Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Dive Report for 10/24/09

All photos Copyright 2009 by Barry Fackler

Conditions at Honaunau were very good on Saturday with very little surface action and visibility near-to-but-not-quite 100'. Still some particulate matter hanging in the water column but not as bad as in the past two weeks. Lots of people at the bay and parking was scarce even though I got there at 6:45 AM. Lots of fishermen using the boat ramp and leaving there trucks and trailers, too.

I love to dive early in the morning just to see the light of dawn filtering through the water. As the sun shines through the rippling surface layers, the shafts of light sweep back and forth like hundreds of inverted searchlights.

A nice little find on mt first dive was this little Chevron Tang. The colors are really bright and bold and it's really an attractive fish. Actually this fish is the juvenile form of the Black Surgeonfish which, as its name suggests, is devoid of the bright colors of its youth.

Another nice tang seen on the first dive of the day was this Gold-Rim Tang. These are real beauties, too. There is a small colony of them on the southern end of the bay near a big rock pinnacle.

This Tiger Cowrie is in the same location I found it in last week. I'm hoping it doesn't end up in someone's collection soon.

This may look like an eel but it is actually a Bluespotted Cornetfish. These are pretty common in Hawai'i and on my early morning dive they were gathered together in loose groups.  They have a long, thin filament extending from the tail fin and can reach a length of 4.5 feet.

On the second dive, I saw this little male Spotted Boxfish hiding in a crevice. Two weeks ago I posted a photo of a female of the species. As is true with a large number of reef fishes, the males have more vivid, brighter colors. Nobody knows for certain why this is but it may have a role in attracting mates.

This is an Arc-Eye Hawkfish. It gets its name from the odd little marking behind its eye. It is not a particularly good swimmer and spends a great deal of its time perched atop the coral (like a hawk!) waiting for a potential meal to swim too close to it. It can come in a wide variety of hues including dark green, bright red and, as seen here, light tan. It is extremely common and literally dozens can be seen on a single dive. 

The cool find of the day was this tiny Dwarf Moray. These are not considered rare but they are quite reclusive and very seldom seen so I was quite happy to find this little guy. He never poked his head out much farther than this and I would have never seen him if the Spotted Boxfish hadn't swam right in front of him!  Maximum length is said to be 12 inches although the entire body is rarely seen.

Another fine day of diving. This Friday we're getting company. Our friends Kari and Rick are coming to visit along with their son, Jack. They will be here a week and we plan to do a lot of diving. However, I may be too busy to post during their stay, so try not to miss me too much!

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