Friday, March 23, 2007

Hawaii Scuba Diving blog... Sailor's eyeballs.

Sailor's Eyeballs? What in the heck is that all about? Well, look at the picture to the right and you'll see a shiny bluish thing, that's a sailor's eyeball, also called "sea pearl" by some.

I first heard of these things watching a Jacques Cousteau special when I was a kid, and forgot what they were until I noticed one on the reef years later diving out here. Turns out they are fairly common. What's interesting about them, from a biological standpoint, is that they can range upwards of nearly 2 inches in diameter, yet they are a single cell organism - the world's largest single cell organism. Most single cell organisms are going to require a microscope for you to see, not this thing.

They are shiny and fairly tough/firm to the touch. They sort of remind me of some sort of oily plastic bubble stuff you blew on a straw when I was a kid in the early 60's.

We did the "no" manta dive tonight. Bob said the plankton was pretty poor, but the night dive itself wasn't all that bad. We had some pretty rough water the last couple of weeks, combine that with bad plankton levels and it's not a real wonder they weren't around.




Em said...


I just wanted to tell you that you have lovely pictures of beautiful marine life.May I know the camera type used.I will be getting my open dive license soon (hopefully) and am also trying to upgrade my cam as well.

Steve said...

I'm currently using an Olympus SP-350. It's a little 8 mp point and shoot with manual controls and preset underwater scene modes. I know people with real basic digital cameras who get very nice shots, it's more a matter of getting to know your camera and what it can do, along with practice, than anything else.



Em said...


Sorry I have another question.Did you a housing for the camera?

Steve said...

Yes, I have the Olympus housing for the camera. Olympus, Canon and a few others make underwater housings for many of their small cameras these days, usually run in the 160-215 range for the housing.