Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 10, 2011

First we dove Kaiwi Point where my group saw a little baby Spotted Eagle Ray and Mike's group saw a large adult Spotted Eagle Ray! We also saw a White Tip Reef Shark, A variety of Moray Eels and an Octopus. The highlights of the day actually happened on the next dive at Kaloko Canyons.
We not only saw a male Whitley's Box Fish in 35 FEET OF WATER!! (they are usually much deeper) We got to see (for my first time EVER!) A SPINY COWFISH!!!! An extremely rare fish that I wasn't sure I would ever see in Hawaii. It's also known as the "big" cowfish because it gets up to 10 inches when fully grown. This one was fully grown and blended in very well with the rocky substrate. When Mike first pointed it out to me I thought it was a Striped Belly Puffer Fish, because it was about the same size. However as my eyes focused on it I could clearly see its boxy shape and the thorns protruding from its eyebrow area, mid-back and also below its tail. So AMAZING!

May 8, 2011

At Nai'a Bay this morning we had friendly Spinner Dolphins! We got to hang out with them for 10 minutes or so. Yorin got really CLOSE to one. I wish I had a camera so I could've taken his picture! Something caught my eye as I was playing in mid-water with the dolphins, so I descended to the bottom at about 75 feet to inspect the critter in the rubble. It turned out to be a male Two Spot Wrasse. It gets its name for the two black spots on it's body, but this one was especially colorful. Once back on the boat I looked it up in the book, turns out the one I saw was in full courtship display! It had delicately colored spots and lines in pink, purple, green, yellow and blue! It was also fully grown according to Hoover's fish identification book. It was 6 inches.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

April 7, 2011

Thunder Reef was gorgeous this morning! Beautiful visibility! As we descended over the ledge a large Manta Ray swam slowly past us. That was a great way to start the dive! We dropped down to 130 feet to check out the forest of Wire Coral. The individual, green corals were standing straight up out of the bottom, shaped like long wires. Most of them were 3 to 4 feet high but some were taller than me! As we cruised up the slope we saw a Zebra Moray and a couple of harems of Flame Wrasses, with the males in their mating phase with their colorful fins out in full display. Up on top of the slope we found a large, gorgeous Leaf Scorpion fish that looked like white lace. Later we found octopus, more eels, and a Tiger Cowrey. As we ascended back to the boat a school of about 200 Raccoon Butterfly fish came swarming all around us. We all just grinned at each other.... NICE dive!

Friday, May 06, 2011

May 2, 2011

Drift Dive around Kaiwi Point. It was a perfect day for it. The current was gentle but constant. It pushed us along for nearly 40 minutes. (usually it dies out after 15-20) It was gorgeous. Lots of fish and beautiful visibility. We didn't see any big animals today but we all agreed that it was a relaxing, beautiful dive. Dee found an extremely rare fish. And even more rare, she got a picture of the rare fish!! Well done, Dee! Here it is pictured below. We had to look it up in the book... a nearly SUPER Male Sunset Wrasse. ( "super" here not meaning, "really great" but, alpha, alpha male! )

April 28, 2011

We dropped in on the "Green Can" this morning. That is the channel marker in front of Honokohau Harbor. I hadn't been down there in a while. At the bottom of the chain there is a big cement block at about 130 ft. As we were descending we saw a couple Sand Bar Sharks cruising out in the blue. They made a couple of passes to get a better look and then they were gone. As we settled in on the sand at the bottom, we took a few moments to pan the horizon and take in the vast stretch of white sand with thousands of Garden Eels. They look like tall grass coming out of the sea floor, but they are actually long skinny eels. As we started to make our way across the expanse of sand towards the reef we noticed little patched of sand were moving. As our focus shifted we realized the moving sand was actually juvenile Peacock Flounders that perfectly blended in with the sand. Some of them were the size of a quarter, the biggest ones were the size of a dollar bill. (They reach the size of a dinner plate!) Then we realized they were everywhere. We probably saw a couple dozen! I have never seen that many together! It was cool. As we got closer to the reef we found a Jeweled Anemone Crab scurrying away to try and find a coral head to hide under. Up on the reef there was plenty to see. We found a Great Barracuda, two Hawaiian Octopus, and a teeny, tiny baby Frog Fish the size of the nail on my pinky finger! Too cute! Another great dive right in front of the harbor. We are so spoiled!