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.
Another specimen of mediterranean fanworm among dust-covered weeds.
A large yellow boring sponge being cleaned by a sea cucumber that serves as an underwater vacuum cleaner.
Fanworm growing from a dusty (otherwise quite colourful) rock.
Another fanworm among boulders on otherwise flat bottom. The reef would be nice if there was no mud there.
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.
A usual inhabitant of the muddy bottom, eleven-armed prickly sea star.
Fanworm hunting for prey in the current of incoming tide.
Yellow nipple sponges on the slope leading to the mouth of Mahurangi Harbour.
Fanworm hiding among plants covered by fine dust.
Even though the harbour is very silty and weeds are covered with omnipresent dust, some sponges are surprisingly clean and have bright colours.