No matter how many times I make the trip down to Rapid Bay Jetty, gear up and head out I never take for granted the joy of finding a dragon.
If and when I find one I experience a curious mix of excitement, of gratitude, of humility, of privilege, of wonder and of complete captivation.
The long drive to get here is forgotten.
The equipment needed to survive here is forgotten.
The burdened walk to the water is forgotten.
The biting cold of an extended winter is forgotten.
The cares of work, of the world and its demands are all forgotten.
With effortless grace they move with precision. It is almost impossible to see the tiny movements which push them through the water.
Spend time with them and you will discover moods and attitudes and personalities.
Take your eyes off them for just a moment, look back and like magic there is is only algae and water and the dappled light from above.
I don’t always find a leafy seadragon when I dive here at Rapid Bay but when I do it makes all the effort of every dive I have ever done worthwhile.
Like some lifetime within a lifetime I will spend all the time my air allows to remain here and bear witness to this beautiful fragile creature.
Photo: Robert Rath, ‘Seduced by a Dragon’ 1/160s f/13 ISO320 100m