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Dr Seuss finds green eggs and cray – wha’?

Perth Scuba Rottnest Island Night Dive by Johanna Pool-7336

Written by Joey Pool – Perth Scuba Assistant Instructor

Do you like green eggs and ham? How about green eggs and cray? Sound all a little weird? Well, I guess you’re right because it sounds just as weird as it looked!

On Wednesday 27 November 2013 Lee, myself and some of the Perth Scuba Crew jumped on the boat and scooted off to Rottnest Island for a night dive. The sky was clear and the evening was warm but the sea breeze was creating a bit of chop on the water which we hit as we left the head at Fremantle.

The boat was half filled so there was plenty of room to stretch out and relax until we reached the dive site – Rottnest Island. Tonight we were given the choice of destinations and left it all to the skipper because we knew that he’d find us a good spot no matter what. So with that in mind we dropped anchor at Roe Reef (with much whooping from John & Jack over the choice) on the northern side of the island. We were pretty well protected where we dropped in with very little surface current and only little ripples on top.

Lee buddied up with the guys that hadn’t been night diving before – they were in for a treat because Lee finds all the S#!T when he’s the spotter. I tagged along for a little while (okay about 30 seconds) but tonight I was set up for fluoro diving so I moved off quickly. Fluoro diving is when you use two sets of filters to bring out the fluorescence of a critter or coral. A lot of corals glow all different colours but not all and very few critters glow – but when they do they’re AWESOME! I haven’t tried fluoro diving at Rotto so I thought this was a great opportunity to give it a crack and see what it could offer.

So off I went with my UV torch on my camera and a yellow filter over my mask so I could see what was glowing…. And woahhhhhhhh! Rotto wasn’t going to disappoint. As I cast my torch down the wall (all 7000 lumens…) I was delighted to see reds, oranges, greens and hot yellow embers of glowing coral. There were small fish that glowed orange and I found the local yellow striped fish glowed green stripes back at me – cooooollllllllll.

I even found a blue devil! These fish glow an iridescent blue when you put torch light on them – unless you put UV torch light on them. Under my filters I got nothing na-da, zip, nuddin’, but wow did the background of yellow, green, orange and red glow bright against the black outline of the fish.

There was quite a strong surge in the limestone reef so I couldn’t get any video – believe me you would’ve felt very sea sick! So I stuck with photos for the evening and zoomed around chasing after anything that glowed brightly. I had a couple of fish bump into me (well I think they were fish?) but I couldn’t seem them because they weren’t glowing and then I came across two green glowing sticks waving madly… Hang on! They aren’t sticks – they’re crayfish feelers – and upon closer inspection the whole crayfish glowed green. Mmmmmm green cray and ham…. Or is that green eggs and cray…. Maybe cray green and heggs? Okay, now it’s just getting silly, but seriously seeing all these iridescent colours can make you think that your cylinder was filled with LSD not AIR – but hey, I’m only guessing.

After chasing every glowing critter and coral patch I could find for 60 minutes I came across a pair of fins and torch light I recognised – it was Lee – how good am I, always have to surface with your buddy afterall! We signalled it was time to go and made our way to the boat to get out of our wetsuits and compare stories. This is where I found out I should’ve stuck with Lee’s team – they saw a turtle, octopus (these are the best glowing critters on the PLANET), cuttlefish, divers (well derr) and stingrays. Next time I’ll stick with Lee…. Yeah nah I don’t believe that either!

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