Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve

My curiousity abut the Poor Knights was triggered when I took @pjd1 down to the G2 a couple of years ago. After putting his head underwater, he popped straight back up and said, "This is amazing! I have not seen this much diversity on mainland New Zealand!"

"Huh?", says me, "this is normal."

"No, this is not normal on the mainland. I have only seen this richness of diversity at the Poor Knights and the Mokohinau."

Since then I have been to a few beaches outside of my rohe, and I started to understand what he meant and came to appreciate home more and more as I saw places that have been stripped of marine life and you have to hunt to find things instead of choosing one area and spending hours lurking there and still not have seen everything there is to see. Now when I visit a beach that is not at home, before I go I say to myself, "This is not home, it will not have the diversity," which helps because I enjoy the places that I have been to.

This year my son and I finally made it to the Poor Knights so I could to see for myself what it is like out there. Naturally the weather was great, the skies blue and only about a 1.5m swell. A Buller's Shearwater escorted us over to the Poor Knights, easily keeping up.

The water was clear with good visibility down at least 10m in most areas so it was easy to see fish and brown alga. Along the rock face (where the island plunges into the sea) the demarkation line between the different tides zones was very noticable - almost like someone had drawn a line and from there down different red alga grew and were not seen above the line. With the swell it was really helpful to be risen up to see that zone, then taken down to see a zone below.

Upon departing we went for a look around some of the other islands. The photo below was taken then, showing two "Hole in the Rocks"

Overall we had a great day, exploring a new place. Alot of other people on this trip were blown away with the thick weeds and lots of fish. For anyone else this would be a spectacularly mind blowing place!

We however can see all of this in our own backyard, the thickness of the browns and at times lots of fish swimming around, coming up close like they did here. We are also interested in all marine life so spent a good hour and a half following along the rock wall for about 100m to see what we could find and the answer was not much. When I do the same thing here I am lucky to do 20m in that time because of the many things I see and stop to photograph. However, that could reflect that this was a completely different ocean enviornment and that is why the diversity in the area we explored was not as great as the diversity at home.

This trip was not disappointing as finally seeing it was worth it, but has strongly re-enforced how amazing home is and has given both of us an even greater appreciation of our own backyard, where we do not have to take a 25km boat ride out to sea, instead, just a short drive then walk and the wonderland is there for the exploring :)

Posted by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua, February 15, 2019 06:06

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Buller's Shearwater Ardenna bulleri

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 10:34 AM NZDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Escorting us to Poor Knights

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

New Zealand Demoiselle Chromis dispilus

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 12:31 PM NZDT

Description

Locally common

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Pigfish Bodianus unimaculatus

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 12:39 PM NZDT

Description

Heading down

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 12:55 PM NZDT

Description

I am guessing this is a comb jelly but may be a salp.

It had "disco lights" that would light up every now and again and flash and ripple on the "string line" - a few photos have some of the lights turned on.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Silver Trevally Pseudocaranx georgianus

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 01:05 PM NZDT

Description

A trevally but not sure if this is the correct species.

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellowtail Kingfish Seriola lalandi

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 01:06 PM NZDT

Description

A few kingi lurking under the boat this one was over 1m long.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Waratah Anemone Actinia tenebrosa

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 12:43 PM NZDT

Description

On the rock face

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Red-tipped Urchin Heliocidaris tuberculata

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

February 13, 2019 01:36 PM NZDT

Description

On the rocks

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments

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