Diving on Sunday

Dennis likes to go out on Sundays… I go when and where the boat goes, no complaints! Any day on the water is a good one.

Yellow-spotted Guard Crab
A yellow-spotted guard crab (Trapezia flavopunctata) in cauliflower coral
The plan was to dive Touch of Gray, an excellent dive site near Makalawena Beach. This is a deep dive site, so looking to maximize bottom time we loaded up on Nitrox for everyone. Our info also placed a number of gray reef sharks at the site recently, a good reason to go.

I also had a new toy along, a Sola Photo 800 dive light. I am really interested in improving my underwater video, thus looking forward to using this new light.

Reaching the dive site we encountered a problem… No mooring to be found. We had the correct coordinates, but multiple passes with everyone on the bow failed to spot the ball. Thus we dropped Mark in the water to take a look, he spotted the cable lying on the bottom, the mooring ball was gone. Off we headed for another dive site.

We ended up diving Carpenter’s instead. Not a bad choice, this is a nice area with a lot of topography to explore. Large coral pinnacles reach from depths of 40′ to near the surface, with a few canyons and shallow caves to add to the terrain.

I can not say I found anything unusual or new. Just a nice dive with lots of fish. It appears to be a good recruitment year, a lot of juvenile fish about. This included several dragon wrasse to chase through the coral rubble with the camera. I love how they swim, somehow going in the direction they desire without appearing to move. Seeming to just drift like the piece debris they attempt to mimic as camouflage.

Despite the shallow dive site we dove the nitrox anyway, the tanks were rented and needed to be returned full or empty. No nitrogen lethargy after these dives! Everyone was ready to go for more, nitrox really does keep you from feeling the after effects of the dive.

Trying not to take it for granted just how good we have it here on the island. As we cruise back to harbor we are enjoying the sunlight on the bow and talking about life. The conversation turns to just how miserable life can be in much of the world. We look about and make a point to notice… Life is good here.

Another Undescribed Species

There are quite a few well known, but undescribed species found island reefs. I have noted a few of them previously here on DarkerView.

Undescribed means simply that… The species has never been properly described in a scientific publication such that a species name is assigned. These do exist, and are more common than many people realize. Some marine biologist with expertise with related species needs to spend some time to capture a few, and do a proper description, an exercise that takes more effort than you might think.

I ran into another one recently. This anemone was quite common on the sandy slopes below the reef at Garden Eel Cove. There was a individual every three or four feet amoung the garden eels at 80ft depth. They are apparently an undescribed species of the genus Mesacmaea. More information can be found on Hoover’s update pages. This one should really be added to the next edition.

They were quite challenging to photograph. Quite small, less than an inch across, and quick to disappear into the sand when approached too closely.

Mesacmaea sp?
An undescribed member of the genus Mesacmaea, 80ft depth at Garden Eel Cove.