Surprisingly beautiful marine plant life around local reef

Under grey skies I headed to a local reef late yesterday for some snorkelling on the low tide. I hoped to take a few photos underwater. The colour palette along the ocean shoreline offered little more than greys, browns and black. The cool southerly made me glad I had opted for an old winter wetsuit and a neoprene cap.

The two locations at which I had chosen to submerge myself looked colourless and cold. They also looked quite unpromising for my underwater photographic mission.

Seated on the edge of the reef about to enter the water, I took this shot to capture in a single photo conditions above and below the surface. I didn’t look at the image at the time, but had I done so, it might have provided at least some faint basis for optimism.

I slid into the water from a seated position with my wetsuit sliding surprisingly better than I had anticipated on the shiny layer of wet sponges. After surfacing and composing myself, my first proper view through the mask revealed a breathtaking profusion of colourful and exotic marine plants.

The sole purpose of this post is to share something of the great natural beauty in which I immersed myself for an hour or so.

Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
Kelp
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
There were many little byways meandering between reef walls adorned with dense and constantly moving kelp. I found these paths most inviting to cruise along with my flippers propelling me quietly without any splashing. I swam wherever the winding way led me. The visibility underwater varied according to how close I was to the open ocean. The water in which I snorkelled flowed directly into the ocean through a wide channel. The quieter the water in which I swam, the clearer it was. At one point I noticed that my speed over the seabed was well in excess of anything that the gentle kicking of my flippers could provide. I raised my head and confirmed that I was in fact being carried at increasing speed in the channel that would take me out to open water. A change of course and a few more horsepower from the flippers for a short time took me back to quieter (and clearer) waters.
Underwater photography of marine plants on ocean reef
This was close to a rocky outcrop over which small waves from the open sea were breaking and spilling into these otherwise quieter waters.

My first sighting of an abandoned abalone shell in the wild

Mother of pearl abalone shell underwater
The iridescent ocean colours glowing in the upturned shell caught my eye from a distance.
Mother of pearl abalone shell underwater
Mother of pearl abalone shell underwater
Mother of pearl abalone shell underwater
I left it where I found it.

Rare sighting of falling star in its final resting place

Marine plants underwater in ocean
I was fortunate enough to come across the final resting place of a shooting star. The familiar star shape is readily apparent, as is the uniformly dark ‘burnt’ colour from its brief but fiery journey through the earth’s atmosphere.

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