Yellow spotted boarfish is a surprising visitor
Sunday 10 November 2019
Waking up to a cool cloudy 20oC morning after a stinking hot 39oC day before, the weather was up to some weird stuff and with the wind skipping around and an increasing swell it put north and west facing sites off the list. At a special request I plumed for a site which I might otherwise have not considered and as it turns out, I was extremely glad to return to after a year’s absence. So having polished off a smorgasbord of sangas, 11 of us then hit the road for the Rockingham wreck trail. Negotiating our way through the two other dive clubs in the shallows who clearly had the same idea, we headed out to the 18m deep wreck at the back and were rewarded with 4-5m viz, a large West Australian Seahorse, nudibranch and comical looking seasquirts on the guide line along the way.
Butterfish, Talma, Goatfish, Wavy Grubfish and some large King Wrasse resplendent in mating colours were on and around the wreck and a Red Scorpionfish hiding inside one of the portholes. The trail is well marked with guide lines and with a fundamental understanding of how a compass works and a mental map of the site in mind, you can easily find everything at the site. We headed off to the Chicken coupe and found a whopping big Scorpionfish lurking overhead. A visit to the Beachcraft Airplane wreck gave us the unique encounter with a pair of Yellowspotted Boarfish, then another pair on the line on the way to the tire stack. My iNaturalist.com identifier congratulated me on being only the fourth report of this species.
Having taken in the numerous yellow and black Stripeys and bronze bigeyes amongst the tires and foregoing the Cessna plane, we headed back to the small wreck and standing on our heads dropped into the various holes, finding Yellowfin, Mosaic and Fanbelly Leatherjackets, Globefish, and Brownspotted wrasse hiding amongst the structures. Topped off with an inquisitive shoal of Tarwhine circling us during our 3min stop at 5m on the permanent dropline it was a fantastic end to a great day and with some great folks – thanks to all who came and joined in the fun and banter.
Martin Crossley – PADI Instructor