There were two other boats up here today – both of them are charter boats that have brought people up here to go fishing. There’s still quite a big swell out at sea but we are okay in the shelter of South East Bay. There are at least two new fish records for the Three Kings Islands from this morning’s dive so Tom is very happy, and the list of fish we have recorded here just gets longer and longer.
We were diving in South East Bay at Great Island today. It was interesting in terms of seaweed cover. It wasn’t all Sargassum, like it was over at the Princes group, but instead there was lots of Ecklonia, which we saw lots of at the Cavalli islands on our shake-down dive.
There was still some Sargassum, and still lots of other interesting seaweeds growing on the stems of the Ecklonia. As well as the new fish records for the Kings that kept the fish team very happy there was also one little mystery fish that has Tom and Malcolm stumped.
Latest thought is it is a kind of cusk eel, but they don’t have enough references on board to tell us any more at this stage. So, probably a new record for the Three Kings but could be much more exciting than that …
We couldn’t leave you without a couple of photos for the day … Malcom snapped this stalked ascidian which is the thing that looks like a bunch of flowers in the Catton’s Cave video.
A couple of you wanted to know what an ascidian actually was – they are also known as “sea squirts” and they are filter feeding marine animals that usually don’t move but are fixed in one position. They come in myriad shapes and sizes so they can look quite different from one another.
And now to a marine animal that doesn’t stay in one spot. We’ve seen a few short-tailed stingrays on the trip so far, and this one caught Malcolm by surprise as it cruised up beside him.
Can’t believe we’re down to our last few days but we’re thrilled to be back in the water so we’ll let you know what we find tomorrow!