Maui Time (Pictures) -2

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McGizmo

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Cool video!! That hairy guy was really waving his "lure" around! I am under the impression that a number of the fish are territorial and once they find a location that meets their needs, they have no need or compulsion to move away from it. It may be that seasons or breeding concerns can take them off on a journey.

There is a shot of a Leaf Scorpion fish above a ways and that fish has now been in the same exact spot on the reef for near a month. Like the frog fish, the leaf is an ambushing fish that hangs on the reef and is not out drifting in the currents or swimming through the water where a "residence" may have no real meaning.

As I understand it, many fish like the frogfish start out life drifting in the ocean as an egg and then small fish. Many will find shelter in flotsam and then at some point, mak their way towards the coast line and shallower depths where they will set up a residence.

I got shots of a cool Dragon eel I think over a year ago that I would see in the same nook for about a week in a row. Just a couple days ago, for some reason I thought about this eel and I went over to the spot I had seen it. Danged if there wasn't a dragon eel in that same hole!?! I have no reason not to consider the possibility that it is the same eel I saw in the past. The next day it was gone and then the day after it was there again?!?! It may have a small number of residences and I have found one of them. :shrug:

One problem with fish like the dragon eel and these frog fish is that they fetch a good price for aquariums and once their location is known, there may be someone who decides to harvest the fish. I don't know of any of these collectors but I have been told they are out there.
 

McGizmo

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I went snorkeling with my wife, her son and his GF today. Towards the end of the swim, my wife spotted a squid and we all ended up following it for probably a half hour or maybe even longer. Initially it would only let me get so close and kept to its typical brown and purple color, occasionally going to the bottom and getting lighter in color. After a while though, it seemed to get more comfortable with my presence and would let me get closer and it got into more color changing and some actual light shows which were not easy to see given the bright sun shine.

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In the images above, you can get an idea of some of its colors as well as a hint of light being generated. One of these would really be cool to watch up close and at night!!
 

ptolemy

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We need some of that on a light. To be able top read person's mood and change appropriately :)

Red means, stay away! :)
 

tino_ale

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A living creature emitting light is one of the most "hard to believe" capability found in nature IMO. Just amazing!
 

McGizmo

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I uploaded a pretty lame, as it turned out, squid video. After viewing it in its washed out (not sure why) state, I saw a thumbnail for another video on squid which is pretty cool, HERE.
 

tino_ale

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I uploaded a pretty lame, as it turned out, squid video. After viewing it in its washed out (not sure why) state, I saw a thumbnail for another video on squid which is pretty cool, HERE.
I've watched some turtle videos you have on youtube and I'm amazed about how comfortable the turtles are to your presence :faint: they seem to barely notice you and react to your proximity!
 

McGizmo

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Good Luck weathering Felicia....You sure won't be in the dark

Thanks. It now looks like we are in for some significant rain which the islands can use but flash floods don't help any. The reefs can suffer if too much sediment and crap get washed out to them and on a selfish level, it sucks when the water gets brown and visibility is diminished.

Tino,

I would guess that most of the fish and animals we encounter out there have been around swimmers a great deal and have learned to some extent to judge the swimmer's behavior in terms of it either being a threat, nuisance or really nothing to be concerned with. I think the excitement of many swimmers works against them as their splashing and frantic kicks to get closer probably spooks the target of their interest. For many of the animals, I think there is a certain shared curiosity that can allow for encounters where both parties may learn something without cause of alarm or compulsion to flee.

If not actually welcomed, I find it satisfying enough to be accepted and not feared. With no intent of harm or ill will, it is great if that can somehow be conveyed to a "stranger".
 

gsxrac

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Cool video!! That hairy guy was really waving his "lure" around! I am under the impression that a number of the fish are territorial and once they find a location that meets their needs, they have no need or compulsion to move away from it. It may be that seasons or breeding concerns can take them off on a journey.

There is a shot of a Leaf Scorpion fish above a ways and that fish has now been in the same exact spot on the reef for near a month. Like the frog fish, the leaf is an ambushing fish that hangs on the reef and is not out drifting in the currents or swimming through the water where a "residence" may have no real meaning.

