Friday, February 4, 2011

My college roommate's visit: Hanauma

After finishing our hike up and down Diamond Head, we hurried over to Hanauma Bay. We got there maybe around 9:20, and there was already a long line. We didn't get in to see the required short video until after 10. But the wait went quickly enough, and it was all worth it. This was possibly the best snorkeling experience I've had in Hanauma Bay. Would have been even better if we'd seen a sea turtle, but we saw a lot of really great fish, and a wonderful octopus!

My friend and I were trading my camera back and forth, so I'm not sure who took some of these photos. But I'll give my best guesses.

I couldn't figure out what kind of fish this colorful guy is. It seems like it shouldn't be too hard, but I couldn't find it in my searches. Anyway, it's quite beautiful.

Photo by college roommate (positive)

Another one that I haven't identified yet.

Photo by college roommate (pretty sure)

This is a ringtail surgeonfish.

Photo by college roommate (or me...I'm really not sure here)

Another individual of the same species as above. I like that it's looking slightly towards the camera, but it's too bad I didn't get the whole fish.

Photo by me (positive)

OK, I have to share this story. My friend had the camera, I was just milling around a bit, looking at fish. Then I noticed a piece of trash floating in the water. I didn't really want to pick it up--if I were a guy wearing swim trunks with pockets, sure I'd stuff it in, but I had no pockets in my bikini. But the longer we stayed in the same spot, the guiltier I felt at not grabbing the trash, especially as the waves pushed me even closer to it. So I finally took it--it was the handle of a white plastic bag. I stuck it beneath the stretchy waistband of my bikini bottoms. Very stylish, I'm sure. But the next area of the reef that we swam to was spectacular. Tons of fish of many varieties, big and small. I felt like I was being rewarded for being a friend of the ocean.

I don't know what that long skinny floating thing is. I called them "sea pens" because they just float there looking like you're supposed to grab one and start scribbling. Fits quite nicely in my fingers, really. I think it must be a seed pod of some sort, floating to increase dispersal. You can also see some convict tangs here, among other fish.

Photo by me (sure)

The two cute yellow fish in the front are raccoon butterflyfish.

Photo by me (very sure)

These big guys are bluefin trevally.

Photo by me (very sure)

I think I'd caught glimpses of the big bluefin trevally before, but not anything like this, where a whole bunch of them just hung out right there.

Photo by me (very sure)

We stayed in that area for a very long time, just because more beautiful fish kept swimming by. We finally swam away to another area, then stood up (it was mostly very shallow where we were swimming) to discuss our next move. Then, we hear someone nearby say, "Look, there's an octopus over here!" More good ocean karma! My previous brief encounter with an octopus had taught me to hurry whenever there's an octopus sighting, so we swam right over to where the person was indicating.

But this one was in no particular hurry. It wasn't phased by our presence. It was just minding its own business. That purple fish, though, seemed to be even more interested in the octopus than we were. I'm not sure why. Maybe they were chatting. I love the way the octopus has its arms here, like a poofy gown.

Photo by me (positive)

Totally unconcerned by our presence. But see, that purple fish is still there! The colors on the octopus were really cool--it could change its colors, and even its texture a bit.

Photo by me (pretty sure)

We hung out with the octopus for a good long while. I'm still amazed it didn't swim away and hide from us. We finally decided to leave it, but before doing so, we called over another nearby group of people so they could appreciate it. And we made our way back toward the shore.

Tomorrow, see the video I took at Hanauma Bay. I got footage of the octopus going for a stroll, a big colorful parrotfish gnawing at the reef, and more!


Sebastian said...

The surgeonfish is awesome!

OK, so I stared at the photo that (apparently) has an octopus in it for about 2 minutes. I still can't see it.

I see the purple fish at the back...

Is that lump on the left really meant to be an octopus?!

(I can't see it in the next photo either...)

Eleni said...

:( Yes, that lump is an octopus, looking straight back at the purple fish. Its eyes are on top, its head/round part of its body extends from the eyes down to the left, and the arms go from below and to the right of the eyes down, curling around themselves like a skirt almost.

The second photo, it's that brownish lump. Again, the two eyes are on the top, the head this time is below that, in the center. The arms are again curled up underneath it, but you can see at least two of the arms curled up on the left side.

Sebastian said...

Well, I am now a whole lot more educated in the way of cephalopoda!

(Very conscientious of you, not scaring it :)

Eleni said...

Glad I could help. They're fascinating creatures. The more I learn about octopuses, the more I respect them: surprisingly intelligent, masters of least for certain species. Still not a specialist.