Journey to the Sea Anemone Cave

Last week we found a cave that had a strange sea anemone growing in it (https://inaturalist.nz/observations/15675292) , so I said we would go back and try and get better photos and on Monday that is what we did.

Now this sea cave is right up at Scotts Point, the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach, affectionatly called the Tohe and the only access is along the Tohe. Of course that has always been dependant on the tides but until recently when mother nature decided to close Te Paki there was an escape off ramp about 2kms south. Now the closest on and off ramp is 55kms south which means that if the tides were missjudged there was not a close escape route.

Monday was a .6m low tide but the swells were about 2m. When @indeynz, my trustee side kick, photo assistant and walking mollusca encyclopeadia and I got to the Tohe about 2 1/2 hours before the low, I could see straight away that it was running high, but after reading all of the tohu out there, I decided to go up and see if we could make it.

Make no mistake though, this decision was based on an intimate knowlege of the Tohe, tides and moods and I would not recommend anyone to do this journey in the condition that it was out there without that intimate knowlege.

Now lately when we have headed up there I only have my underwater camera and each time I would see a manu out there I'd say, "Ahhh - I wish I had my good camera!" This time however I did, hence all of the bird photos from this day and some good kekeno / seal photos :)

After getting pass the Bluff - which can be a cut off point - we were totally shocked to see this a bit further up! I have NEVER seen that out there!

We finally arrived at the northern end at about 40mins before the turn and the water was high. Where it is usually exposed there was waves coming in. So after a quick study of the area we decided to see if we could get around to the cave. This involved scrambling over rocks and hugging the cliff so we didn't get splashed by the waves, or worse case senario washed off.

Getting around the point there was water into the cave and at the foot of the cave, a direct result of the turbulant seas that had dumped alot of sand in this area. We surprised a kekeno - fur seal - who was on the rocks on the other side of a small gut and it took off. We then jumped across the gut and walked over the rocks and into the cave.

Once in there we quickly did our photos, mindfull of the time and tides and in fact there was a moment where we had to scramble up the sides as the waves came crashing in.

Getting the photos home and looking at them I see that there are so many other things I did not see at the time so do not have good photos of, so we will plan a serious cave photograhing expedition at a later date, when the swells are not so high!

Posted by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua, August 28, 2018 08:00

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Fur Seal Arctocephalus forsteri

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

August 27, 2018 02:24 PM NZST

Description

We walked aorund a point and gave this kekeno a shock so it took off and dived into the water, only to find that the water receeded. Giving us a look of disgust (thrid photo) it continued to make its way to the ocean and disapperaed.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Giant Shore Anemone Oulactis magna

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

August 27, 2018 02:26 PM NZST

Description

Sea anemone living in a sea cave.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sea Anemones Order Actiniaria

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

August 27, 2018 02:31 PM NZST

Description

This is the closest I could find to https://inaturalist.nz/observations/15675292

Photos / Sounds

What

Sea Anemones Order Actiniaria

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

August 27, 2018 02:32 PM NZST

Description

This is the closest I could find to https://inaturalist.nz/observations/15675292

Shocking last photo is so you can get an idea of size - the marks are 10mm apart

Photos / Sounds

What

Sea Anemones Order Actiniaria

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

August 27, 2018 02:39 PM NZST

Description

Sea anemone living in a sea cave.

Shocking last photo is so you can get an idea of size - the marks are 10mm apart

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

August 27, 2018 02:43 PM NZST

Description

Sea anemone living in a sea cave.

Comments

Thumb

Re:

So what were they smuggling ?

Posted by tony_wills about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

What people will do in the name of science ;-)

When I saw the plane photo I thought that you'd hired a plane especially :-)

Posted by tony_wills about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

Fantastic travelogue and effort going back to get better images of the mysterious anemone. I could relate to the trials and tribulations of judging (or misjudging) tides. Drowned a cellphone once trying to get past a pinchpoint on an incoming tide. The things we do for an iNatNZ obs!

Posted by jacqui-nz about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

My thoughts echoed yours, Tony.

Posted by jacqui-nz about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

*LOL* I don't think I would hire that plane as a bit dodgy - we did stop and ask the pilot if he was alright and he said he was just stretching his legs ..... about 1 hour later we passed him again and he was taking off.

Pinchpoint it a great word @jacqui-nz and I will use that now :)

Posted by tangatawhenua about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

@tangatawhenua The best advice I can give when hunting down obs on the intertidal zone; constantly check the pinchpoint. Time goes fast when you find lots of marine treasures, and suddenly you look back and the waves are already lapping at the pinchpoint!

Posted by jacqui-nz about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

Cool story and nice pictures from the sea anemones, thanks for sharing

Posted by jordi_nz about 1 year ago (Flag)
Thumb

Appreciate the comment @jordi_nz :)

Posted by tangatawhenua about 1 year ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments

Is this inappropriate, spam, or offensive? Add a Flag