Good things come in small packages, like allied cowries, porcelain crabs, decorator crabs, and whip gobies. We waited an entire year for this day – the one day in each year we insanely decide to spend 12 hours out at sea diving 4 dives including a thrilling night dive for the sake of showcasing Hantu’s wildlife and it’s potential for bringing diversity, pleasure, and inspiration into the lives of locals and those who visit our country.
This March we commemorate 4 years of diving and blogging. Through the years we’ve managed to miraculously organise 56 dives to Hantu (excluding your research and training dives!) and led almost 500 members of the public into Hantu waters! It really has been super, and when I first started blogging one plain day 4 years ago, I really had no idea something like this was in store – ReefXplore! and a team of volunteers! Who’d have thought? The Hantu Blog’s dive trips, and the very blog itself, would not have been sustained without the priceless commitment of our volunteers in teaching others about Hantu’s marine life! A massive thank you to all those who’ve dived wit us through the years. This Blog and our dives can’t exist without you!
If you already saw our post with the video logs, you’d know that we had an outstanding dive last weekend around Hantu. Here’s the evidence…
I saw a total of 3 seahorses at 2 sites. One of our volunteers saw another one during the night dive, making the total at least 4 seahorses across 3 sites!
There were heaps of nudibranches out today. Particularly the Gymnodoris. This one here’s laying a ribbon of pretty pink eggs.
This fella here with the big ugly mug might very well have bagged the prize for the best find this weekend. It’s not a sponge, not a cluster of ascidians… It’s in fact, a very privileged find – a frogfish! Divers were shrieking under their regulators in excitement, attempting to clap their hands and giving high fives underwater when this critter was spotted!
The coral polyps were also out in full force!
This was an interesting find: A shark’s eggs case, with a developing pup inside nonetheless!
These Blue spotted fan tailed rays are extremely shy and never fail to humour me. They kind of suffer from the ostrich syndrome, thinking what they can’t see can’t see them either. These rays are most frequently detected because they have their faces wedged into some coral crevice whilst their tails are left extended out in the open! Perhaps their tails have nothing to fear because they are so deathly barbed, but still! Anyway, they are always fantastic to photograph because their blue spots turn out brilliant in pictures.
Here’s something else we haven’t seen in awhile. The above picture taken by volunteer guide, Marcel, is of a carpet eel blenny. These animals are usually shy and dart away into sandy burrows or crevices in the reef as soon as they’re spotted. But this individual seemed to enjoy the limelight. Allowing a good number of shots to be taken as it crept along the reef.
Marcel being one of the 1st to descend for the 2nd dive managed to grab this surreal picture of a school of silver moonies. In a later photograph, the moonies are joined by a few Long finned batfish.
Another photo from Marcel, a Ceratosoma nudibranch.
This is just a tinsy sample of some of the things we saw during the Anniversary dive. If it’s not enough to make you jealous, you can visit our gallery. Prepared to be blown away!
Some other creatures we saw but didn’t manage to get photos of included Octopus, Sweetlips, Sea Bass, Groupers, Swatooth shrimp, and a Turtle!