Days 5, 6 and 7
After our outing to Apo Island, we spent the next few days exploring the lovely muck sites around Atlantis Resort. Classically characterized by a seagrass bed in shallow water, with a sandy slope leading down to around 20 meters (70 feet), some sites have either small reef outcrops or reefy rubble.
The great advantage of sandy bottoms means that cryptic benthic creatures can be found and photographed relatively easily. At least, this true when you have sharp-eyed critter finders like star Atlantis guide: Genie.
Most of us have been doing 3 longer day dives and a night dive each day. Diving at night on muck sites often is very productive as many critters tend to favor the night, providing both different species and unique behaviours.
A coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) took a fancy to my Retra LSD and Anglerfish optical trigger. These creatures will frequently spontaneously investigate objects that are new in their environment.
Sticking with octopus for the moment, a common and much sought after subject is the blue ring (Hapalochlaena lunulata). I have been fortunate to photograph quite a few of these over the years, but have never had one actually come at my camera is what seem to be an aggressive display:
The same animal a few moments later:
As is frequently the case, there are numerous deposits of eggs, with these anemone fish tending a typical brood.
There is also a clutch of flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) eggs in a coconut husk on one of the sites. They’re also almost ready to hatch!
Another favourite subject (and a plentiful one here in Dumaguete) is frogfish:
The Atlantis ImageMakers 2019 gathered for a group photograph
In common with many muck diving areas, Dumaguete is well supplied with varieties and numbers of nudibranchs.
The Atlantis ImageMakers leave Atlantis Dumaguete tomorrow to head over to its sister resort at Puerto Galera. Thank you so much team Atlantis Dumaguete for a memorable stay…I am sure we will be back again (if you will have us!)
Days 1 and 2.
Days 3 and 4.
Days 5, 6 and 7.
Days 9 and 10.
Days 11 and 12.