Not a plant, despite perceptions to the contrary

Reaching out

A clinched feather star at night. This is not a plant; it comes from kingdom Animalia.

This is a juvenile of one of the oceans weird and amazing creatures. In adult form, it is often called a sea lillie and attaches itself permanently to a spot with a stalk.

Most often, they appear ball-ed up like this during the day and unfold to filter feed nocturnally. This one was disturbed by divers’ torches during a night dive at The Wall in the Havelock channel. (Though we like to pronounce ourselves ‘eco-tourists’ we can be disruptive, too.)

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Sunset over Havelock

Right before a my first night dive

Right before my first night dive

The sun dips to the horizon at about 4:45 p.m. on New Year’s Day as we tie on to the buoy at one of Havelock’s popular dive sites, the Wall. A new friend, Beatrice (above), and I both log our first night dive.

Little can compare to the transition from day to night underwater, as the deep blue of the sea turns to murky navy and then almost black.

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