The whales have started showing up for this winters whale season and the wind seems to have kicked up a notch for their arrival. Hopefully soon we will get some nice, calm whale watching conditions but for now we can enjoy the incredible weather formations from cap clouds covering the west maui mountains to rainbows over the harbor. I don't think it can stay windy forever.
Monday, December 26, 2011
|A tiny snowflake eel peering out of its lair|
|A very large white mouth moray eel|
|A trumpet fish giving his best wire coral impersonation|
(A few days later...)
Tony the Tiger hasn't been spotted for a few days now which makes me think that he has swam back out into deeper water. But I will keep searching...
|This turtle acted a bit weird. It swam straight at me from|
very far away and ended up running right into me. Then
he just continued on to mess with some other resting turtles.
|Here he is nipping at a resting turtle stealing|
the turtle's prime spot
|a white margin nudibranch|
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
|The opening to Cathedrals|
Entering into an underwater cavern with light filtering in from different directions is always an eerie experience. There is an unnatural shade of blue that gives everything a ghostly haze. But if you turn on a flashlight there is an amazing amount of vibrant bright colors.
Inside the cave opens up into a massive open area which is where it gets the name Cathedrals. I would have loved to spend more time inside but there is so much to see. We exited out a small tunnel on the opposite side of the entrance named the shot gun, for how the current rushes in and out and if you time it right you can push yourself into the tunnel just as the current turns out and it will shoot you out like a bullet.
Outside the back of Cathedrals we entered nudibranch heaven. Gold laced, fellows, and several different phyllidias roamed the walls. We also encountered a huge titan scorpionfish hanging very close to a large lobster. Around a few more corners came some real treasures, two new fish for me, a Bandit Angelfish and a scary looking Viper Moray Eel. I can't wait to go back.
|Titan Scorpion Fish|
|Viper Moray Eel|
|Inside the eerie but beautiful First Cathedral|
Monday, December 5, 2011
Its a long trip to Lanai from Ma'alaea so we kicked back, talked nudibranchs and what we wanted to see, ate some breakfast, and were surprised to see some large black bodied dolphins heading our way. I snapped this picture of what may be a false killer whale or perhaps a short fin pilot whale. Either way it was a very cool sighting and a great start to the adventure. Since Cathedrals is a relatively shallow dive at 50-60ft we headed a little past it for our first dive at a place called Wash Rock.
|A juvenile rock mover wrasse|
|Checking for nudibranchs on the Wash Rock|
|A Fellow's Nudibranch, quite rare elsewhere but we saw quite a few here|
|The tunnel of love|
|A Pustulose Phyllidia|
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The bright blue and orange fish at the top is a Potter's Angelfish. Angelfish are hard to spot here in Hawaii because they dive deep into the reef when they see a diver nearby. The beautiful fish in the picture on the right is the second Hawaiian Red Lionfish that I have seen, both in the last few weeks.
And to round out a great rare fish dive I came across this neon yellow fellow to the left, a Commerson's Frogfish. This frogfish still has its juvenile coloration. You would think bright yellow would not work as a camouflage but when you are surrounded by bright yellow sponges and corals you could swim right past him.
I thought this snowflake eel was too cute not to post. He was giving his best snake impression.