The morning dip

A whitetip reef shark passes below looking, I think, for a quiet place to get some rest.
A fourspot butterflyfish swims by a patch of cauliflower coral, some living, some dead. There are two spots on each side, but this fish was very small so the second spot was still filling in as space allowed.
A blue goatfish cruises by.
A green linckia sea star and lobster molt. Most green linckia have five arms but can have four or six. They’re able to reproduce by detaching an arm which will eventually develop into a new star.

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Morning Rituals.’ See more responses here.

Most mornings, I try to get in the water, as conditions and schedules allow. Morning is the best time for snorkeling as the water is usually calmer before the wind picks up as the day wears on. Visibility can vary from day to day and it can help to check surf reports to see if there are any swells moving in. But calm water doesn’t guarantee good visibility just as swells don’t always mean bad visibility. There’s only one way to be sure and that’s to jump in.

My favorite thing about snorkeling is that every day is different and I never know what I’ll see. Going to the same spot means I become familiar with some of the regulars, but there are always transient creatures passing through including rays and dolphins. And while those big creatures are great to encounter, it’s equally interesting to watch the activities of smaller fish and marine invertebrates.

It’s a rare day indeed that I don’t emerge prattling on about something I saw while I was in the water. And on those rare days, well, I’ve still had a good swim to set me up for the day ahead.

It wasn’t until I processed this photo of a goldring surgeonfish that I noticed the stocky hawkfish resting motionless below it.

15 thoughts on “The morning dip

  1. naturebackin

    How fascinating about the starfish detaching an arm to develop a new starfish!
    Lovely photos. The restrictions on travel and tourism are unbelievably tough. Hopefully there will be better news in the new year, but that is still quite some time away …

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    1. Graham Post author

      Almost all the sharks I’ve seen have been whitetips. Earlier this year I saw what I think was a Galapagos shark, but I only got one very poor photo that made it hard to confirm the species. The other sighting was a large shark that I only saw disappearing into murky water after it had passed me. My guess would be that it was either a Galapagos or Tiger shark.

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    1. Graham Post author

      Hawaii is a great place, but it’s like anywhere – there are ups and downs. Right now, the economy is on life support because of the travel shutdown and until that opens up and people start visiting again, it’s going to continue to be rough here. But, yes, being able to get in the water most days does help.

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