Tie-dye Arch

NEW ZEALAND

Sport Diver - - 100 Best Dice Sites - —Bran­don Cole

Eighty feet un­der, at the base of a craggy vol­canic spire, boul­ders smoth­ered in sponges, tu­ni­cates and bry­ozoans light up the blue-green wa­ters of New Zealand’s Tie-dye Arch. Not quite tem­per­ate or trop­i­cal, the 70-de­gree sea is the best of both, sup­port­ing an in­trigu­ing mix of cooland warm-wa­ter species of fishes, in­ver­te­brates and plants. Dread­lock-topped kelp sways back and forth in a gen­tle surge while spot­ted dam­selfish ( demoi­selle, in the lo­cal lingo) shim­mer like di­a­mond dust. Be­yond the kelp’s golden cur­tain, an arch­way opens to an ex­pan­sive cave in which clouds of pink and blue mao­mao fish hide.

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