Thursday, 6 December 2012

Great White Shark

These shots were taken about four hours ago - on Three Mile Reef at Mindarie, north of Perth. My heart and breathing rates have never been higher!! Visibility was only about 10 metres and the shark was around 3.5 - 4 metres long, more than twice my body length! It circled us for 6 - 7 minutes and came as close as two metres. I didn't manage to get close up shots as I was getting ready to defend myself, but my dive buddy, Carol, managed to get shots 3 and 4 as the beast passed beside us. Great Whites, according to the local books are infrequently found in coastal waters so I suppose I was lucky? to see this one.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Western Rock Cod

This shot was taken at Billy's Basin, a dive site off Mindarie north of Perth. The water was quite murky but this fish was in a sheltered spot under the reef. The Western Rock Cod is very well camouflaged, difficult to spot and it's spines are very venomous, so we always treat them with respect!!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Stars and Stripes Pufferfish

This shot was taken at a dive site, known locally as Coral Gardens, off Mindarie Marina north of Perth. The Stars and Stripes Pufferfish or Toadfish is fairly uncommon as far south as Perth. The local waters seem to be becoming warmer in recent years and this has brought some unusual more exotic species on to our dive sites.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Harlequin Fish - Dark Brown Colour Variation

This shot of a Harlequin Fish was taken yesterday at a dive site called Gordons Grotto off Mindarie Marine north of Perth. This is my third post of this species, the previous two showing a bright red and an orange coloured variety.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Grey Nurse Shark

This shot was taken yesterday during a dive in the main Aquarium Tank at AQWA - the Aquarium of Western Australia at Hillarys Marina in Perth Western Australia. Conditions in the ocean have been poor due to lack of visibility so I went for a dive with the sharks in the aquarium. This shot is of a 3.5 metre female Grey Nurse Shark as she passed within a metre of me.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Bottlenose Dolphins at the Abrolhos Islands

One of the additional benefits of boat diving is the chance to see a variety of creatures on the way to and from the dive sites. On this occasion we had a small pod of Bottlenose Dolphins playing in and around the bow wave of the boat. An absolute delight to watch.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Yellow - Western Red Scorpioncod!!

This shot was taken by my dive buddy Carol Lawton during a dive we did last Saturday morning at the Coral Gardens dive site off Mindarie Marina north of Perth. The second shot is a repost of an earlier photo showing the more normal colouring for this fish. The Scorpioncod varies in colour according to how deep they are found but none of the literature mentions a completely yellow version. The Scorpioncod is very venomous and should not be handled. If anyone has experience of this colouring I would be keen to hear from you.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Cave Entrance on a reef near Mindarie Marina

This shot was taken three weeks ago on a shallow - 10 to 12 metres deep - reef near Mindarie Marina just north of Perth in Western Australia. It shows my long time dive buddy, Carol, waiting for me to exit a cave in the reef. The reefs around here are limestone and have lots of caves and swim-thru's.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Caves at Gordon's Grotto - Mindarie, Western Australia

These shots were taken on 25th April 2012 at a dive site called Gordon's Grotto off Mindarie Marina, which is north of Perth in Western Australia.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mosaic Leatherjacket (Female)

This shot was captured yesterday on my dive at the Coral Gardens dive site off Mindarie Marina north of Perth. These leatherjackets are quite common on this reef system and I was lucky to get this close-up.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Giant Australian Cuttlefish

This sequence of shots was taken this morning at a dive site called Coral Gardens off the coast at Mindarie Marina north of Perth. It shows a large Cuttlefish with a meal in its tentacles and the sequence was taken over a two minute period. It's interesting how quickly the colours change! This particular Cuttlefish was around 60cm in length.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Common Scalyfin - Juvenile

The Common Scalyfin is as the name suggests, very common around Perth and they are dull brown coloured and relatively uninteresting. They are very territorial and will defend their 'patch' by swimming at divers, making popping noises and nipping at wetsuits. The young of the species are quite brightly coloured and timid and this one is hiding behind a small Sea Squirt. They gradually lose their colour as the get older ending up as dark brown.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

White-Barred Boxfish (Juvenile)

This juvenile White-Barred Boxfish was swimming with a Common Bullseye when I captured this shot at the Coral Garden dive site off Mindarie Marina north of Perth. The colour of the Boxfish changes to a dramatic bright orange with white markings when they mature. They are fairly common on this reef system and have a strange swimming style, being propelled by the fins which are just in front of the tail.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Western King Wrasse

