Saturday, July 25, 2009

Diving Lone Tree Arch with Austin

Our second dive with Austin that day was to Lone Tree Arch and around Scull Caves. We stumbled across, yet again, more fish that we had yet to observe during any of our previous dives to the Kona coast. Above you see a photo of a devil scorpion fish with the brilliant colors of it's pectoral fins flashing as it moves to another location to sit in wait of prey.
Here it is still swimming but without the bright showing of it's fins.

It finally nestled itself between some coral and among some rubble and rock to blend in almost perfectly.
Can you spot him in the photo below???
These fish are masters of deception and camouflage this one was nestled at first just among some rocks and out in the open, as it were, until some of the divers got just a little too close and it displayed it's fins and moved. I had never seen one before, knowingly that is.
Here is another photo of a white-mouthed moray eel. They are so abundant here that now we just look for the extremely large ones as they can grow to four feet in length and probably have a girth of around twelve or so inches.
On this dive, while Dennis had the camera we found two more bandit angelfish. These endemic species were giving us quite the display as there were two on this dive at this site. These were amongst other fish and around sixty-five feet Dennis was able to capture some much better pictures because these two seemed uninterested in the fact that we were even there.

This is how much the coral changes to broken coral and rock before dropping off to the sandy bottom at around 70 feet. And you can see how the bandit angelfish blends in perfectly to it's surroundings here.

Once in a while we find some interesting items in the coral, this time it was a hermit crab.
Yet another first, and another rare fish to see, are these two saddleback butterfly fish. They were along the outside coral and rock formations of what makes up scull cave and I spotted them. Dennis and I were together at this point so we tried to get a little closer to get some better pictures of these really spectacular fish. Unfortunately I think they knew we were on to them and they high tailed it out of our site very quickly. I was able to crop and enlarge the photo somewhat so you can see what we spied. The photo below is the actual photo without enhancements.

Here again, a photo enhanced and cropped to show the two escaping our every move to get closer.

After that we noticed that Austin had tapped Luke and given him the low on air signal. I was so proud of my eleven-year old son who has the guts to dive, but not only that he has the presence of mind to be aware of his air and his depth and time. He has been trained to look at his gauges and understands how to read and understand them. Accordingly, he is also very calm and cautious and took care of the situation without panic or fear. He knew he needed to let his dive master know of his situation and then they shared air until I could get to Austin. Once I was closer I signed to Luke that I was getting low on air anyway and would take Austin back to the boat. It was even more interesting that Dennis and I had just completed our training and certifications for Rescue Diving and here I was already putting it into place and utilizing my new found knowledge.


mamamia said...

Way to go Austin! I don't know if I'd be as calm as he was!

Amelia said...

He's a good diver and a smart diver! :)