Great start to the Phuket diving season especially for our macro hunting. Early good weather has meant no waves and that has meant lots of opportunities for macro photography dives at Kata beach in Phuket.
We decided on a Saturday morning dive, nice and early to avoid the idiotic jet ski operators. Honestly, we were not seeing much on this dive, we had come across the sand with a different compass bearing heading West instead of South West. We were actually aiming for the purple finger corals but we must have been slightly off course, we wound up on the outer reef at around 11m.
I’m not a huge fan of diving on the actual reef at Kata beach, it’s nice, but all the good macro is usually in the sand, algae and rubble spots. We decided to check out the reef area though instead of doubling back to the sand. This worked out well because we stumbled upon a big fat Robust Ghost Pipe Fish between two large coral bommies.
He was next to a leaf of very similar length and shape. I spotted the leaves out of the corner of my eye and thought, no way that is a Robust. But decided to inspect closer and was very happy to find the second leaf which I hadn’t seen so clearly at first was actually a Robust Ghost Pipe Fish, ultra-rare find.
It has been years since I’ve seen one, in fact I believe the last one was over 3 years ago whilst in the Philippines, pictured below.
Very stoked to have the opportunity to get a photo of one here in Phuket. If you find one yourself, I suggest patience and calm when trying to photograph Ghost Pipe Fish. Get set in a spot you think they might float/swim past and wait for them to put themselves in front of your lens.
If you chase them with your camera, they will twist, turn and swim away on the surge and current. Be calm, be patient, be still and pick your time carefully.