Another shot from a recent dive at 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie Marina north of Perth. The Western King Wrasse is very common but quite timid and difficult to photograph. This one is a male, but I posted a female on 11th February 2012 which shows the difference in markings.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Western Blue Devil

The ubiquitous Western Blue Devil is seen on almost every local dive in the waters around Perth in Western Australia. Although seen constantly by divers they are largely unknown to non-divers as they are rarely caught by fishermen and their habit of sitting quietly in caves or under ledges means that they are not easily spotted from above the surface.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Western Australian Jewfish

This shot is from 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie Marina north of Perth and was taken on 29th March 2012. The Jewfish is relatively common in this area but most fish we see nowadays are juveniles like this one.The Jewfish is probably the most prized table fish in Western Australia and because of this, the larger fish are quite uncommon. Fish between 10 and 20 kilos were commonplace at one time but now are rarely seen.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Gold-Spotted Sweetlips

The Gold-spotted Sweetlips is fairly uncommon, but this shot was captured on my last dive on 29th April 2012 at the 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie north of Perth. The golden spots become more prolific as the fish ages. This fish was quite timid so I was lucky to get such a close look at it.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Western Red Scorpioncod

This shot was taken last week at the 'Playground' dive site which is located just north of Fremantle and about 3-4 kilometres off the coast. It is 27 metres deep. The Western Red Scorpioncod is fairly common but very well camouflaged and often missed as it looks a dull brown colour to the naked eyed under water. The flashgun brings out the real colour. They like to lurk on top of sponges and wait for prey to pass. The spines are venomous and care must be take when diving on the reefs as it is easy to miss seeing one and almost place a hand on it.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Zebra Fish and Sergeant Baker

Another shot from yesterdays dive on The 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie. The Zebra Fish on the left was swimming past the Sergeant Baker below and on the right. Both species are quite common and it was a lucky co-incidence to capture both together.

Blue-Lined Leatherjacket

Another shot from yesterdays dive at The 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie north of Perth. The Blue-Lined Leatherjacket is common on the reefs in Western Australia and at times, like this one, is quite happy to approach divers.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Red-Lipped Morwong

This shot was taken a couple of hours ago on the 'Strip' off Mindarie at a site called the 23 Metre Ledge. These fish are very common on the reefs around Perth but it's unusual to get this close before they move off.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Harlequin Fish

These shots were taken last Sunday at a site known locally as "The Playground" - named because, when you reach the bottom at 27 metres, there is so much to see you don't know where to start!
The Harlequin Fish is quite common on the deeper offshore reefs and is sometime confused with the Coral Trout.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Long-Headed Flathead

These shots were taken on yesterdays dive near Fremantle in 27 metres of quite clear water. This Flathead was sitting quietly on the bottom probably waiting for some prey to swim past. The dorsal fin spines are venomous but they are not aggressive. This one was around 60cm long.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Flatworm Swimming

These shots were taken while on a safety stop at the end of a dive this morning off the coast near Fremantle. Flatworms are common in the ocean and they are soft bodied invertebrates with no body cavity. They absorb oxygen and nutrients through their skin and come in a variety of sizes and colours.  They are very attractive while they swim freely with an undulating movement.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Common Bullseyes

This shoal of Common Bullseyes were sitting quietly over the Kelp on top of the 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie Marina a few days ago.

Friday, 17 February 2012

White Barred Boxfish and Western Blue devil

Both of these fish species are very common on the off-shore reefs around Perth. This shot was taken at the 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie Marina in Perth's northern suburbs a few days ago. It was nice to catch both species in the same shot.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Common Buffalo Bream

This shot was taken from the 23 Metre Ledge off the coast at Mindarie Marina a few days ago. Several Buffalo Bream were passing a few metres out from the reef, just too far for my flash to be effective.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Striped Catfish - Juvenile

The Striped catfish is not see very often on the reefs around Perth, however, the juveniles are often found in crevices and caves on the reef or even in man-made structure such as large pipes etc. They usually form closely packed balls for protection.  This shot was taken on the 23 Metre Ledge NW of Mindarie Marina, which is located in Perth's northern suburbs.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Pair of Mosaic Leatherjackets

These shots were taken two days ago on the 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie Marina north of Perth. The fish were swimming together - the first shot is the male and the second the female.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Breaksea Cod

Another shot from yesterdays dive at the 23 Metre Ledge off Mindarie Marina. The Breaksea Cod varies in colour from yellowish orange in deep water to dark brown in shallower water. This one was at around 20 metres.