Thursday, February 23, 2006

Doing the Kona manta ray night dive tonight off the Kona airport.

I'm running errands, doing some boat maintenance and such today. Tonight I have 1 diver and 4-5 snorkelers for the manta dive. We've (Kona dive operators in general) been seeing 3-5 mantas off the airport site the last few nights.

I've got a couple of "not quite good enough to call keepers" pics, of some fish I've been wanting to show, that I'll post. All of these guys are fish that my camera's focusing system has a tough time tracking. Between that and the shutter delay in low light, it may be a while before I can post a "keeper".

The first is my best shot so far of a flame angel. We saw this one yesterday and I managed to get a shot of it as it came out of a hole. Flame angelfish are found throughout the tropical indo-pacific and are a popular aquarium fish. I'd heard during my aquarium shop days that the Hawaiian ones were a deeper red than what you generally saw in fish shipments from elsewhere, and this seems to be true from what I've seen diving here vs. what I had been getting when I was bringing in non-Hawaiian flame angels.

The second shot is of the fire dart fish I've been talking about seeing this year. These guys are just small enough that my camera tends to focus on the background rather than the fish.

Yesterday's dive was a blast. We had both of these guys, plus buterfly fish galore, including a Saddleback Butterfly I got a real lousy picture of, a tiger cowry, an unusual leaf scorpion way back in a hole that I really wish I could've got a picture of, and all sorts of goodies. Along with that, there were whales singing throughout the dive. It was great fun!

Well, I'm off to get some work done.




Matthew S. Urdan said...

Hey Steve,

Good luck in our battle. I've voted for you in every battle you've been in. I was on the Big Island for ten days back in 1997...Loved it. Hiked in Volcanoes, went to the top of Mauna Kea, drove across the saddle road, went snorkeling with sea turtles at Puuna Lu (spelling--black sand beach south of Kona), down to Waipio valley, etc, etc, etc....Anyway, I really enjoy your site...keep up the awesome work!

Kris in Hawaii said...

Steve, I hope you can post the whale sounds soon. We've been seeing them out on the water and from Pebble Beach, I would love to hear their songs. Keep up the blog!

Steve said...

To Matthew.. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip here. 10 days is a nice length of time, but still can only scratch the surface of what the Big Island has to offer.

For those who are wondering about the "Battle" comment, there's a Blog traffic building site that has head to head challenges between blogs that readers can vote on. I seem to lose the majority of my "battles", oh well, not everyone's into fish.

To Kris... I may have to figure out a differnt way to record the whale songs. The housing on my camera muffles the sound a lot, I've only tried on a quiet day so far. I'm thinking digital recorder, cheap microphone and a condom (for the microphone hanging in the water) might do the trick. Who knows. This next month is prime whale season, I hope I get it figured out.