More Images from Otarawao Bay


More images from my last dive in Otarawao (Sullivans) Bay in Mahurangi Harbour. The incoming tide was running, the visibility was very poor. Anyway, enjoy the images … I’ve made most of them to document the (new) presence of mediterranean fanworm Sabella spallanzanii in the bay.

Fanworm among seaweeds

Another specimen of mediterranean fanworm among dust-covered weeds.

Sponge cleaned by sea cucumber

A large yellow boring sponge being cleaned by a sea cucumber that serves as an underwater vacuum cleaner.

Fanworm on dusty rock

Fanworm growing from a dusty (otherwise quite colourful) rock.

Fanworm among muddy rocks

Another fanworm among boulders on otherwise flat bottom. The reef would be nice if there was no mud there.

Rich life in dusty environment

Even though the fine dust is everywhere, the reef and the plants support surprisingly rich variety of life forms. Hydroids and tunicates grow on weeds, anemones and sponges occupy the rocks underneath, triplefins rest on leaves, nudibranches crawl up and down.

Prickly sea star on mud

A usual inhabitant of the muddy bottom, eleven-armed prickly sea star.

Fanworm under seaweeds

Fanworm hunting for prey in the current of incoming tide.

Nipple sponges on muddy bottom

Yellow nipple sponges on the slope leading to the mouth of Mahurangi Harbour.

Fanworm among seaweeds

Fanworm hiding among plants covered by fine dust.

Red sponge under seaweeds

Even though the harbour is very silty and weeds are covered with omnipresent dust, some sponges are surprisingly clean and have bright colours.