A nudibranch is a soft mollusk with no shell. We most often saw them in warm, shallow reefs. They were so cool that I hated to leave them each time we found them - but there was so much else to see!
The first nudibranch I saw was the first day, and it was very near the surface, swimming by furling a fringe-like edge around it's snail like self. I spent a good amount of time trying to get some pictures of it. As you can see, at first it appeared to be something floating like a dead leaf - in fact the coloring was close to the coloring of a leaf, as shown. It would have been easy to miss if looking at the coral not far below.
Upon closer inspection, the beautiful coloration and delicate body became apparent:
After our guide pointed it out, those of us with cameras (7 people on this tour, 4 with cameras) tried to take photos. I ended up with a few shots of other cameras, but I thought it was interesting how close the cameras got without disturbing the nudibranch. (Fellow traveler shown taking a shot).
Here's a size comparison with my hand (at guide's suggestion of course, I never touched anything without her permission and very few things all trip). What I love about this shot though is that it is the closest I got to being able to show the beautiful, graceful flowing way that the creature swam.
Such a cool creature!!! Here are some awesome photos of nudibranch, NOT taken by me!