Last night I went for a night snorkel with a couple of the other researchers also at Carrie Bow Cay. It was fantastic! I think I should switch to studying nocturnal animals!
I was really hoping that I would see an octopus on this snorkel, and, luckily enough, I did! In the photo above is a Caribbean reef octopus (Octopus briareus). When I first saw it, it was completely whitish blue (photo directly above). After I started trying to get a photo, it added in the mottled brown colour (top photo). I followed it for quite a while until it neatly sucked itself into a crevice.
I also spotted this cute guy, a white lined toadfish (Sanopus greenfieldorum). These are not very common so I was very lucky to see one. It didn’t seem to fazed as I duck-dived to get a photo.
The other photos I took are pretty blurry (still figuring out underwater night photography, I think I should get a strobe!) but I also saw a large eagle ray that swam about 1m from me, lots of Caribbean reef squid, a basket star, several yellow stingrays and a couple of lobsters roaming the reef. Added bonus: if you turned off your torch, the seagrass would flash from the worms I’ve mentioned previously; and, if you waved your hand around, plankton in the water column would bioluminesce. Overall it was a fantastic snorkel and the night life on the reef is amazing!