Monday, May 10, 2021

Hanauma Bay visits: finally!

 I was finally able to understand the new online reservation system to book appointments to visit Hanauma Bay. I was also able to figure out the way to achieve parking...and it was an achievement!

I won't bore you with the whole long story, but the bottom line is that on Saturday, I was the first to park in the parking lot.

The tide was low, so there were many places I couldn't visit. Sadly, that didn't stop some people from walking on the reef, even though the safety/orientation video forbade that!!! Sometimes, people just won't learn.

My first surprise while awaiting entry was a Fairy Tern! These birds are quite rare these days, so it was nice to see one flying over, even if I wasn't able to get a closeup shot.
Part of the line of illegally parked cars awaiting entry. I was able to zoom around these and get in first.
Witches Brew was going off.

You can see the coral above the water, showing the really low tide.

But also showing the lack of people on the beach! My favorite way.

Can we even see the needlefish? They hang up near the surface of the water, so it's a good trick to get the correct angle.
Remains of a fish, lodged in a hole.
I heard from the volunteer at the Info Desk that recently, she had reports of Humuhumunukunukuapua'a biting the butts of swimmers! They must have wandered into the Humu's territory. They do have a strong jaw and sharp teeth.
Awwww. Cute little white spotted toby.
The Rock Mover Wrasse. I followed a couple of these, hoping they would lead me to an octopus in its den, but no joy. The water was not the clearest I have ever seen, so it's possible there were octopuses that I just couldn't spot.
No, you won't bite me!!!
The other type of Humu
Blue lined snapper. I did see many of the usual suspects, such as the Red Tailed snapper below, and the blue fin trevally.

I love the oval butterflyfish. They pick stuff off the reef, so I had a hard time seeing one from the side to get a really good shot.
My old pal, the Abudefduf. I still love saying that name!
There was a group of 7 of these Humu, but they were zooming around so I couldn't get all in one photo.

I was able to find a nice Horn Shell. I think the animal was still in it, but I didn't touch it, so I'm not sure. In any case, I am one of those who saw the video asking See but No Touch! I can pay attention.

Lined Trevally. I like these. You can see the water was not the clearest.
This type of fish, the Yellow Fin Surgeon, was the first fish I saw many years ago in Lydgate Park on Kauai. So pretty. If the sun hits them just right, you can see a wonderful pattern on their sides.
Nice clouds while waiting for my entry time.
Picasso Trigger. Love those stripes and colors!
And Black Durgon! I was very happy to see these, as you normally have to go outside the reef to spot them (deeper water). With these also, if you get the direct sun on them, they have wonderful patterns on their skin.

Big Eye Emperor. I really love seeing these shy fish. They hang out in deeper parts.
Another great find: the Lei Trigger. Same family as the Humu, these subtle patterns and colors are really pretty.
A bit more showy, the Parrotfish displayed all its pretty colors.
Hawaiian Sergeant fish
Yellow Tang!
Barred Filefish and Parrot. I think of the sock monkey eyes when I see this fish.
Gold Eyed Kole
I shall have to look this fish up. They were almost 2 feet long (best guess) and hung out in a group.
Yellow Fin Surgeon (Palani) and the Convict Tang (Manini)
Saddle backed Butterfly duo
Collector Urchin. Unfortunately, some of what it collected is fisherman's net pieces. I saw a video recently that showed the tons of net collected on Hawaii's beaches and in the water. Fishermen leave the nets when it's too much trouble to gather them back in. A huge problem for the ecosystem. I picked up trash myself: scrunchies and a bandaid. Please don't wear either of these in the water! (This is why I wear gloves when I swim.
On the first day back, I didn't see any Cornet Fish, but yesterday, found a couple.

I enjoy it when I can also see their shadow on the bottom.
A pair of Moorish Idols

And as a commemorative of the first returning swim, I bought an Octopus T-shirt! A great find and the only octopus spotted at the Bay.
A little white shell hiding in the coral and a small Pencil Urchin
A Mantis Shrimp. I haven't see the prettily colored ones that are present in other areas of the world, but this one probably also has the ability to snap you like a bullet!

Yesterday, I walked up above the outer part of the bay and got a different view of it.
Didn't see whales, but was reminded how big that ocean is.

I didn't go outside into the deeper water. Since I was swimming alone, didn't want to chance getting into trouble. Perhaps next time, whenever that is!, I will be able to hook up with the others in our group and go with them. They did say they too haven't seen octopuses inside the reef, but did spot a couple outside. That is enough impetus to try again.

I was thankful for the chance to get wet again in Hanauma Bay. Even with low tide and less than perfect water, it was still a treat. 

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