It’s silty out there

The Nor’Easterlies tend to make diving a bit hit and miss in Cabbage Tree Bay at this time of year – choppy onshore swell and poor visibility, but this just makes it more of a challenge to find interesting stuff.

Some of the highlights were the Gold-spotted sweetlips (rarely seen in CTBAR), a couple of butterflyfish, an orange basslet, grubfish and an as yet unidentified trevally – let me know if you think you know what species it is. There are also quite a few Samson fish cruising around in small groups.

The Cleaning Station

 

Mystery object - any guesses?

Mystery object – any guesses?

First up – who knows what this is? Answer at the bottom!

Some photos today from one of the many cleaning stations in the aquatic reserve. With fish lining up one after another the resident cleaner wrasse were kept busy. Fish assume an oblique prone position to display their intentions, on which signal the cleaner wrasse move in. They scan the whole body, mouth, even under gill covers looking for parasites, dead skin, or clean up infected wounds.

Meanwhile nearby an isopod appears to be investigating the eye of a wobbegong. This might even be a parasitic type that has found a soft part of the wobbegong to attach to.

The answer to the mystery object ….. Wobbegong Shark “whiskers”, skin lobes on the bottom jaw

Summer diving

Despite a strong SE swell some of the protected areas of the reserve offered good visibility today. Plenty of Wobbegong sharks are congregating for the breeding season and the first few tropical have started appearing. It wa salso nice to see a few nudibranchs present in the bay.

The pygmy leatherjackets have paired off and very possessive larger males are guarding their mates as they patrol the leafy reefs.