A Darker View

Tag "reef"
Bloody Hermit Crab

Bloody hermit crab (Dardanus sanguinocarpus) in a cave at 20ft depth

Yellow-Spotted Guard Crab

A yellow-spotted guard crab (Trapezia flavopunctata) shelters in the arms of an antler coral (Pocillopora eydouxi)

Rough-Spined Urchin

A rough-spined urchin (Chondrocidaris gigantea) beside the wreck of the naked Lady at 110′

Moorish Idol

A moorish idol (Zanclus cornutus) in a cave at 30ft depth, Holoholokai

Haig's Hermit Crab

Haig’s hermit crab (Calcinus haigae) at 30ft depth, Hoover’s Tower

The email is brief… Let’s go diving, my place 9am – Pete. It is all I need to plan a Saturday, just need to get the tanks filled.

Pete Shoots the Frogfish

Pete in the process of irradiating a painted frogfish at Puakō.

Just three of us, Pete and a Akamai student intern at Keck also named Andrew. Andrew is spending a few weeks with us and building some optical bench heaters to keep the laser stabilized.

Conditions are pretty good, no swell or surf to create trouble crossing the shallow shoreline reef. Visibility could be better, it was only 30-40 feet. Andrew thought it was good, we looked at him and quickly let him know that this was downright murky for Puakō.

The usual dive plan for Puakō… Work the wall. Pete dives this section of the reef several times a week if the weather is good. We just follow him. If he bypasses some spot, it is not worth the time. Much of the dive is spend working the wall at 30ft depth and wandering in and out of the small caves that penetrate the reef.

Painted Frogfish

A bright red painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) at 25′ depth, Puakō

First stop is a bright red painted frogfish Pete had found the previous day while freediving. Sitting in a coral head above a large arch it is nicely situated. This time we have the heavy camera gear and work over the little fish, taking turns. While Pete shoots the frogfish I wait my turn and shoot Pete.

A lone turtle is found at the cleaning station, the usual swarm of tangs and surgeons nibbling the algae from the turtle’s shell. Midway through the dive we take a quick excursion over the face to check out the garden eels at about 80ft. With my last air I shoot a trio of racoon butterflyfish raiding the eggs of a sergeant major.

Beyond the frogfish there is nothing particularly special about the dive. It is simply a nice day to spend a little time underwater. As we come ashore we are not the only divers using the beach access point. There is another group that landed just ahead of us, we chat about what we have seen, sharing the easy camaraderie of fellow divers. Everyone is enjoying the morning, it is hard not to. Another dive on a pleasant first day of summer weekend.


A trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus) loitering under an overhang, 25ft depth at Holoholokai

Banded Urchin

A young banded urchin (Echinothrix calamaris) embedded in a cave wall at 25ft depth at Holoholokai

Lined Fireworm

A lined fireworm (Pherecardia striata) and sponge on a rock shelf, depth 25ft at Holoholokai

Pete Down Deep

Pete at the wreck of the Naked Lady