Looking for Tiny Sea Creatures

A diver approaches a sea whip (Ellisella grandis) on a reef wall for a closer look. These red corals are very pretty themselves, but it’s fun to stop and take a close look. Sometimes you can find tiny, well camouflaged creatures such as sea whip shrimp, simnia snail, and whip coral goby.

Pincushion Under the Sea

You see these cute, poofy looking sea stars often in tropical waters such as the Indo-Pacific region. Culcita novaeguineae (cushion star), looks like an overstuffed cushion, but they are not soft at all. I must confess I flipped this one upside down to take a picture. I did flip it back and set it right side up after I took the picture. It was very quick.

One Reason Why You Want Advanced Skills

There are several off-shore oil rigs we can dive in Southern California. It is only for divers with advanced cold water diving skills. You must have excellent buoyancy control and the skills to handle the unexpected conditions to enjoy this surreal beauty. The rigs are hundreds of feet deep, there is usually strong surge, and current can change suddenly. When we dive the oil rigs, we remind ourselves to take extra caution as we jump in. Then, we descend down to marvel at the underwater structure that is completely covered with sea anemones, scallops, mussels, brittle stars, etc. and see large schools of fish and sea lions swim around us.

I Found Nemo's House

Komodo, in the famed Coral Triangle, is one of my favorite dive destinations. The diversity and abundance of marine life in this region are simply amazing. I waited by this purple anemone (Heteractis magnifica) for the resident clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) to come out. Watching these guys swim in, out, and around the sea anemone never gets old.

You Don't See Me... Do You?

I saw this trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculates) “hiding” under a palm frond. The shape of the fish is so similar to the stem of the palm frond. The fish can simply hang out underneath the palm and avoid being noticed.