Murky Browns Bay

The warm dry Indian summer is over, some heavy rain came to Auckland. After a full day of raining a blue sky appeared. I could resist and went to check my “fun” location of Browns Bay.

The ocean was very calm, almost like a mirror with a great view showing Rangitoto, Motutapu, Rakino and Tiritiri Matangi islands washed by blue water. However, a closer look has shown the water was milky, with almost zero visibility at the shore. I kitted up anyway, swam a little off shore to shallow rocks to see if it would improve. It did but only a little to about half a meter. I was quite nervous when “bushes” of kelp kept appearing from the murky background right in front of my nose. I started to thing about aborting the dive then suddenly something bright red and big moved fast in front of my mask. An octopus got scared and disappeared in a crack between two rocks. It changed its colour immediately to blend with the rock surface. I tried to take a couple of pictures of it but in that poor visibility I was not very successful.

The experience encouraged me so I continued with the dive focusing on small life forms like triplefins, cushion sea stars, tunicates, sponges, nudibranches etc. which I could and had to watch from a short distance. After seventy minutes with still enough air in my tank I surfaced into a lovely sunny afternoon. The conclusion: Browns Bay often surprises me. Today I experienced the worst visibility I can remember, but could see an octopus there for the first time.

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