Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another trip to Hanauma

I mentioned in a post last week that I had gone back to Hanauma Bay, the most popular snorkeling spot on the island (see my post on Hanauma from last summer here). As before, the Housemate and I went armed with his underwater camera (Olympus Stylus Tough 8000).

We didn't see any honu (sea turtles) this time, but we saw lots of different nice fish. I even got an awesome, epic video of a humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaii's famous reef triggerfish). Here are some of my favorite pics (taken by me unless otherwise noted):

Taken by the Housemate, this spotted guy is pretty cute.

The colors aren't any good, but it was fun to swim with a school of fish.

The Housemate took this one; he liked that part of its tail looks a bit like a clownfish (as in Finding Nemo).

I thought this coral was a nice color (and there's a little fish).

The Housemate took a bunch of photos of this fish, and while this one wasn't the clearest, it had the best shot of the angel fish's interesting dorsal fin.

Again, not a very clear picture, but this raccoon butterflyfish was so cute.

Some threadfin butterflyfish down below.

I love the way the light plays underwater.

In the past, I've only seemed to be able to take pictures of the humuhumus swimming away from me. That was not the case with this guy. And see his "trigger" raised on top of his head? Yeah, that pointy thing is usually down.

This is the same humuhumu who stars in my epic video.

This is not the epic video. Sorry, the epic video gets its own upcoming post. This is a calm, lazily-following-the-different-fish video, including a somewhat... shier... humuhumu than the one in the photo above (notice the trigger is down). Don't bother messing with your speakers; there is no sound (I don't know if the Housemate's camera doesn't do sound or if we just had it on the wrong settings). Enjoy!


Mary said...

Wow, your photos came out so nice! I love Hanauma Bay! It's one of my favorite spots. I saw a turtle last time. I'm sure you had a blast there! There's actually night snorkeling there too. =) I heard it's a lot of fun. Just be careful if you go.

Sebastian said...

Wow! Cool vid :)

That fish actually looks like Dory... having just eaten Nimo...

Now I want to go snorkelling... (I'm in the middle of planning my south-east Asia trip, so there should be PLENTY of potential snorkel.)

Eleni said...

Mary - Thanks! I love the turtles. They're usually so calm and undisturbed by your presence when you watch them. And so graceful.

I really want to try night snorkeling. Underwater flashlights--or better yet headlamps--would be nice. Is it just because it's night time and dark and there are no lifeguards that you have to be careful at night, or are there maybe scary things that come out at night?

Seb - Thanks, I thought it captured what it's like to swim around Hanauma Bay. But just wait for my epic video.

I guess it's a bit like Dory. When I worked at the aquarium, we had a tank with both clownfish and regal tangs, and it was fun standing there because the kids would always exclaim, "Look, it's Nemo! Wow, and Dory!" So cute.

Do you have an underwater casing for your camera? I can't wait to see your photos. And the reefs should be better if you're in less populated places than Honolulu.

Sebastian said...

No, no water-proof camera! I think I can get a case for it... or maybe not, as I have quite a new one.

Could almost certainly get a waterproof case for one of those point-and-shoot jobbies though! Or just use a plastic bag...

Eleni said...

Right, just slip it in a Ziploc bag, I'm sure it would be fine.

You have the Canon 550D, right? My sense is that Canon is particularly good about having underwater casings available for its cameras. I did a quick search and found one...
Though it seems to cost more than the camera itself. Ouch. You could buy a separate waterproof camera for a fraction of that price (though the photo quality wouldn't be as good).

The plastic bag option doesn't seem so bad, after all.

Sebastian said...

Wow! That's beautiful... and expensive :(

Good to know such things exist though, if I suddenly decide to become an underwater photographer (unlikely, I think).

Eleni said...

That TED talk was good, but not $1329.95 good?

Plus you'd have to learn SCUBA (happy?) and go to lots of places that have nice underwater photo opportunities. Yeah, it seems like a considerable undertaking.

Jim Brooks said...

Hanauma Bay is probably my favorite place on earth. I've been there 3 or 4 times on two different trips to Hawaii, and I've managed to spot sea turtles all but one time. I haven't yet gone with a friend who was a strong swimmer/snorkeler, so I haven't made it out into the deeper water beyond the reef, but hopefully next time I go, I'll have an adventurous friend.

The ziplock bag idea might be okay if you stay shallow, but I think you'll see the bag in your pictures, which might be weird. Also, if you go into deeper water, and dunk 8-10' under I don't know that I would trust the seal. You can feel the pressure on the air pocket inside your mask at only about 8' deep, so I'd be afraid the ziplock seal might pop.

On the other hand, disposable waterproof 35mm cameras are relatively cheap, and although I don't think they're rated for scuba depths they're sure to be fine down to 10' or so, and at least you're not risking a couple hundred dollars of digital camera.


Eleni said...

Isn't it amazing? I'd love to go to the outer reef, but the safety warnings make it sound so scary. Maybe when I get my scuba certification I'll make a trip out there.

You're probably right about the Ziploc bag. A disposable camera is probably the way to go for an occasional snorkel trip, though I wonder what the quality of the pictures they take would be. I want my own waterproof camera, but it makes me a little worried that if I just mess up changing the battery, or downloading photos off the camera, then I could ruin it.