The distinctive Bluestripe Butterflyfish, which is endemic to Hawaii, is unusual in that it has no eye camouflage. This one was nibbling on algae on part of an old pier.
Milletseed Butterflyfishes are quite common, at least where I swim, but I think they’re one of the prettiest butterflyfishes around.
I was snorkeling recently in a marine reserve where fishing is prohibited and the fish there are noticeably more mellow than those in my usual snorkeling spot, where fishing of all kinds takes place.
The Raccoon Butterflyfishes there passed close by without concern. Smaller groups maintained a tight formation, while the odd one wasn’t shy about checking me out.
A Bluestripe Butterflyfish probes for food in the neighborhood of a Collector Urchin.
Fish tend to have their territories, so that when I swim, I often see the same kind of fish in the same place. This stretch of water is a place where pyramid butterflyfish can usually be found.
This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Something Fishy.’ See more responses here.
This seemed like a good opportunity to post a gallery of some of the fish I see when I snorkel around here. Most are brightly colored or have distinctive markings.
Also posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Happy Place.’ See more responses here.
There were a few options for this theme, but I went with this collection because I love going snorkeling and because, just a few days ago, my wife and I revisited Two Step for the final time before Hawaii loosened its restrictions on visitors. We got up early, drove down, and were in the water around 7:45 am. There were two other people swimming at that time, no one else waiting to get in.
The top photo was taken after our swim, around 9:30 am. In a ‘normal’ year, at this time of day, this whole area would be dotted with groups of people, and chairs and mounds of towels left by people already in the water. The bay would also be similarly populated with people, cruising around, looking at fish. There would be several snorkeling tour boats out in the bay, dumping people into the water. Two Step is one of the best spots for snorkeling on the island but, truth is, much of the time it’s kind of a zoo.
However, one of the nice things about Two Step, that I’ve mentioned before, is that it’s a marine reserve. No fishing is allowed and the fish have figured that out. I can’t emphasize enough how differently the fish there react to people than they do in areas where fishing and spear fishing is allowed. They’re so much more mellow and less inclined to dart away.
Also posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.
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.