As I understand it, many fish like the frogfish start out life drifting in the ocean as an egg and then small fish. Many will find shelter in flotsam and then at some point, mak their way towards the coast line and shallower depths where they will set up a residence.

I got shots of a cool Dragon eel I think over a year ago that I would see in the same nook for about a week in a row. Just a couple days ago, for some reason I thought about this eel and I went over to the spot I had seen it. Danged if there wasn't a dragon eel in that same hole!?! I have no reason not to consider the possibility that it is the same eel I saw in the past. The next day it was gone and then the day after it was there again?!?! It may have a small number of residences and I have found one of them. :shrug:

One problem with fish like the dragon eel and these frog fish is that they fetch a good price for aquariums and once their location is known, there may be someone who decides to harvest the fish. I don't know of any of these collectors but I have been told they are out there.

Thats cool how many sea animals tend to live in the same spot for long periods of time or even a lifetime. I would think they may eventually move if there is a lack of food but if not theres no real need to find a new home all the time :thinking: And now that you mention it I could see one of those frogfish fetching a pretty penny. Its sad people dont think about their impact on the environment and that particular ecosystem when they remove something so scarce.

And ive never heard or a dragon eel before. Do you usually dive in the same places do you try to go new places?
 

McGizmo

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.....
And ive never heard or a dragon eel before. Do you usually dive in the same places do you try to go new places?

I have met divers who have spent a lot of time underwater and never seen a dragon eel. I believe they are nocturnal which doesn't help much either. I have become quite fond of Airport Beach and it is less than 5 minutes away on my Vespa, has great parking and facilities and when the conditions are ideal, I doubt there is any better reef anywhere near me. There is so much diversity and visitations by creatures that you never know what you might see.

The dragon eel has been back a few different days now and I got some shots but needed a flashlight to overcome the dark shadows.
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It was there again today. When I left it, I headed towards the area on the reef where the little frogfish had been. It has been gone now for about a week. Probably half way between the Dragon Eel's lair and the spot where the frogfish was, I spotted a larger and different frog fish from the surface! :D

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Now that I know there are any number of these guys out there and likely to remain on the reef somewhere, as they grow and become better at blending into the reef, I will keep my eyes out for them. Unless you are scuba diving and quite close to the reef, these guys are really really hard to detect and you really have to think that they are there and that you simply have to distinguish them from the reef. This guy was on top of the coral and I just happened to be at an angle where I could detect his form apart from and different from the coral.

The cropped image below is similar to what a diver might see but from the surface, there is a sea of coral and much smaller and less distinct in detail. I would imagine that I could print this image and many would look at it and not see the frog fish unless prompted to "find it".

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Straight below the frogfish and about a third up from the bottom of the image you can make out 4 white dots in a north-south & east-west orientation. These are white marks on the snout of a small Zebra Moray Eel that would suck back into the reef every time I dove down and then come back out when I was on the surface.
 

Ny0ng1

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The cropped image below is similar to what a diver might see but from the surface, there is a sea of coral and much smaller and less distinct in detail. I would imagine that I could print this image and many would look at it and not see the frog fish unless prompted to "find it".

How true is this. I clicked on 'last post' of this thread and scroll up starting from the cropped picture. I was first thinking ':confused: whats interesting in this picture.... nothing... next!' :grin2:

nice pics don
 

McGizmo

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I think you are probably referencing some form of scorpion fish of which there are many kinds. They have poison in their dorsal fins that can range from painful to deadly for humans. The stone fish in Australia I believe is a potential, lethal, example.

I don't believe there is any poison or cause for alarm with the frog fish. If I did, I wouldn't have gone for the photo below that I took yesterday:

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These guys do look similar to the Leaf Scorpion fish I see and photograph out here but the Leaf's do reportedly give you a painful message should you make contact with their dorsal fin and they orient themselves in such a manner that the dorsal is the closed part of their body to any threat. If I were to move my hand in towards the little pink guy below, he would rotate his body such that his dorsal would be the first contact.

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The fish below is I believe a Devil Scorpion fish and it too has a dorsal fin to be avoided as I understand it.

