Saturday, February 8, 2020

Goofy Fish

Because it was low tide this morning and parts of the inside-reef area were murky, I decided to go outside the reef, into the deeper part of the water.

As I was swimming along, I noted what I thought was a leaf just to the left of my face mask. So I reached out to brush it out of my view plane and it wasn't a leaf!

A very small fish had apparently decided that I was comforting enough to tag along in my slip stream. Perhaps it thought it would be safer near such a big object.

In any case, I can't i.d. the little guy. But here are a few pix I caught when I darted away from it:

 It definitely had stripes. And was probably a juvenile, due to small size (although that's not a certain method of gauging age.)
 And it had decent teeth:

 And yellow fins. Wish I knew what it was! It's amazing how hard it is to get a good picture of something so close. And so fast.
Wild, huh? And it stayed with me for about 20 minutes. I felt like I suddenly had a very small pet. I am glad that it felt safe enough to stay with me that long. But it was weird, because it stayed very close. At one point, it was right in front of my eyes, just outside my mask: try to take a photo of that, would ya?!

As I turned toward the buoys with the intention of going back into shallower water, the little guy gave up on me, apparently, and I didn't see it anymore.  I was glad to be of service, even if only for a short while.

All of this distracted me from noticing that I wasn't seeing any octopuses! I look for them inside the barrier reef first. Since it's less deep, there's more chance to see the little hiders in the bottom rocks. But other than a possible sighting at first, near the shore, I didn't see any I could affirmatively say was an octopus.
I thought I saw something slink down into the hole on the left, but couldn't be sure because the visibility was so poor near shore. 

But there were a lot of nice sightings of other things, so I'm not too bummed.

See youtube  and search for octopigirl7 for the Bigeye Trevally video.

Here are some stills of the whirling dervishes:

 They just  keep whirling around in a circle. Look for the Pinktail Durgon on the right above.
A pair of Oval Butterfly fishes.
 My pal, the Abudefduf. I thought of this type of fish when I saw the little guy near my head, but the colors were wrong.

Lined Butterfly fish and Barred Filefish. Perspective is a funny thing: the Lined Butterfly is a much bigger fish than the Barred, but it's hard to tell that in this photo.
 A pair of Barred Filefish

 This gives you a chance to see the fins, as well as the tail.
 Eating upside down.

Bigeye Emperor in the deeper side.
 Finally got some pix of the Black Durgon that shows a bit of their patterns.
 And the Lined Coris
 A busy shot. Parrot fish on the left, yellow tang and the whitespotted surgeons in the upper middle. You can see it's deep here, as the Parrot looks small. But it wasn't.
 Peacock grouper in downward dog yoga pose...
 They don't look as black in this shot, do they?

 In this group of Black Durgon, I noted a part of fishing net. I was able to retrieve and remove it.

Fishing with a friend. Perhaps I have octo-characteristics: I would have had to thwap that Trevally!

Lined Butterfly and Barred Filefish

It's intriguing that there's a white patch on their "forehead." I wonder why? Would have been easier perhaps to just continue the black. Note how the black hides the eye.
 Longnose Butterfly

 And, ta-da! The Trunk Fish male. Yay. Much rarer over here on Oahu.

 And the Moorish Idol is much less prevalent here, also. At least I don't see them as often.
 Palani feeding

 In this one, you can see not only the pretty stripes on their fins, but also the slit for their spike, near the tail.

Another Peacock Grouper
 And now for the Pinktail:

Raccoon Butterfly fish and Yellow Tang

And the Snowflake Moray peeking out in the shallow side.
 Here's a little bit better shot of the Whitespotted Surgeon fish.
 And below, the surgeon accompanied by Teardrop Butterfly.

Some biggish Bluefin Trevally blew through, led by a Chub.

 The small Pinktail 
And a few environmental shots from the morning:
 Doesn't that bolt of light look like there's a light saber behind the cloud?
A mellow sunrise. But it didn't rain as had been forecast, so it was all good!

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