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Simnia, Delonovolva aequalis

Simnia, Delonovolva aequalis, Red gorgonian, Lophogorgia chilensis
Often, when I show a picture to a non-diving friend, the first question they ask
is "How deep were you when you took that?". The implication, of course, being
that the deeper the depth, the better the photograph must be. This, then, is the
very best photograph on the site. This simnia, Delonovolva aequalis,
lives on red gorgonians(Lophogorgia chilensis). If you'd like to see one
in the Monterey area, you'll have to make a relatively deep dive. This picture
was taken 120ft. At this depth, the photographer's senses were impaired the
equivalent of two and a half glasses of scotch. Likely this photograph would not
have been taken at all had not the boat's anchor landed smack on top of this
very gorgonian. To be sure, this squished the subject somewhat, but also reduced
the photographer's drunkard walk (or, swim) towards the dive's turnaround point
to a voyage of only inches. In truth, diving to this depth without the benefit
of helium in one's breathing gas isn't very smart. I'm actually a little
surprised I didn't get distracted and start taking pictures of the leprechauns
also commonly seen after about 100ft.

    "Deep Shale", Monterey Bay, California
    February 17, 2007

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