Goat Island Long Swim

27/10/2016 (602)

I did a surface swim to the most eastern point of Goat Island, checked the direction back to the beach with a compass and descended. I’ve spent about half an hour around the rocks in that area, then crossed the channel and got to the beach along the rocky platforms under the marine laboratory. Water was quite clear at the island, with up to 10m visibility, but got much worse under the platforms. It was low tide and the swell was disturbing everything.

Big snappers followed me most of the time. They usually keep some distance, but not during this dive. I am quite surprised by a lack of kelpfish and blue cod this spring. Or maybe they just moved to other places. Close to the beach I saw a big eagle ray under one of the platforms. The depth was only about 1.5m, it was a funny feeling, people were standing on top of it, could not see it, but were wondering what I was looking at.

I was using a 10mm lens during the dive so had to skip a lot of wonderful subjects. Also I realised it was not a big fun to do that long swim with such a big camera, but perhaps I am just getting old 🙂

Spiny lobster in crack

Spiny lobster (called crayfish in NZ) sharing the crack with sea urchins.

Large snapper in kelp forest

Big snapper Pagrus auratus among kelp. Unfortunately the 10mm lens makes it small.

Snapper in dark valley

A nice area with dark valleys among steep rocky walls where snapper shines in strobe light.

Diver and fish

DIver (me) and a snapper at rocky reef covered with kelp. I rarely wear snorkel during scuba diving, only when long surface swims are planned.

Colourful sea weeds

Seaweeds of various colours. Originally I wanted to make a picture the leatherjacket under the overhang, but with that wide lens it was not possible.

Swell in shallows

A rocky platform under the marine laboratory, the swell is moving here and there, so everything with it.

Diver and fish

A kelpfish came to say hello. It’s interesting snappers get jealous sometimes and try to scare other fish away. Not in this case, they were just watching the interaction from the distance.