Captain’s Log

Captain’s Log

Golden Dawn’ - Coral Sea

by Captain Craig DeWit

In early November with a group of divers from See & Sea Travel, Inc. I decided to go on a hunt at the dive site we call “The End Bommie”. I wished to find the elusive Rhinopias aphanes , otherwise known as the Merlot’s Scorpionfish.

Bob and Dinah Halstead originally discovered Rhinopias aphanes at this dive site back in the late '70’s; at that time it was only the second recorded sighting ever! A local diver had made a confirmed sighting the day prior to our charter so I recruited the gentleman (Tony Hill) to join us on the expedition and help us to find this rare specimen.

That morning the excitement was high. I’m happy to report that our search was rewarded with not just one but two Rhinopias of different colors! A large green Rhinopias aphanes was sitting in approximately 15 feet of water on a coral rock, and another smaller, black one at 30 feet on the coral wall. Bingo! We had found one of the great stars of diving!

Later that same month, our divers were surprised by another sighting of a pink Rhinopias aphanes by diver Rick Robbins. After I had shown our divers three Rhinopias, Rick dragged me back into the water to see the pink one he'd found. We believe the pink one is Rhinopias frondosa.

I shared the photos with Bob and Dinah Halstead. In all the years we have lived in Port Moresby we never know what “Secrets of the Sea” lived within a few miles of us.

Return to home page To book an adventure Photos

Modified 08-22-96