Saturday, February 23, 2008

South Cottesoe Beach is a beauty today! AGAIN!!

AGAIN! The South Cottesloe Beach is a beauty today! The second time I saw such fantastic water conditions since my first visit here last October.

The waters of the South Cottesloe Beach was calm and quite clear this morning. But alas, I was the only one snorkeling there. Where have all the snorkelers gone?

When I went to the South Cottesloe Beach this morning, I didn't really expect much. But when I saw from the bus there were hardly any waves at the North Cottesloe Beach, I knew I would have a great snorkel today! And I did. Except, really really unfortunately, last week's snorkel at North Cottesloe left me with a leaked camera, which is now sitting in a camera repair shop! Otherwise, this post will be filled with clips and photos of the fishes I saw this morning.

Wow, tell me that's not breathtaking! But it's better still underwater.

There's usually sharp rocks by the water edge but I think they were covered in sand today.

Being part of the Cottesloe Reef Fish Habitat Protection Area, the South Cottesloe Reef naturally has lots to offer when it comes to fishes! And today, the visibility must be up to 4 m I think. And the waters were calm. So I was treated to the sights of so many types of fishes in just an hour's snorkel!

I saw these:
  • A school of about 15 sea trumpeters (Pelsartia humeralis), big and small. Looks like when the weather is fine, daddy and mommy will take the kids out for a walk... or a swim.
  • A school of maybe 30 or so common buffalo bream (Kyphosus sydneyanus). No, not the western buffalo bream. These guys have a black edge to their tails. And very fat and tough looking. Their mustaches make them looks so stern!
  • A small school of Australian herrings (Arripis georgiana)
  • McCulloch's (or western?) scalyfins. It is hard to tell when they swam away so quickly and when they were a few meters below me.
  • A ray (stingray?) with pointed pectoral fins. This one was swimming about 3 meters ahead of me for a while before it disappeared. It was about 60 cm across at 3 m away.
  • A big school (maybe 60?) of tarwhine (Rhabdosargus sarba)
  • A small school of some whitish fish with a dark stripe along the side of their body. Above the band, the body looks grayish and below, whitish. They have two barbels (feelers) near their mouths which they use to stir up the sand and search for food I think. I think I saw some southern goatfish or red mullet (Upeneichthys vlamingii), but I am not sure.
  • And some fishes that I have seen again and again but still don't know their name.
  • Oh, and two different types of jellyfish too. One was orange with brownish yellow spots and was the size of a ping-pong ball. The other was transparent and its name is I-don't-know. But it is definitely not a box jellyfish. That I am sure.
Pretty impressive, huh? I saw all these in just an hour.

Overall, today's snorkel was pretty satisfactory. First, I saw so many fishes. On poor visibility days, I would see only maybe a third of these or even less. Second, I became more confident in deeper water, extending my 'comfort depth' to probably 4 or 5 meters today. And I practised duck-diving too. Many times. I still need to practise more as I still have trouble balancing the pressure in my ears. But I am getting there. That I know.

And well, if it wasn't because I was already shivering from cold and there's work to do in the lab this morning, I would have checked out the North Cottesloe Reef too.

No comments: