Facebook/instagram and even news websites have been awash with Barrel jellyfish photos and videos the last week and so I had to get a piece of the action! I had seen these gentle giants in previous years but had not tried to take any photos in earnest. I snorkelled out from the beach in Falmouth and after 200 meters or so I sure enough found three or four (they occasionally came close to each other but there of course was zero interaction). Barrel jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo can in rare cases have a bell 90 cm wide but these were smaller, maybe 90 cm in length. I dove to take shots from below again and again: good exercise! I learner to hold my breath so the shot would not be ruined by air bubbles. I tried some over-unders but the shore was far away and so ended up only being a sliver, tricky!I tried some downward shots as well, which were much more gloomy. I saw a lone Blue jellyfish and a couple of Compass Jellyfish Chrysaora hysoscella. They are much smaller and have longer tentacles that unlike the Barrel jellyfish can sting (but not badly). Jellyfish are a great subject, beautiful and not rapidly swimming off! I hope to go back soon and try some more shots. (I will have to make sure to wipe the dome port occasionally as I had to spot-fix quite a bit).
Back at Carne Beach on the Roseland Peninsula. No time for a good rock pooling session, but a nice walk along the beach revealed some nice surprises. Amongst the Laver and Furbellows lay Common starfish, Pod razorshells, Striped venus, Banded wedge shells and Rayed trough shells. A first: the Masked crab Corystes cassivelaunus (a female): common offshore buried in the sand, and usually only seen when washed up dead on the shore as is the case here (next to it a Sea apple). Also a beautiful piece of Sea beach (or Sea oak? the margins seem not ruffled enough though…). Finally, a Barrel jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo, remarkably firm and heavy. This is a small one, about 20 cm across; 40 cm is normal and occasionally they grow to more than a meter in diameter, making it the largest jellyfish species in British waters.