Friday, June 23, 2006

No mantas on the manta ray night dive tonight.

Bummer. The last few nights have been off an on for the manta rays apparently. Tonight was an off night. We had plenty of plankton, but no mantas to be seen. We usually set up for the mantas and if there are none in roughly 15 minutes we'll turn it into a regular night dive and check back every so often to see if any mantas have come in.

Tonight's night dive was very nice though. We saw two good sized spiny lobsters, a regal slipper lobster, several common slipper lobsters, two Hawaiian red lobsters, a large anemone hermit crab, a smaller anemone hermit crab, tons of shrimp, loads of eels out hunting and other good stuff. We had two experienced divers tonight so I took the camera down. Right now it's not really set up for night shots, I probably won't take it down on night dives 'til I figure a few things out. I'm posting a couple pics that turned out.

The fish at the top is a Stocky Hawkfish (Cirrhitus pinnulatus). We see these fish often at night and they have a neat color pattern. The second picture is of the smaller anemone hermit crab we saw. The third picture is of most, but not all, of a Bearded Cusk Eel (Brotula multibarbata). They look like a cross between a catfish and an eel and are not commonly seen. I posted this only because I saw one, I might not be able to get a good photo of one just because they are quite skittish and usually end up under a rock quite quickly when found.

The water temperature is still running 79 degrees according to my computer. Water conditions underwater are pretty good, but we've been having a big south swell and unseasonally odd winds the last few days which have made for choppy surface conditions. Hopefully that'll settle down soon enough.



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