Thursday, October 9, 2008

Decorated Warbonnets at Seacrest

Decorated Warbonnet-6
Originally uploaded by Pixel Letch.
We've been spotting these guys now again this summer. They are rare to see and very shy, usually hiding away deep in a nook or cranny. They seem to like the wood pilings at Seacrest Park, our local after work divesite here in Seattle and do tend to come out a bit at night.

A few weeks ago, while testing my drysuit (and without camera, of course) we found 5 of them on one log!
I had to go back with my camera and see if I could hunt them down. There is one very large Warbonnet, maybe 12-15' (and they are only supposed to get to 10") at the end of the log. I call him "Big Daddy". Then there are usually a few smaller ones around. I found Big Daddy ok, and he was playing his usual games of diving into the interior of the log. But as I was swimming away, I saw another freely swimming down the log. But quickly lost it (her?) in the growth. I swam around for a while hoping they'd poke out again and searching the log I found it amongst the tunicates, sponge and anemones.

Having a clear go, I cranked off a huge amount of shots, as the D80 and z240 strobes can shoot very quickly. Shot with/without my woody diopter and between f/14-f/16 at 100th sec.

I was quite pleased with the results and on the way back almost missed one of the largest octopus I've ever seen. Apparently there are 3 of them hanging around, keeping the crab population in check. Macro to wide angle; Seacrest is an amazing site.