Critter hunting

I really like getting to know a dive site well. Whereas a dive centre will usually take you to a different site every dive, I usually feel like saying, “Where would you take me on the last day?” And then diving that site every time. As a photographer, I want to have a good idea what to expect and to be able to plan, so I can take in the right gear. More than that though, I like being able to spot the details of the site and the patterns of behaviour.

So, on this trip to Malta, all our dives except one have been from the same site. That might sound a bit boring, but there has been so much to see. This particular location, Cirkewwa Point (say “Cher-kew-wa”), is outstanding. It does not look much from the shore, being a car park next to a Ro-Ro ferry terminal (the Gozo car ferry), but it is an exceptional site. There are two wrecks easily accessible from the shore, caves, arches and swim-throughs, as well as plenty of fish life.

Yesterday, I decided to hunt for fish, using fisheye lens and teleconverter. This setup has limitations and there is a danger of not coming out with any images, if no suitable subject is found. Having seen plenty on previous wreck dives, I went in with confidence, patrolled along the wall and was rewarded with this fine scorpion fish (Scorpoena scrofa). I was not able to get quite as close as I wanted, but I managed to get two shots in before it went off in a grump.


Since the scorpion fish was so grumpy looking, here’s a cheeky Mullet (Mullus surmuletus)



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