Good Crop of Orange Golfballs

Orange golfball sponges under kelp

I’ve made this picture close to the Ti Point wharf at the mouth of Whangateau Harbour near Leigh. On the right side of the wharf, basically right in front of that boat mini-ramp there is a maze of huge boulders. The area is not big, but it’s packed with interesting features. One of them, the most popular, is the presence of seahorses and pipefish. I’ve never seen seahorses there, I reckon I am not patient enough. I saw a couple of pipefish, but that just happened, I was not looking for them.

From my perspective the area is nice even if we forget seahorses. Tall weed stacks reaching to the surface form a forest that hides a rich crop of colourful sponges (Tethya burtoni on the picture). Nudibranches, sea stars, crabs and triplefins live among them. Schools of parore (Girella tricuspidata) move here and there. There is even a fish cleaning station among the boulders. And big schools of pelagic fish often cruise by into and out of the harbour. Ah, I should not forget the octopuses around the wharf.

So much on such a small space. Of course, this is not a dream diving location, the visibility is often poor, but when the open ocean goes wild, this is a sheltered spot to enjoy.