Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Elusive Dragon Moray Eel

During our drift dive along what Captain Russ called Thurston's wall I was behind the rest of our small group of about five divers when I noticed something in the coral about eight feet away from me. I knew it was an eel that I had never seen before so I took a closer look as most eels are not extremely frightened by the presence of divers. I couldn't believe my luck. I had spied and found all on my own a Dragon Moray Eel or in Hawaiian puhi ao. It is one of the most rare to find and is also one of the smaller species but it's distinct colors and markings make it one of the most striking of the eel family in Hawaii.
This photo I took right when I thought what I believed to be a Dragon Moray Eel. Unfortunately, my camera was on the fritz everyday during our stay and I couldn't really rely on it to focus properly. Needless to say this was so frustrating since fish and such don't necessarily stay in one place for very long or sit still to have their portrait taken.
In any case I kept getting closer and closer all the while attempting to make my camera work and trying to let my diving companions know what luck I had in finding this amazing animal. Too bad no one was paying attention to my banging on my tank...
I spent a lovely five minutes admiring the coolest eel I've ever encountered. Finally got some in focus pictures that I think turned out splendidly considering my out of whack camera.

I think I finally got just a little too close and the moray backed into its cozy cavern.
Once aboard the boat I explained to Mike that I had found a dragon moray when I finally he looked back after I'd gotten his attention underwater. Signaling for him to come closer and see I tried to sign something but he unfortunately thought I was telling him something vastly different than my hand sign for dragon moray. He thought I was saying lobster and eel of which he had no interest in coming over to see, so without further delay I posed the question what is your hand sign for dragon moray, which he then showed me and from this day forward I promise Mike, if I ever have the chance to see one again, I'll know the correct hand sign! :) Since he then declared that had he known it was a dragon moray he would have payed more attention! :) At least I had the pictures to prove me right...


No comments: