Reef time

 

Despite January being a windy month, I’ve gotten a lot of water time in, between the high winds.  It’s so fun I’ll probably never come out once it is springtime and calmer.  There is always something new to see and learn ~ I love the artistic as well as the scientific aspect of reef time.   


Rock-boring urchin



Mat zoanthids



Shelf-knob sea rod



Beaded anemone



Florida corallimorphs







In Hog Cay, we often try to anchor near an area with patch reefs so I can snorkel right off of the boat whenever I want.



I get to know the local residents pretty well…  






Intermediate gray angelfish



Juvenile blue tang



Juvenile queen angelfish



Gray snapper





I recently found an online forum with “my people” who like to discuss and identify fish all day long!  They have taught me much already and I’m expanding my vision a bit to appreciate more of the types of fish around me.


I have to remind myself to look up at the shimmery ghosts camoflauged at the waters surface.  There are usually ballyhoo swimming right in front of me, or the larger hound fish.



Ballyhoo



Houndfish




I came across a unique blenny that has us stumped, but might be an imitator blenny.  I went back to try to find him again with no luck so far.


Imitator blenny?



Imitator blenny?




Not a snorkel goes by without a saddled blenny and rosy blenny sighting….


Saddled blenny



Rosy blenny



Sometimes I leave the gobies out, but there are cute too!


Bridled goby








I came across an interesting juvenile fish that my peeps confirmed as a reef squirrelfish.  



They are typically a reclusive fish so I was happy that this little cutie let me get very close for a few photos.








Juvenile reef squirrelfish




As I was photographing this pretty banded coral shrimp ~ who looks to be berried ~ I only noticed later in the photos that there were a few cool looking barred cardinalfish back in the cave.


Berried banded coral shrimp



Banded coral shrimp with banded cardinalfish



In addition to fish, I’ve seen quite a few amazing critters.   There is a large green turtle around that good at keeping still until I realize that he is there… and then he gets shy.  


Green turtle



Green turtle




I interrupted an octopus having his mid-day meal and he didn’t pay me much mind.


Common octopus with measled cowrie 



Common octopus with measled cowrie 



Common octopus with measled cowrie 



Now, back to waiting for the wind to let up to jump back in…



© M&M 2016