Sunday, July 31, 2011

Drove to Hilo on Friday for the first time in ages... forgot how interesting the Big Island is...

I drove to Hilo to have the tailgate of my truck linexed, insurance paid for it since I was rear-ended a month ago, and Pat and I decided to make a day of it. For the most part we had a sunny trip over to the east side of the island, man is the Big Island gorgeous when it's sunny. I haven't been to Hilo in the sun all that often.

Downtown Hilo seems to be a little busier than I last remembered it. It's got a bunch of shops on the main drag to check out. We stopped in at Sun and Sea Hawaii, a nice little dive shop that's been in Hilo for about 3 years or so. From what I can see, Nautilus and them are about the only game in town for dive shops there. Pat and I stopped at Cronies bar and grill for a couple of beers and to try out their "broke the mouth" size "works" burger. Twice the meat (1# total) and twice the toppings... lot's of cheese, bacon, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts... that's a lot of stuff. I had to resort to a knife and fork. Pat and I split it since we'd just eaten a couple hours earlier but I wanted to try it, it was good.

The big yellow blob at the top of the post is a Siphopteron Quadrispinosum. It's one of our local nudibranchs. Back 10 years or so, when I was first made aware of them, I used to spot these guys from 8-10 feet away. The last few years I haven't been so lucky... they max out at about 3 millimeters in length, and my middle aged eyes are having a tough time focusing on something that small anymore. My guess is that a portion of the people I've pointed them out to over the years thought I was just pointing at sand and was a little bit crazy to be fixated on nothing. I've tended to notice them in the late spring and early summer, so if you're diving along over a sandy area and see a hot yellow grain of sand, you might want to look a little closer to see if it's one of these.



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