Magnificent Malingbeg

by Gavin Anderson

It happens infrequently, but once in a while you come across a site, tucked away on the far side of a point perhaps, or in a secluded cove, which makes you thankful that youre a diver.

Underwater photographer Gavin Anderson couldnt believe his luck when he stumbled upon a quiet inlet off Malinbeg on the western coast of Donegal in Ireland. I first went there in the spring last year. Then I went back again in the summer and autumn! he said.

The sheltered inlet is an easy shore dive, consisting of rocky ledges and stacks that descend to 10m at high tide. At the end of a hot summer, the kelp grew dense and thick, making it the perfect place to get close to the inlets marine inhabitants. The result is the impressive portfolio of underwater images shown here.

I was never short of subjects, says Gavin. There were masses of snakelock anemones, wrasse, dogfish and congers, crabs, octopus, loggerhead turtles ... and thats just for starters!

Schools of pollack move through e kelp, while plaice and flounder try to cover themselves in the sand patches separating the rocky outcrops. On one dive, I had just managed to frame the entire head of a camouflaged greater pipefish between the macro framer of my 28mm lens when an Atlantic triggerfish swam right up to me. It just seemed to get better every time I went in.

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