Category Archives: In The Water

Green turtle coming up in Kiholo

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Glacier Blue.’ See more responses here.

We’re a little short on glaciers here on the Big Island, but the color description made me think of Kiholo Bay, where fresh water intrusion gives the water a different look to most places around here. The bay is also a great place to see turtles, which can be seen in the water and hauled out on the shore to rest.

This turtle was swimming in the bay where the gently rippling surface gave it an abstract appearance as it came up for air.

Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

Abstracts: Floating leaves

When I’m snorkeling, the idea is to look around and down to see what the fish are up to. But sometimes it pays to look up to see what’s happening at the water’s surface.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

A marked monk seal pup

I posted here about seeing the monk seal Hiwahiwa on the coast below Upolu. In that post I noted that Hiwahiwa, the only monk seal pup born around the Big Island in 2020, had no tags or markings of any kind.

Some time after that sighting I saw this monk seal in the same general area. Since the seal was on the small size I figured it could be Hiwahiwa, but it didn’t move so I couldn’t even be sure if it was male or female. I reported the sighting to Ke Kai Ola, which tracks monk seals, and got the response that it probably was Hiwahiwa. They noted the line circling his body in front of the flippers and, while they can’t say with certainty how he got the scar, it’s believed he got entangled in some fishing line.

So now I have a way of identifying him and, of course, haven’t seen him since. The scar doesn’t seem to have bothered him and, like most monk seals, he looks quite contented while resting. The markings on him are where he’s been splashed by waves, the darker skin being wet and smooth.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

Nuptial colors

A gargantuan blenny in nuptial colors

In November, I posted the photo below, showing a gargantuan blenny resting in a recess in some rocks. The top photo, taken at the end of December, shows a gargantuan blenny in the exact same spot. It’s probably the same fish and this is part of its territory.

But astute observers will note that the fish now looks completely different. That’s because it’s the start of blenny spawning season and this male has changed into its nuptial colors for the occasion. He looks rather dashing, I think.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

A gargantuan blenny

Uplifting moments from 2020

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your 2020 Retrospective.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

In this retrospective I’ve focused on events and photos that were uplifting for me during the difficult year that was. Most of these photos haven’t run before, but were taken at the same time as those in posts that ran in 2020. Links to the original posts are at the end of the captions.

Whitemouth moray eel looking up

One thing I can rely on when I’m snorkeling is that when I’m looking down into the water there’s a very good chance something will be looking up at me. Most creatures in the water are constantly scanning for predators, or prey.

In this case, this whitemouth moray eel was in a typical position, wedged into a crack, and keeping a watchful eye on my movements.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

Christmas year-round

In Hawaii, snorkelers get to celebrate Christmas year-round thanks to the Christmas wrasse. I’m not sure why it got that name – it has others – but I suspect it has to do with its colorful appearance. Regardless, I’m sure it would like to join me in wishing everyone a happy Christmas.

Varicose phyllidia

This varicose phyllidia is a small nudibranch, which I saw several times over the course of a week or so. Apart from being a lot smaller than the clumpy nudibranchs I saw a couple of months back, the varicose phyllidia has gills under the mantle skirt rather than in an exposed, wavy clump.

This one was two to three inches long. In the middle photo, the tiny white-spotted toby and small brown surgeonfish give a sense of scale.