Friday, October 21, 2005

Firedart fish are blooming

I just finished a three day certification course today and tomorrow finish another course which had been started earlier. Some new divers are out there.

My personal highlight, critter-wise, was seeing a trio of firedart fish (Nemateleotris magnifica) in about 60 feet of water. Back in the day when I used to own an aquarium shop, we sold these as "firefish". I moved to Kona in early '99 and I knew of a few spots where we could find single individuals. They pretty much disappeared over the following winter and I hadn't heard of any sightings again 'til June or July of this year. Well, they've come out relatively bigtime. We're finding them very commonly right now. I'd only seen individuals, but I've had friends see two and three at a time. Today I ran across my first trio and I wish I had a camera in hand as they were all in a close grouping. Unlike most smaller fish that hang out in coral rubble areas, you can get quite close to them. They are quite attractive, it might be worth your while to do a search on the latin name if you are a fish nut to see what they look like. I don't have any pics of these guys yet, hopefully I'll be down with a camera sometime before they disappear again and I can post a pic.

We may have a heck of a swell, especially for this time of year, coming in Sunday and Monday. The Oahu news is talking 20-25 feet by tomorrow evening and hitting 30' by Sunday. We generally see our swells come in 12-24 hours later, but luckily north and northwest swells are often shaded/blocked by the islands of Oahu and Maui and sometimes we get no swell at all while the other islands are hammered. If the swell has a large enough western quotient, then we could see the full brunt of it too. The water's been nice the last couple of days, relatively calm and still running 81 degrees.

Well, time to hit the hay.




FreeThinker said...

Awesome macro photo!

Steve said...

Thanks. I'm hoping people realize it was a shot of the Tom Smith's nudibranch, with my thumb as a size reference - as opposed to a shot of my thumb with stuff around it.