Over the weekend I took part in an event loosely coined as the ‘Hunt for the Rhinopias.’ As a diver and a photographer, it’s the latter that urges me on to keep diving because of the sheer challenge of underwater photography as a hobby. Before taking photos underwater, I’d scoot through a dive site in 45 minutes. When I started photography, our dives turned to a slow crawl as we explored every square inch of the reef to find shrimps, crabs, slugs and other critters.
There was word circulating among the divers that a yellow Rhinopias frondosa, more commonly known as the Weedy Scorpionfish or the Popeye Scorpion has been spotted in a dive site called Red Rocks in Anilao, Batangas. The Rhinopias is extremely rare and there happened to be one in Anilao sitting on the reef at 30 ft deep. At that depth, we spent two dives of 80 minutes each, taking turns to photograph this rare scorpionfish that is camouflaged to look like a yellow patch of sea kelp.