Manefish (Caristius groenlandicus)

Dive sites: North Lion’s Paw

Happy divers on the boat
Happy divers on the boat

On Thursday seven of us decided to do a fun dive from the boat. We dived at a site called North Paw. It’s a short boat ride from the Oceana Powerboat Club launch site close to Camps Bay and Clifton, and despite the howling south easter the site is sheltered. The sea was calm, very little current or surge and the visibility was amazing, 15 – 20 metres. The outstanding visibility always has a catch: the water was cold. At 25 metres the temperature was 4 degrees celsius.

Coral at North Paw
Coral at North Paw

The skipper had mentioned this dive site was anchor paradise and so it seemed, I saw 3 anchors lost at sea. Cecil decided to take one home so he followed the trailing rope, lifted the anchor and discovered just how heavy it was. We attached Bernita’s SMB to the anchor and sent it to the surface.

Cecil's anchor on the way up
Cecil’s anchor on the way up

I was really happy to find a juvenile manefish (Caristius groenlandicus), not much bigger than a five rand coin. Initially I was really excited believing it was a batfish, but the books proved me wrong and a manefish it is.

Manefish (Caristius groenlandicus)
Manefish (Caristius groenlandicus)

On the way back to the slipway, we saw a seal beating a large octopus to death on the surface of the water. After it had finished eating its tasty snack (one tentacle at a time), it delicately wiped its mouth with its flippers.

Seal whipping an octopus around
Seal whipping an octopus around

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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