For a long time I’ve been intrigued by the wild, unearthly colours of sponges. My experience with them was very limited while I was living in Europe. There are (almost) no sponges in fresh water, also they are not so typical for the underwater scenery of Mediterranean Sea. When we moved to New Zealand and I started to dive in the murky waters around Auckland, that was one of my first experiences … large areas of bright yellow and orange encrusting sponges protruding from the grey bottom. By ‘large’ I mean a couple of metres long!
Last year we went for a trip to Whangarei / Whangarei Heads. To visit the marine reserve near Reotahi was a part of the plan. The place did not disappoint me. Actually, I got hooked … in spite of the murky water. Clouds of juvenile fish, schools of pelagics, kingfish hunting in the current … all of that was there. And big sponges on the flat bottom and the rocks. Some of them were really huge, like this one on the picture.