bullseyes and the piles are covered in a luxurious growth of soft corals making it feel like you are in a forrest. The second shot is of a small group of Globe Fish and the third is a Mosaic Leatherjacket surrounded b y a variety of other species. The jetty is a popular fishing spot and is fantastic for diving, particularly at night.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Turtles at Sipadan

Turtles are found all around the Island of Sipadan and as it is a protected area, they are unperturbed by divers around them all the time. They can be found resting on the reef, only surfacing for an occasional breath before resuming their rest. They fearlessly swim close to divers and often brush past to get to a favourite resting spot.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Moray Eels

These pictures were also taken on my Sipadan trip in May 2010. Moray Eels are so fierce looking, and presumably could give a nasty bite, however, they always seem very placid when I come across them. I have even stroked one!! Each of the eels pictured is thicker than my arm and around 5 feet long! The first shot shows a Cleaner Fish giving the Moray its daily spruce up.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Anenome Fish

These shots were taken last year on a trip to Sipadan Island off the north east coast of Borneo. The first shot is of a family of Clown Anenome Fish who were being incredibly brave and trying to frighten me off. The second shot is a more timid Pink Anenome Fish which was tucked safely in its home. These are probably my favourite fish species and I generally fire shot after shot when I come across them.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Soft Coral Contrast

These shots were taken at 30 metres and show the difference with and without flash (not the same scene). The reef is very colourful but without a light source the reds become a dull brown and the blues become grey. It shows up dramatically while diving as the only patches of colour are where your torch is pointing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Bullseyes are common on almost every dive on Three Mile Reef off the coast of Perth. They form in shoals in the hundreds and just hang in the water above the reef like a giant curtain. As you swim through them they part slowly and reform when you have passed - hardly seeming to move!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Western Blue Devil

A very common sight on most dives on Three Mile Reef is the Western Blue Devil. They are quite solitary and rarely seem to move from the over-hangs under the reef. They are a spectacularly coloured and pose well for photographs!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Pseudorhiza Haeckeli!! - Interesting Jellyfish!!

This Jellyfish drifted past me while I was doing a safety stop at 5 metres following a dive on Three Mile Reef south of Hillarys Marina in Perth. It took me ages to discover what it was - and even now I have doubts as to its type.