A few weeks ago I had some time off during the day and realized that alot of the photography I had been doing was only during my dives. I thought I’d change it up abit and do some very shallow water photography, and when I say shallow, I mean tidal pools less that a meter deep with not great visibility, a nursery for small reef fish, a hunting ground for Lionfish, hiding places for Stonefish, and little hideaways for Grey Moray Eels as they wait the heat of the day out until nightfall and the hunt would begin.
The water in this particular pool at low tide wasn’t more than 2 1/2 ft deep. armed with my camera, a small dive knife and my mask only, I took great care not to sift up too much sand when slowly pulling myself one-handedly across the bed of silt, concealing small cones and snails, afew Gobies and their maintenence-men shrimp counterparts. There were four small coral heads dotted about the pool, each one with a slightly different cast of characters. Aside from the small group of Butterfly fish, most of the inhabitants seemed unphased by my prescence and went about their business casually as I loomed in.
One of the larger and more elusive inhabitants of the shallows, the Grey Moray, tend to hide during the day in small crevices, usually in twos or threes, sharing their abode with other eels and even small crustaceans and echinoderms.
Whilst moving from Coral head to Coral head, I came across an odd phenomenon surrounding a rather deceased lump of brain coral. Urchins had surrounded its shore-facing side, and all round the bare face of the limestone monolith were small burrows, holes that had been bored into the walls of the Coral head. At first I took no notice but upon further inspection, I clocked on to eyes staring at me from the entrances of these many burrows, and the eyes belonged to a rather interesting collection of creatures, Mantis Shrimps.
After staring contests with creatures who probably thought I was some kind of halucination, I swam back towards the largest coral head in the pool, wanting to investigate the underside of it, which almost formed a cave big enough for me to get half of my body into it. However if I had done this and attempted to get right into the interior of it, I would’ve been met with a nasty surprise in the shape of the Indian Lionfish.