Ocean, weather, and surf conditions were much better than last year at the same time. I was able to get in several North and South shore dives during our time on Kauai.
1 Spotted eagle ray at Tunnels. Compared to last year at the same time, North Shore conditions were fab.
2 Cavern swimthrough at Tunnels
3 Honu resting on top of the turtle cleaning station at Tunnels
5 An egg sac laid by the Spanish Dancer nudibranch
6 Tunnels topography
7 View from one cavern into another, sunlit from above
8 Thursday I headed south for some shore diving at Koloa Landing. Immediately upon entry was this green sea turtle resting and taking a nap.
9 Whitemouth Moray
10 You may just be able to make out the profile of this Shortsnout Scorpionfish
11 Crown of Thorns star at Koloa Landing
12 Stout Moray
13 Stout Moray's come in a wide variety of color combinations
14 School of Yellowfin Goatfish
15 This Lizardfish was pretty good sized
16 Turtle heading for the surface at Koloa Landing
17 I love the eyes of this female Marbled Shrimp found clambering at twilight over a head of cauliflower coral. The females sport bristles on their body and front legs that earns them the nickname Fuller Brush Shrimp.
18 Hermit crab on a different head of antler coral
19 Purple Velvet Stars used to only be found at significant depths, but they are becoming more common on the shallower reefs of Hawaii
20 Large Blackside Hawkfish
21 First time I've seen a black sea cucumber holding out a welcome sign
22 My first time seeing a Strawberry Nudibranch, wish I had gotten a better shot of it
23 Hermit Crab
24 Whitemouth Moray
25 The following week it was back to Tunnels on the North shore where I caught this small school of Bluestripe Snapper
26 The turtle cleaning station on top of Tunnels outer reef. Tangs or Surgeonfish are picking the algae off the shell.
27 Goldrim Flatworm
28 Yellowmargin Moray at Tunnels
29 Lei Triggerfish, named for the two vertical bands that can change color from yellow (here) to dark brown depending on the fish's emotional state
30 Last dives of the trip were again at Koloa Landing with Jess. Conditions were even better, I had Jess all to myself as the primo spotter, and there were more critters per square foot than ever. Right off the bat was this large octopus tucked inside the reef, one of four we saw during the afternoon!
32 The longer I stayed in front of this Whitemouth Moray taking photos, the closer it got, seeing its reflection in my camera port. It was only when I started editing on my computer that I noticed what I think are two very tiny babies poking up from the sand underneath momma's belly.
33 This Gold Lace Nudibranch was just floating in the water column at about 40ft. Every time I moved the camera to get a different shot, my motion pushed him out of my viewfinder. I finally managed to get a pretty decent photo by staying as still as I could.
34 I seemed to be beating Jess at spotting the several Scorpionfish on this dive, this one another Shortsnout
35 School of Convict Tang at Koloa Landing
36 Threadfin Butterflyfish
37 This Lined Fireworm was on the move
38 Whitemouth Moray
39 Devil Scorpionfish giving the evil eye
41 Whitemouth Morays galore!
42 Yellowmargin Moray
43 Yet another Whitemouth Moray shows how it gets its name
44 Panther Flounder on the sandy bottom at Koloa Landing, looks similar to the Peacock Flounder we see in the Caribbean
46 Froggie went a courting... My day was fulfilled when Jess spotted this Commerson's or Giant Frogfish perched on a rock. It must have been close to 2ft in size, maybe larger.
47 Ugly, but cute in its own weird way....
48 Yet another Scorpionfish near the end of the dive
49 And my final dive in Kauai is almost over when we spot this Octopus at Koloa Landing