Well hey again, this was another great day out diving on the GBR and I had a feeling about it that there was something new waiting to be discovered. I was out with Passions of Paradise and the wind was only 10 – 15 knots, a perfect day considering its winter! The boat headed towards one of my favourite reefs, Hastings reef to a brilliant dive site called 1770. The vis was around 15 meters and the water temperature had really started dropping so I had to layer up.
Once I jumped in, I headed to a spot a few hundred meters from the boat to an area covered in the most beautiful pink soft corals. It’s here that lots of pipefish live (the most I’ve found was 20 in one spot!) and if I stay very still, they don’t mind me watching them whilst they feed and enjoy the sun. After around 50 minutes of hanging out with this very friendly bunch, I started to head back to the boat, making sure to check for anything that might be hiding on my way. Just before I was about to surface, I turned on my light to check down deep into a beautiful big staghorn coral and there deep in the middle was an ornate ghost pipefish.
What luck, yet another rare ghost pipefish! This lovely creature was around 5cm long and jet black with orange and white bits that just popped under the light. This section of the reef just keeps on giving, three rare species in one small area the size of 4 tennis courts is just amazing. Maybe they should rename this site Ghostbusters!
It’s always the end of the dive when you find the best things. This is just another excuse to keep on jumping back in as Hastings reef seems to have an unlimited number of secrets to reveal and I plan on discovering them.
See you next time, John.