This is the first time I’ve seen signs like this one at Spencer Beach Park. I didn’t see any jellyfish on the beach so perhaps the signs were a warning for those getting in the water. There are often jellyfish in the water, but not in such numbers as to be a problem.
This park is popular with families with small kids so perhaps the authorities were being extra cautious with the signs.
On a morning swim with my wife a couple of days ago, we were lucky enough to see a spotted eagle ray cruising around looking for breakfast. It stopped often, to probe the sand and rocks for food, and was successful at least once, since it emerged from its efforts chewing and swallowing. This eagle ray looked a bit battered, with damage to its tail fins and a chunk missing from its right wing, but it didn’t seem to be affected by this at all.
As we continued swimming, I saw the ray heading the same way. For a while it followed us, got ahead, then we followed it. On the way we saw a couple of flowery flounders, a couple of day octopuses, a crowned jellyfish as roughed up as the ray, and an oriental flying gurnard. It’s not a great photo of that, but it’s the first one I’ve seen here.
Near the spot where we planned to turn around and head back, I passed over a hole in the rocks and, glancing down, saw the distinctive shape and colors of a green turtle. I think it must have chosen this spot to take a rest, but my appearance startled it and it clambered out of the hole and swam away.
Shortly after that, the turtle encountered the eagle ray. The two of them crossed paths a couple of times before going their separate ways.
Conditions weren’t great during a recent swim. Their were ocean swells and an onshore wind made the water choppy. The visibility was only fair, with a lot of coral polyps, the little dots in the photo. But then, literally out of the blue, I saw this crowned or crown jellyfish (Cephea cephea).
There followed a protracted dance where I tried to get close enough to the jellyfish to take a photo, without getting close enough to be stung (though my marine invertebrates book notes ‘The author has handled it with no ill effects.’). This wasn’t easy given the state of the water. The jellyfish just eased up and down quite smoothly, but I was swooshing back and forth with the water. So I’d get myself into a decent position, ready to take a photo, and a swell would propel me in the jellyfish’s direction prompting me to churn the water and head away.
The photos weren’t great because of this toing and froing and the murky water. This is the best of them, which I quite like as it captures the luminosity of the jellyfish as well as showing various parts – the crown with its arms on the top, the tentacles below.
A little later I saw another, smaller one of these. Normally, crowned jellyfish are found in deeper water, but sometimes they’re driven inshore by swells, as I think these two were.
Every so often, when I go snorkeling, the water is full of small pink filament-like things. Swimming through them leaves me feeling slightly itchy and I’ve been told they’re baby jellyfish. A few days ago, in amongst these little pink blobs was a somewhat larger one, still only an inch or two long, but definitely a jellyfish.
This was the best photo I got, but I liked how the water swirled around above it with the pink-rimmed hole looking like it might just have beamed the jellyfish down.