Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hawaii reef dives, manta diving, frogfish, whaleshark... We've done it all the last couple of days...

A lot of scuba diving has happend off the Wanna Dive boat the last couple of days. We've managed to see most of the "rare" stuff... Or should I say my crew has anyway. I've been playing Captain for the most part.

Yesterday we had a newly certified couple join a group of four that's been diving with us. Newly certified divers can be fun to dive with... occasionally you get those cases of "beginner's luck", yesterday was no exception... part way through the dive Bob looked up and a WHALESHARK was swimming over their heads. The first diver up was one of the newly certified divers and he was extremly excited, going on about seeing a shark that was bigger than the boat.... for those of you who aren't familiar with whalesharks, they are harmless plankton feeders and can grow to 40-60 feet long - they are HUGE. Now Bob has well over 4000 logged dives and this was the first whaleshark he had seen on scuba ever... they got it on thier first try. It's all downhill for them from here on.

Last night we did the manta dive again. My regular nights are Tuesday and Thursday, but we had a family who wanted to go out on Saturday and it worked for us, so why not. They were all snorkelers so I figured I'd leave Bob to captain and I'd go down and play with the camera. We had several mantas, and when I went to turn on my camera I noticed it was slightly floaty, rather than slowly sinking... I thought that odd 'til I went to turn it on. No batteries. Oh well, maybe next time. Unfortunately, last night would've been a great night for the camera as there were a couple of squid that came by the dive site and swam with the divers and snorkelers. That's the first time I know of that happening. I've never seen them yet, I'd already surfaced after finding I had no juice to the camera.

Here's a fish that is kind of special. This is a Saddleback Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ephippium). They are one of our more ornate reef fish. I used to get real excited seeing them, but I seem to see them more often these days. They are one of our larger butterfly fish and tend to hang out in pairs. If you see one, another is usually nearby. I did a short captain's dive between dives the other day at Golden Arches and there was one of these right under the boat. The one wouldn't have anything to do with me, but it's mate seemed to not mind me, even seemed curious and kept coming near. I managed to click off 4 decent shots, all just mostly out of flash range, but with enough light to give it a chance with photoshop. This guy turned out with realistic color after a few adjustments.



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