Golf Ball Reef is ALIVE!

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Posted by Merry on June 01, 2016 at 18:16:52:

Golf Ball Reef is ~5/8 mile offshore between Flat Rock and Haggarty's, but closer to Haggarty's. For months, it looked, well, dead. Gorgonians were covered in brown gunk. There were no juvenile fish, no nudis. Most invertebrate life seemed to be smothered by silt. Thankfully, things have turned around on our favorite reef. Fifty-two degree water and plenty of surge tested our patience, but we enjoyed 25 - 30 ft. vis over the holiday.

It bugs me a little when people refer to a nudi as "rare", when in actuality it simply occurs in low numbers for a time and isn't seen very often, or it's cryptic and easily missed. In this case, Thordisa rubescens is indeed a rare find. Since 1981, there have been only 4 documented occurrences.

Thordisa rubescens, Red Thordisa
 photo DSC_4449 Merry Passage _zpszfusrtdp.jpg

 photo DSC_4474 Merry Passage_zpsb7f1jocd.jpg

Phil found a large Peltodoris mullineri, Mulliner's Dorid. This makes 3 coveted nudis that were spotted in the same area last month.
 photo Peltodoris mullineri DSC_4511_zps7ymxt6lk.jpg

Diaulula sandiegensis
 photo Diaulula sandiegensis DSC_4433_zpsr7ld5rfe.jpg

THEY'RE BAAAAK! Pin-head size Eubranchus rustyus.
 photo Eubranchus rustyus DSC_4478_zpsz6x2x4va.jpg

Here's a village of Polycera atra with their egg ribbons on Bugula.
 photo Polycera atra Hermosa DSC_4092_zpsg8qkbpzt.jpg

Polycera atra
 photo Polycera atra DSC_4402_zpsipys1qdt.jpg

Paguristes ulreyi, Furry hermit crab.
 photo Paguristes ulreyi DSC_4509_zpsc7cuhv2f.jpg

Loxorhynchus grandis, Sheep crab.
 photo Sheepcrab face DSC_4436_zpsohiih8pf.jpg

Trivia californica, Coffee Bean Snail
 photo Trivia californica DSC_4455_zpsvdk2inpm.jpg

Phoronopsis californica, California phoronid.
 photo California phoronid DSC_4367_zpsyjs9gf19.jpg

A light-color version of the California phoronid.
 photo California phoronid DSC_4370_zpsipcgf5rc.jpg

We've seen juvenile scorpionfish on every dive lately.
 photo Scorpionfish juven DSC_4515_zps5iukgbku.jpg

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