With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders I was very hesitant about going out to dive in April and May. Every dive followed a bunch of moral dilemma. Skipped some but surely did some.
In the month of May I dipped into Folly Cove twice, in both we explored the left wall. May might be one of the best months to dive in New England, if you ask me. I am a macro-photography diver and nudis and creepy crawlies are the best subjects for me. While nudis galore in most of the winter months the air and water temperatures are torturous. But in May everything warms up just a little to make everything fun. And we still have all the nudis and bunch of tiny critters.
Over two dives there were lots to see. Many varieties of nudibranchs, as expected but mostly doto (coronata/fragilis). I could find one O. bilamelatta, a nudi which was everywhere few years back and became rare for me to see since then. As it happens, the new sea slug I saw first time in Fort Wetherill last month, P. dentritica, was there to greet me at Folly as well. The kinds of nudis change as you move down the depths. When I dive at Folly I make sure that I go to the ‘ledge’ to check out the hydroids below to find C. gymnota, and right in the same vicinity I find E. exiguus and F. gracilis and D. fragilis. Beware, the last three are ridiculously small, I only suspect that they are there, take the photos and look at the computer to confirm 🙂
Among the creepy crawlies, obviously, skeleton shrimp is the star of the show. Every seaweed, sponge, tunicate is covered with them in all sizes. During these two dives I observed them eating their own and a doto nudibranch. They are hungry and they do not hold back.
Among my favorite subject to shoot shrimps makes the top of the list. I just love them, the weirdo eyes, the colors, the panic… In New England you really have to look deep to see different kinds of shrimps, and frankly most of them I do not know what species they are. In these two dives I have seen a few really tiny ones, one with little green eggs in her belly.
Two relatively rare sightings were stalked jellyfish and ocellate lady crab. I have seen my first and only stalked jelly last season and so far this season I have already seen a few. The lady crab is something I generally see during my RI dives, it is nice to see them here, they are one of the prettiest of the crabs we have.
For the sake of catching up with the past dives I logged two Folly Cove dives from May here. I hope to catch up soon, let’s see how it will work out…
#404: 29 ft, 118 min, 44F
#405: 29ft, 121 min, 48F