Monday, March 30, 2009
Turtle Cleaning Station Kona Hawaii from Steve on Vimeo.
Today's diving was good. Cathy did the first dive, at Golden Arches, and reported viz approaching 200 feet, mentioned it was warmer too. I did the second dive at Turtle Pinnacle. As we approached the dive site we were in very deep water (I didn't have the sonar set up, but we were off the reef and in deep water, probably 150-200 feet) and could still see the bottom. We pulled up to Turtle Pinnacle and probably had 135 feet or so of viz on the reef. This site is not one that's known for it's viz, so conditions were excellent today.
Turtle Pinnacle is a turtle cleaning station. Turtles will swim to there and solicit a cleaning from tangs (surgeonfish). In it's heyday, you could generally count on seeing several turtles there. The last few years it's been more hit and miss. We had two turtles at the site today. One was there for a cleaning, the other looked like it was just looking for a ledge to tuck under for a sleep at the time.
The turtles will often lay down and spread out for a good cleaning. The video above shows classic swimming cleaning behavior. This can get fun if there's several turtles wanting to be cleaned. It's almost as if they get jealous... turtles will swim over to a swimming turtle being cleaned and cut in tight trying to steal their fish!