Thursday, March 26, 2009

Maybe I've been wrong all along....

Yesterday I was doing the navigation portion of an Advanced Open Water certification. Part of what we have to do for that is run a 100' course while counting kick cycles and timing it. We have a 150' line on the boat for this so I took it down for the students to follow. I'd guessed at the viz to be 70-80 as it was a mediocre day... well, 100' of the line out and I could still see my divers, barely. I guess I'll have to call it 70-80 feet of "good" viz, but viz was more in the 100' range. Now I'm tempted to take the line down on a good day just to see what the viz really is. I've always called some of our better days as 100'+, but I'm now betting it's actually much better than that.

So you're probably looking at the picture above and wondering what's interesting about it... it's a wire coral in front of my hand (I had to give the camera something to focus on)... but that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is what's on it. It practically takes a magnifying glass, but if you saw this particular wire coral while underwater you might notice there are not one, but two, Barred Wire Coral Shrimp living on it. Here's the slightly closer view with the shrimp circled. These little guys are tough to spot. I'd noticed one on this particular coral several months back, then decided to check on it a few weeks ago and noticed a shrimp of a different size than I remembered. Last week I decided to pop a quick picture of it, I thought there were two shrimp on it at the time (they tend to crawl to the opposite side of the coral when you get close enough to investigate) and the pic confirms it.

Now I'm wanting to break out my closeup lenses and external strobe and see if I can get a picture of one. They're much larger than the Siphopteron Quadrispinosum I took a picture of the last summer (I'm thinking I posted pics last June or July) with the closeup setup, so there's potential for a good picture if I'm lucky.



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