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It is also an ambush hunter like the frogfish and leaf scorpion fish. A lot of the fish don't have poison in their fins but the fins themselves can be quite pointed and sharp!! :green:

Those orange "blades" just forward of the tail on the surgeonfish below are reportedly quite sharp and capable of damage!! They get their name from these nasty spines.

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The Porcupine Puffer isn't poisonous but it could be a nasty hand full if it blows up and brings its spines to bear!

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You can watch some of these fish and critters scurrying across the reef and darting into it with no apparent harm but man, It would tear us to shreds in no time!! Cuts are also quite subject to infection either from the coral or staph. It's not a big deal but you just limit your contact which serves all well. :)

Many of these fish eat the coral so their teeth and jaws should not be discounted either!! (mentioned from personal experience)
 

gsxrac

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That Dragon eel has a dangerous looking mouth! And the frogfish has got to be top 5 in the natural camouflage department. I would love to do some diving but I have a pretty bad inner ear issue so going past 5~ feet isnt exactly the most comfortable experience for me. There are a ton of great pictures in this thread though! Thanks :twothumbs
 

London Lad

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I remember when I first learned to scuba dive most of my fellow pupils on the boat were concerned about technicalitys and equipment failure. None of this worried me but I was worried about being attacked by fish or other dangerous creatures under water.

Many years and hundreds of dives later I can honestly say that no fish or creature has ever made any hostile approach to me underwater ever.
 

McGizmo

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For years, I would just hold my camera and point it in the right direction and not bother with trying to look through the view finder because on wide angle, the target is really small and your view is really impaired. However, I have realized that I have often missed the proper focus because I didn't have the camera centered on the subject of interest. Now I have developed the habit of going to the trouble of hoisting the big housing up to my face and trying to look through the little port.

Yesterday while swimming, it came time to head down and out to where this latest frog fish has been hanging and on the way, I swam slow and searched the coral 25' below for any other frogfish that might be present. in the periphery of my vision, I caught something coming my way close to the surface. It was a spotted eagle ray that was headed in the opposite direction and looked like it would pass me with perhaps 6' between us. I brought the camera up to my face and found the small image of the ray and shot:

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The image above is cropped considerably. Had I not centered the ray, it is unlikely the camera would have even fired (finding no focus). The ray, instead of continuing on course or veering off, made a quick turn at me!

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Now it was pretty close and headed right at me!! At this point, I dropped the camera down so I could see in normal view what the ray was up to. What I failed to do was revert back to my old habit of holding the camera and "shooting from the hip". In retrospect, I probably could have got a few cool shots because this guy came right at my face and stopped perhaps a foot away!! For a second or two, we just hung there, face to face. This was really a cool experience for me because I have never had one of these rays approach me; always the other way around. The ray couldn't go through me obviously and it couldn't swim over me because I was on the surface. It ultimately rotated in place and then took off to my right. At this point I snapped out of my stupor and got a parting shot:

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Later on the beach, I saw my friend from NOAA and I mentioned the encounter to him. He mentioned that since it is mating season for these rays that I should watch my back! :D

Ever since that guy was killed in Australia from a fluke accident of a ray's barb piercing his heart, I have been more mindful of these guys and mindful of getting above them and too close to their means of defense! When we were face to face, I had a fleeting thought of this guy opting to dive under me with his barbs right there and below me!

The ray dove down and it may have been seeking a swim partner but with the current and the drag of the camera housing, I couldn't keep up with it. I returned to my planned course and went over and visited the frogfish again.
 

MKLight

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Wow X 2!!! You have the best stories!!! As I read that, I thought, I think I would have been worried, but in the heat of the moment (no pun intended...lol), I think I would have been like you and more entertained at the experience! Oh yeah...AWESOME SHOTS!!! :twothumbs!

MK
 

AlecGold

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Nice, Don.
is this the same ray that I've seen before in the pics, with a kink in it's tail? I would love to just kayak around the islands with my klepper, the sun, the sea, birds, islands for a few weeks. And who know, I get to see a turtle, dolphin or wale to keep you busy.
 
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