Sunday, August 21, 2016

A little freaked out..

I must admit to being a bit freaked out this morning when I got into the water.

First of all, I was happy, because I found an octopus after only 4 minutes of swimming.  (Yes, we do measure these things...and hey!  If I have to admit to taking an hour and a half to find the first one on some days, I can be thankful to find one quickly, as well.)

A total of 3 octopuses, by the way.  All small...we'll see if the pix are good.

But back to the freak-out:

So I'm swimming along in Poipu, minding my own business, and to the left, very near the entry point,  I see some commotion: sand being stirred up and two big animals.  Immediately my mind goes to full alert mode.

And it turned out to be two huge eagle rays!  At first, because of their size, I totally thought they might be Manta Rays!  But then I saw some spots on their backs, in a pretty pattern.  Sadly, the photos didn't turn out well, perhaps because of operator surprise, but also because they were stirring up the bottom to search for their breakfast.

What looks kind of like a rock in the middle is actually one of the has its fin flipped up. The video, which I did have the presence of mind to record, is ok in the first part, but then gets full of bad visibility, as the sand was stirred up.  Also, my camera had a bit of trouble with focus.  It couldn't really decide what to focus on and it didn't help that the animals were moving quickly.  But here you go:

So I apologize in advance for the quality of the latter half of this video.  I'm just glad I got anything!  And these puppies were huge...probably with wings outstretched, as long as I am tall.   Definitely got my attention. And then they swam off....And no, I didn't follow.  Not THAT crazy!

We did have some rain out at sea:

And here's octopus #1:
Look really carefully, after clicking on it, and you'll see the octopus' eye.  Hiding below the rocks in the middle. Yeah, they have mad skills in hiding.

Octopus #2
Remember, nothing worth doing is easy!  It's the little guy, in the hole, just to the left of the white rock.  YES, it is....really.  Would I lie?!

Octopus #3 

This octopus is hiding in its den behind two rocks.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if it moved the rocks into that protective position.  I have many times seen them moving rocks around to their liking...

I didn't want anything to interfere with the rays photos, so I switched to my backup camera. And with camera #2,I have been noticing for a while that the Moorish Idol has what looks like eyebrows.  What do you think?!

Don't those look just like eyebrows?!  Gotta say that I love the colors and patterns on these fish.

And a Snowflake Eel with a Brighteye Chromis.  Not a normal combination, but the head of the eel was hidden at this point, so I think the Chromis was pretty safe:
Should I call this an Eagle Eye challenge?  the chromis is just above the eel....

I also found 2 Bubble Shells. I think this is perhaps the first time I found this type of fragile shell.  The first one (a small one) had a hermit crab in it.  Which I didn't find out until I got home and reviewed the pix: What ho!  Who's in there?!
Can you see the little eye stalks at the top of the shell? You can perhaps understand why I didn't see this at the time...So much to see, so little time! LOL
Bubble Shell #2 was much larger; it didn't move and I was afraid to pick it up, in case it was in use.  Don't want to hurt such a thin shell.

If you've read my earlier blogs, you know I love the 3 Spot Damsel.  Well, today was an added bonus: I caught one of the 3 Spots in the same shot as a Brighteye Chromis! This is my equivalent of early Christmas present.
Aww, too cute, right?!

And speaking of presents, I saw once again a small Devil Scorpion Fish:

They are majorly efficient in hiding!  This one added insult to injury by also hiding under a ledge in the coral.  I am showing this photo just so you can see the under-wing bright that they are always a surprise, considering how wonderful the normal camouflage is. That is the rule: bright colors mean stay away!  Poison, biting, etc.... Think of the Blue Ring Octopus. Thank God we don't have those in Hawaii! (Australia...yes it has occurred to me to go since I'm all over interested in octopus, but since those octopus hang out in the shallow water, not so much interested in that bite..)

And now for the Soapbox Episode:  If you read my earlier blog when I was still with Wordpress, you'll know that I'm fairly militant at protecting the reef, ocean, its creatures, etc.  Well, today in the Kiddie Pond, I noted someone alongside me, about 6 feet away.  I was astonished to see one human leg and one of those legs you get when your leg has been amputated.  Needless to say, this was surprising to the max.  But I soon went from sympathy to dismay when I realized that both feet were walking on the bottom. He was apparently a photog, taking pictures of, can you believe, people walking with their surfboards:
That's the photog in the water on the left.  And the surfboard models just below the rainbow.  I wasn't too hacked off at first, thinking, OK, a man's gotta eat!  But then I saw the coral:
Mind you, I can't prove that he did this, but it was in the same area where he was walking and it looked like fresh breaks to me.  So sad.  And for what?  A fashion shoot?!

God provided some wonderful creations in the ocean realm.  Let's try to preserve that, people! I know it wasn't you breaking coral, but please be aware when you are in the water that there are fragile systems under those briny deeps! And thanks for caring.


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