Exploring Dune Lakes - A New World

Dune lakes are formed where water gathers in depressions between dunes and over time these become habitats for flora and fauna.

It is wonderful to live within my tribal lands, with the east coast beaches just outside, the west coast beaches 10kms as the manu fly (and the locals drive) and gumlands galore. We also have dune lakes and I did not realise how rare these were until I was invited to go with the NIWA dive team on the dune lake survey up these ways and naturally I jumped at the chance :)

Differences Between Salt Water and Fresh Water
Now I have always fluffed around in the oceans and found fluffing in dune lakes a whole different experience!

When in the moana I orintate myself by the sound of the surf, but in a dune lake there are not sounds of the surf! Thankfully people were talking on the shore and that is how I knew where I was.

Dune lakes, being fresh water also meant that I didn't float as well which took a bit of getting used to.

Water temp is also different and the water got into my suit faster than usual and I found that cold. It took far longer for me to warm up once out. Usually within walking about 50m I start taking off my hood then jacket - this time it was about 500m until the hood came off and another 400m until the jacket was undone. Even in winter in the moana it does not take that long!

Visability was another huge difference - 600mm down and it is all black - like a night dive!

As for photographing underwater - that was another whole new ball game. I have an underwater setting on my camera. If taking a photo out of the water on that setting it puts a red tint through the photos, but gives true colours under water. However, the underwater setting in a dune lake does not give true colours - the green plants became yellow, so I had to fluff around with different settings and finally found that a normal setting is what works.

And last, but not least the flora and fauna in dunes lakes are different.

Posted by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua, March 23, 2017 19:45

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow Bladderwort (Utricularia australis)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 2017

Description

Locally common, covering about 70 - 90% of the lake floor down to a depth of 4.2m.

This was the find of the day :)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 2017

Description

growing in a fresh water lake

Photos / Sounds

What

Stonewort (Genus Nitella)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 14, 2017 09:28 AM NZDT

Description

growing in a fresh water lake

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 14, 2017 09:29 AM NZDT

Description

growing in a fresh water lake

Photos / Sounds

What

Kuta Kuta (Eleocharis sphacelata)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 14, 2017 10:38 AM NZDT

Description

Kuta growing in a fesh water lake

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Dabchick (Poliocephalus rufopectus)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 2017

Description

dabchick hanging out on a fresh water lake

Photos / Sounds

What

Little Fringed Weevil (Atrichonotus taeniatulus)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 15, 2017 04:09 PM NZDT

Description

Walking on water above a mosquito fish.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

March 2017

Description

Small aquatic plant

Comments

Nice! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by leonperrie over 5 years ago (Flag)

Awesome - I find diving dune lakes much the same as you describe. Some are magical, the clarity is incredible, others, well it is like diving in coffee (the lakes of Rekohu are often like that). Whilst the 'obvious' lake life is not so conspicuous as what you have on your doorstep in the moana., its the differences thta make it fun. I recollect my favourite dives have been those floating over charophyte beds at Lake Waiporohita and Kaiiwi, or swimming through Utricularia australis at another lake I cannot name but you probably saw. The silence is incredible. I really enjoyed reading this - it bought back so many happy memories.

Posted by pjd1 over 5 years ago (Flag)

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