Fooling Fish on the Henry Leith

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On Saturday morning, we waddled out with a full load of fun-seekers on Faded Glory to Wongat Island to dive the Henry Leith for the millionth time. Okay, maybe the 500th time. It never gets tiresome. In fact it has been fascinating to do the same dive several times a year for a period of nearly twenty years. Wrecks in tropical waters change dramatically over time. I reckon that the Henry Leith will be virtually unrecognizable in another 25 years. It is deteriorating rapidly.

The visibility was miserable – about the worst I’ve ever seen it in that location. All the photography had to be up close because of the poor light and the pesky particulate matter in the water.

I did manage a few interesting shots. Here’s one of a fan coral that shows some of the individual polyps extended:

Weird Flower Garden

I’ll call that one “Weird Flower Garden.” The image looked pitiful until I had the idea to turn the entire background to monochrome black and white. That got rid of the nasty green background and allowed the natural colours of the fan coral to be seen against a neutral canvas.

Here’s a Spotfin Lionfish on a big leather coral:

Spotfin Lionfish on the Henry Leith at Wongat Island near Madang, PNG

The Spotfin is uncommon in other locations, but for some reason seems to be attracted to the Henry Leith.

Angelfish are notoriously difficult to photograph because they are so skittish. You simply cannot get close to them. I caught this one down in the passageway to the cargo hold. He was confused enough for a few seconds while deciding how to escape that I got one good image of him:

Angelfish - trapped!

Then Pascal had a brilliant idea. He pried open a small clam on the deck with his knife and we just watch the fish feeding on it. Great for photography – too bad for the clam.

I wouldn’t want to do this regularly, but these are easily the best angelfish images that I’ve gotten so far:

Angelfish feeding on clam

There was a lot of mixed-species feeding going on. It was interesting to see how each fish took its turn. There was very little pushing or shoving going on.

Sometimes, two or three fish were feeding side-by-side:

There's room for all at this diner

This is similar to the “turning the rocks over” trick that we do at Planet Rock.

Everything gets eaten by something eventually.

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One Response to “Fooling Fish on the Henry Leith”

  1. Stingray Magic | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] Magic On Saturday morning we motored in Faded Glory  up to Wongat Island  to dive The Henry Leith.  It is a favored spot for stingray watching. The most common type of stingray in the local […]