Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kahalu'u Beach Park

Extraordinary snorkeling here! Now, I am a scuba diver by heart and soul but this adventure with Darby and Dennis while Austin was in his second day of class to Kahalu'u Bay really was a highlight of our trip. Kahalu'u Beach has black pebbled sand and is somewhat sheltered by an ancient breakwater offshore that since been weathered away by countless waves. This cove now is an excellent fish environment. I thought I would give you a tour of some of the fish we were able to see. It was like swimming in an enormous salt water aquarium, only with bigger and a much larger variety of fish. Here Darby and I go snorkeling out to the great beyond!

Dennis went snorkeling with Darby and found some sea cucumbers, they collect sand on them and are safe to touch so Dennis wrote Darby's name on the back of this one.

Dennis filmed Darby and I for a little while although it is a little choppy you can see me motion that I found a shell for Darby and later in the video Darby is talking through her scuba that she can spot an eel! She was extremely excited about her discovery and perhaps you can spot it too in the frame.

I think that one of my favorite fish species are the butterfly fish. This one is aptly named lined butterfly, Darby might refer to it as a zebra fish. I had to race a little to catch a photo of a very large sail fin tang, as these tang normally swim in pairs I did happen to snap a photo of each although neither photo shows the size of these fish as they can grow to up to 38cm in length.

The state fish of Hawaii is a triggerfish by the name "humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua'a." Yep, say that five times fast! These are really beautiful fish to watch they are also appropriately named Picasso triggerfish due to their vibrant coloring and somewhat cubistic striping. The kids love finding the humu's and will point them out every chance they spot one!

This, at first, I believed to be a kind of puffer fish but upon closer inspection and some research I found that this is a male spotted boxfish. It has a gorgeous bluish purple face with a yellow striped masking across it's eye line. It was a fun fish to observe.

Okay, this one is giving me issues. At first glance with it settled in the coral and rocks very camouflaged I believed it to be a lizard fish but after looking through Hoover's guide to Hawaiian fish, no lizard fish came close. Then I looked up a blenny, nope, don't think it's that either. So now my best guess after reading about the stocky hawkfish I think I've found a winner! I just wish it was a more clear shot. I had to zoom in with the camera so as not to have the fish dart away.

NOW....moving on to my favorite fish to play with! and I do mean play with. This female yellowtail coris a type of wrasse loves to nibble on the algae that grow on rocks. When you pick up rocks and knock them together they will come up and nibble on the rock out of your hand. I dove down a couple of times to show Darby how close they can get and how fun these beautifully colored fish are. Next time we dive, I'll try to capture a video of that action because it is really fun to experience!

Here another wrasse and what is called a convict tang to the left.

This is a redlipped parrotfish (blue and above) being followed by a new wrasse I had never seen before called a Christmas wrasse. See it has Christmas lights all along it's side.

This is another colorful Christmas Wrasse on the move!

It's an Amelia Fish!!!! Watch out!!! It's a terrible self portrait!!!!

Can you spot the flounder? There he goes...

I hope you enjoyed our trip through Kahalu'u bay!

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