Friday, June 20, 2008

Lionfish at Wing Beach

Wing Beach has been nothing short of spectacular lately. It has been flat, calm, no current, great visibility and had lots of lionfish out playing. This big red lionfish was playing on the side of the wall in the cut going out. The only thing you have to watch out for is there are so many of them lately that while you're photographing one, there could be 3 or 4 more swimming down toward you, and they don't really seem to care how close they get to you.Barry found these two and pointed out how they are flaring their gills at one another. We didn't know if this was some sort of a mating ritual, or if it was two males fighting for territory. They won no matter what, we just wanted to snap a few pictures.Then I spotted this little scorpionfish sitting on a ledge. We nudged him a couple times to get him in better light to shoot him in. You can see how people just step on them. First of all, you can barely see them, they blend in with their surroundings so well, and then you literally have to push them to get them to move, they won't move otherwise. This guy was a bit more colorful than most.It seemed that everytime I turned around, there were a couple more lionfish coming in for a closer look. I've actually had them brush against my arm while I'm taking pictures as they float in the current. The key is to always be very slow and calm around them. If they feel at all threatened, their sting can be excruciatingly painful. If you're a diver and you haven't dove Wing Beach this year, now is the time. The water is dead flat, there isn't much current and conditions are perfect. If you don't know you're way around out there and need someone to show you around, let me know, you're welcome to come along on one of my dives!