Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jinnathugau underwater April 2015

Bill on Zephyr took these with his underwater camera one morning as we were snorkeling along a reef edge.  The coral and fishes are typical of what we'd see, but there are lots more kinds of fish than what are shown here.  He ran out of battery and then his camera housing broke, so these are the only shots we have.  If you don't like blue, just skip this one.  So many shades of blue in the water, fish and coral here.
 These are like the Dory fish from "Finding Nemo".  They are everywhere here in large schools.
 Lots and lots of coral.  This frilly lettuce leaf coral is actually hard and brittle.
 Brain coral is so aptly named.

 Staghorn coral.  The new growth is the same blue as the fish above.
 We saw lots of angelfish like the one on the left here.
 A couple of parrot fish in the midst of this group.  You could hear the constant crunching of them scraping coral with their teeth.
 A nice shot of a parrot fish over coral rubble.
 These guys would travel in packs, all munching on the same area of coral and then moving as a mass to another place.  Like a traveling eating club.
Another school of the blue and yellow fish.
Close up of two of them.
 This is a spongy coral or sponge we saw sometimes in a yellow-green color.
 The coral polyps make this look frilly and soft.
 Looking down the wall into the blue abyss.  Out there is where we often saw white tip sharks and rays.  We did see a group of seven spotted eagle rays flying over the shallow coral one day in a formation.  They came within six feet of us to have a look and then, with a tiny flap of the wing, they shot off.  Three of them circled back to have another look at us and then they were gone.  To see seven of them together was pretty cool.
 The fish seem to mix easily.

 A few sergeant majors in the coral reef.
 The big plate corals and staghorns were the most prevalent of all we saw.  They were everywhere.
 A school of small fish trying not to become someone's breakfast.
 Typical coral garden view.
 Some spadefish and plate corals.
 These are grunts I think.  They seem to swim in river-like ribbons and at times they'd be on both sides of us as we snorkeled.
A few Moorish idols mixed in.  They have a long white streamer off their top fin.

 A giant clam.  Boring brown and gold, but they come in such vibrant blues and purples, too.
 A mushroom coral sitting on a plate coral.  Lots of other shells and things end up on these large plate corals.  We found some of the best shells crawling on these, but often they had inhabitants in them so we left them be.  I found a mushroom coral that seemed to be two joined at right angles and they'd grown into a cross--very unusual but no picture of it.  It was still alive, so I put it back in a place similar to where I'd found it.
 A wrasse in a coral garden.
 Big parrotfish in a coral garden.  This guy is probably two feet long.
 These little brown nodules seemed to grow on other coral.  Not so pretty, but interesting and always in the shallow waters.
 A snorkel-nosed fish far away.
 Another brain coral

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