Thursday, June 09, 2011

I'm such a meanie... I made Bob jump the same mooring twice...

Two days ago the water settled down and was very nice. We went up to a dive site called "sand chute" up by the Kona airport. Bob jumped the mooring and as he was climbing up the ladder I noticed a lot of ruckus going on about a half mile out on the surface. I told Bob I was sorry to do this, but I think we needed to unhook and check it out.

As we approached the spot we could see it was what I expected... a baitball! There was a circle of white foamy water and small fish about 10 inches high off the surface of the ocean with a bunch of shark fins swirling through it.

We parked right next to it and you could see fish jumping and probably 6-8 five to six foot long sharks swimming through it. The sharks were probably Galapagos or Sandbar sharks, I'm not sure as I really don't know the difference right off hand.

Once our eyes adjusted to looking through the water, we could tell the mass of fish life was much larger than just the immediate foamy spot where the fish were jumping. It was all around us. After 8-10 minutes or so a dolphin watch operator pulled up about a hundred feet away and we could tell the whole area between us was quite busy. Looking down you could see tons of little 2-3 inch fish, with tons of 6-8 inch fish below them, which were being hit by tons of 12-15 inch fish below them and the occasional shark passing through.

I wish I had my camera, but then again I'm kinda glad I didn't as I would have had choices to make. I pretty much chickened out about going in to check it out... probably a good idea, but if I'd have had a camera and housing with me I might have been tempted to ease down the ladder with the camera. I know from experience with swimming with Ocenic Whitetip sharks years ago that it's not the most comfortable feeling (especially when you read up on how many deaths Oceanics are responsible for - apparently it's more than all other sharks combined) being in open water with predators and not being able to see in all directions at once. These weren't Oceanic Whitetips, but still I'm kinda conservative these days.

It was an exciting thing to watch for a few minutes before going back to sand chute for the dive.

Above is a shot of one of my favorite fish... a Yellowtail Coris Wrasse. These colorful guys change colors as they grow.

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