All throughout the dive we had to deal with photobombing larval mantis shrimp, as visible in some of the photos. Among the larval creatures, seeing a larval flounder gets me always excited. I always have the blackwater dive photos in my head and try to replicate those in these highly particulated waters of Fort Wetherill. With a compact camera, probably under not optional settings, it is hard to get the fast focus on the right subject. This dive I was happy to get a half decent photo of a larval flounder showing eyes on each side of the body.
High point of the dive was sighting of a very rare sole sighting. I have seen different kinds of soles during Blue Heron Bridge dives but never in New England and I did not know they hang out around here. This cutie pie was dark brown/beige color with darker lines across its body. It looked very hairy on its skin, even around its mouth, making the mouth opening quite frilly. One would suspect that it could be one of the unwilling visitors from southern waters, however, based on the size it looked like it was already an adult form. Thanks to the social networks we finally identified it as a hog choker sole. It ranges from Florida to Gulf of Maine. So it was “local”.
One of my favorite things underwater is to see something very rare. What I like more is to see something I did not know existed 😀 So, this sighting made another outstanding Fort Wetherill dive.
#427: 18ft, 168min, 69F.