This Spanish Shawl is the Goldilocks of Nudibranchs
Shame on me for not actually reading the boat schedule and just making assumptions about where the boat was going, but the fact remained that I showed up to a wrecks trip with a macro setup.
Not that it was a big deal; it was merely not the obvious choice.
And that's how I ended up on the El Rey wreck in epic surge and a weird current attempting to shoot macro (go big or go home, right). It wasn't going particularly well.
Also, my dry glove was slowly taking on water, and one of my strobes refused to turn on. So basically I had all the problems, so far as I was concerned.
But one of the interesting aspects of the El Rey is (in part, because it doesn't get a lot of diver traffic) that it has quite a few gorgonians growing on its deck. So as I was making my way back to the anchor chain (around minute 20), I spotted a particularly photogenic-looking Spanish Shawl on a gorgonian that was (just my luck) flapping violently and unpredictably in the weird surge pattern.
Naturally, I dug in and went for the shot. It was an exercise in
frustration patience, to be sure, trying to predict the flapping of the gorgonian (and of the nudibranch) in order to get it in the frame and lit.
This Spanish Shawl was too far to the left.
This Spanish Shawl was too far to the right.
(By this point, the water ingress to my glove had progressed past "slow trickle" and was approaching "water balloon.")
And this one was
just right good enough.