Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Claveria Diving 3.31, Best Photos Day 1

My diving and my photography are inseparable. The second I'm in the water and sink down to my home away from home the sights come at me like visual explosions. The creatures, the shapes, the colors, the movement, it all comes at you continually, from around corners, from above, from below, from everywhere. I never know what I will see but when I do I want to capture it for later examination and enjoyment.

At the end of last month, May 2012, during our week's dive trip out of the Claveria Lagoon we got in four complete days of diving. My next four posts will be about the best stills taken during each of those four days.   Enjoy!
A colony of bright orange anemone with the obligatory anemone fish, also called a clown-fish, hovering in and about the tendrils for protection.

Much of the underwater areas near the lagoon consists of high sheer cliff faces, much of it covered with various species of gorgonians and ascidians. Gorgonians, or sea fans, don't usually grow from the sea bottom but almost always attach to the sides of cliffs to exploit water currents from which they extract nourishment.

I once knew the name of this creature, that looks for all the world like some kind of confused spiderweb. I've seen samples of this species where the individual "strings" reach out five or six feet from its center.

These "goldies" are ubiquitous in the waters of the Philippines. They love to hang out along the sides of steep piles of rock and coral, especially where currents are strong.

A whimsical shot of my dive partner's flippers 

This beautiful creature is a type of tube worm that will explode back into its tube when disturbed.
I've seen lots of these things on Mindoro and much larger. I still haven't definitely Id'd it, maybe some kind of ugly large nudibranch? 

I believe this is some kind of ascidian, but don't know for sure.

Moorish Idols, unmistakably!

Lots of wrasses here, including a parrotfish, which I believe is also a type of wrasse
There are times when fish and coral come together to make a special shot like this

I've seen this green type of moss creature before but never to this extent
I first observed these jelly like things last year on my first trip to Claveria. Notice how they can close up making themselves look like some kind of strange onion or garlic root, or they open up like a basket full of vertical rubber tubes. I'm thinking its some kind of anemone.

These fish look green in this shot, but they look bluish closer to the surface. They are between 6 and 9 inches long and dart through the water in these large shoals in a big hurry. First you see them, then you don't.
I was attracted to this anemone colony because I've never seen a species with this shading, with the tubes violet blue on the ends and greenish on the base. Notice also the tube anemone in the center with the two little blue wrasses along with the clownfish peering out from inside his protective anemone tubes.

I found this oddly shaped coral with the overall flower shaped petals with polyp bumps growing from the petals. 
I've seen lots of this stuff. Its probably a type of coral. Notice also the small trumpet fish hanging vertical at the center left of the clump.

The flash caught this little guy perfectly in my flash, with its beautiful color and marking, under a large clump of coral. You can see it forms a small cavernous tunnel with the water showing through the other side.
I've been looking all over the internet for what this is. Haven't given up yet. (Ahhh, reader Ed points out that this is a type of surgeonfish. Thanks to Ed Abbey for that. 

These fish almost look like small sturgeons. I've seen them everywhere. I should know what it is...
I've seen these rubbery green "bean" before, but never in this type of formation.

A closer shot of the rubbery "beans"
A type of sponge, you see them everywhere, or is it coral?

Another interesting coral formation
I like the coral formation in the foreground which accentuates the fish fluttering against the blue background


Ed said...

I thought your mystery fish looked like a surgeonfish so I googled it and found many pictures that look like it under the name Philippine Surgeonfish.

I love the pictures. I bet if they could come up with a way to stay down there for days on end, one could easily do so.

PhilippinesPhil said...

You are right. Its definitely some sort of surgeonfish. Thanks. The varieties of which are endless.