Posted by Max Bottomtime on October 10, 2016 at 18:12:09:|
I found sixteen species of nudibranchs at Marineland on a dive a dozen years ago. That was the most I had found until yesterday. My new record is eighteen! First, a little back story.
Kevin Lee is a two time Photographer of the Year with the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society. His photos have appeared in books and magazines from North America to Asia. He has photographed underwater on all seven continents. California Diving News has used fourteen of Kevin's images for its covers. Hans Bertsch's latest book Marine Invertebrates of Northwest Mexico features many of Kevin's photos including the cover shot. His works are on permanent display at Chapman University and the University of Connecticut. He appeared as the sole guest on the Chapman University television program Dialogue With Doty and Dodge. Merry and I have been fortunate to be Kevin's dive buddies for the past five years. He won't be with us next weekend as he will be in Illinois receiving yet another honor. I think it is the Luckiest Man in America Award. We really hate Kevin.
I wanted to find a reef that would be worthy of carrying the name Kevin's Reef. I found one a few years ago but didn't get around to diving it until recently. I'm kicking myself for not diving it sooner. Kevin's Reef is a house sized rock a half mile off Christmas Tree Cove. It has walls, a sandy bottom and a gully carved through the center of the reef. It's impossible to shine a light anywhere without exposing one form of marine life or another. It is now our go-to dive site.
I do! I do!
We sometimes go a couple of years without seeing black sea hares but they are all over Kevin's Reef. I even found a single California sea hare, Aplysia californica trying to blend in amongst a pile of black sea hares. I spent more than two and a half hours on the reef yesterday, the first sixty minutes scouring a single rock not much larger than I. Every time I would photograph a nudibranch I would spot another species a few inches away. This continued for most of the day.
Nudibranchs are not the only draw to Kevin's Reef. Sponges, tunicates, bryozoan, octopus, crabs and fish are plentiful here as well.
A few other sponges...
I found some mystery eggs. We'll try for better images next week and a possible identification.
While photographing a nudi I saw movement above me. A Yellowfin fringehead was poking out of its den in an abandoned barnacle shell. As I got off a few shots it exited his home and came to rest on top of the reef. Five feet away was another Yellowfin fringehead out in the open.
Most of these photos were shot within twenty five feet of each other. Maybe next time I'll explore more of the reef.
|Optional Link URL:|
|Optional Link Title:|
|Optional Image URL:|
|Post Background Color:||White Black|
|Post Area Page Width:||Normal Full|
|You must type in the
scrambled text key to
This is required to
help prevent spam bots
from flooding this BBS.