October 20, 2020

Breaking a long silence

Since my last post marking the redoubtable Phil Bendle's passing, there has been a steady accumulation of observations of the interesting, beautiful and sometimes bizarre organisms that reside at, or drift past the Poor Knights Islands. The project now contains just over 1230 verifiable observations and in the last two years has really benefited from large contributions by @emr_auckland, @jmartincrossley, @nigelmarsh, @ryan_slattery, @lukas932 and @lcolmer. One of the most notable of these observations being that of a googly-eyed pink clingfish (Modicus minimus) (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42225165). This observation by @ryan_slattery is, as far as I am aware, the first time this species has been photographed alive in its natural habitat. As I am a fish nerd I was also excited to see @albeer23 's observation of a yellow crested weedfish (Cristiceps aurantiacus) resting in the crown of an Ecklonia plant (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/61274808).

Among the ranks of the spineless majority these observations caught my eye:

Who knows what the summer will bring.

Posted on October 20, 2020 04:03 AM by clinton clinton | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 13, 2018

Passing of a Poor Knights icon

It is with great sadness that I note here the death of Phil Bendle (nzwide). For decades Phil was the renown, sometimes infamous, skipper of the Norseman. The Norseman was a vessel from an bygone era, one where you had no choice but to slow down and enjoy the ride. I was fortunate to spend many hours, not as many as some, on the Norseman diving the Poor Knights and the coast north of Tutukaka. Phil's knowledge of the Knights and his naughty sense of humor always made diving with him a great pleasure, even if the occasional run in to Tuts ahead of a howling northeasterly sometimes had you wishing you were on a faster boat. Phil was a early adopter and early member of NatureWatch NZ, posting over 100 underwater images of marine life, many of them rare or at least rarely seen species. Those images, many taken by the likes of Wade Doak and Ross Armstrong, form the basis of this project.

Phil died in New Plymouth on Wednesday, 8 August 2018, aged 82 yr.

Posted on August 13, 2018 09:58 PM by clinton clinton | 3 comments | Leave a comment