Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ko'Olina Waves and Sunset Combo

We hadn't been out to Ko'olina for a while so we decided to do a quick sunset trip yesterday.
The waves were some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, combine that with a sunset and it was down right amazing. 

Sometimes living here you can get jaded. All the beauty just starts to go smooth after awhile, But then something like this comes along and sweeps you off your feet!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Snorkel Spot

We found a New Beach! It is really pretty and has one of the healthiest coral reefs we have seen so far on the island! 

Here are some of the awesome fish we have found while exploring them.
(these are all pictures Richard has taken!)

The bigger of the 3 below with the yellow nose, we are pretty sure is a female Bird Wrasse

Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse

I think this is a Blue Spined Unicorn Fish (can you see the awesome blue accents on its tail?)

AH! Speckled moray eel! check out those chompers!

The coloration of this guy makes my head spin, it is really hard for me to get my eyes to focus when I see them in the water. The spots are white with a fluorescent blue outline. It is a Hawaiian White Spotted Toby or Puffer.

This is one of those Spanish Dancer Sea Slugs but in yellow instead of the usual red:

Here is a nice shot of the reef, the colors are much more vibrant in person.

And guess who is hiding under this rock?

A sleepy little turtle:


And this is one I like to call Rainbow fish:

I think it may be a type of Coris?

Here is a fun game... Can you find 2 fish in this picture?

Look really carefully:

Here is another couple of shots of it. It is a juvenile rock mover wrasse. It looks and acts just like a loose piece of seaweed.

It is so different from the adult fish that for a long time they were classified as two separate species!

Here is a video of how it swims:

The current is pretty fast here. I edited this video so this is actually 50% slower than the original and it still makes me sick to watch! (when I upload this it kinda messes up the quality of the first 10-15 seconds, not sure why, but it gets less pixelated as after that, at least it does on my end let me know how it plays for you guys)

We finally got a good picture of a cornet fish. This one was about 2.5 feet long (they get up to 4 feet!)

This little guy is colored like a clown fish but is actually a juvenile Yellow Tale Coris:

And another lovely green sea turtle:

I'm considering framing this picture! I'm really impressed with how well it turned out!

I'm not sure even what category of fish this one is:

This one is a box fish.

A 'regular' colored Dancer

I'm not sure if these are the same species as the other 'rainbow fish' but I also call these rainbow fish.

My lack of naming ability is somewhat pathetic as I also call this guy a rainbow fish:

Here are some beautiful Hawaiian Dascyllus:

and hold on to your knickers everybody! 

If you want to be horrified look up Barracuda bites, those things have made hamburger meat out of many a fisherman's arm. Luckily this was a just little guy and Richard wasn't threatening him so he just swam away :)

Also there is a great surf spot right off shore so I'm going to take my board and do some practicing soon!
I will take some scenery pics next time we are up there so you can see the lovely beach, too.

Pouhala Marsh Cleanup

This is the Pouhala Marsh. It is a key player in Oahu's natural water filtration system, but sadly it has been pretty abused over the last 75 years or so. The Hawaii Nature Center has been rehabilitating it and it is recovering fantastically. 

(these picture belong to NATHAN YUEN. He has a nice little article on the place too)

It is now a wildlife/bird reserve, and one of the endangered species that are regular residents are the Hawaiian stilts. Approximately 10% of the entire world's population live at this marsh!

Check out those feet!

We got to help with one of the clean up days, removing invasive plants and rubbish (it was being used as an illegal dump for quite some time so even with constant cleaning there is always rubbish to be removed!)

We were on the rubbish removal in the stream section. It was too muddy for us to bring our camera's but some of the event staff were taking pics and I found quite a few of Richard

(that's me standing next to Richard, you cant tell from the pic but I am holding the biggest yet cutest toad I ever saw that one of the Navy guys caught for me)

The stream appeared to be about a foot deep at most but we were warned the mud was pretty deep under that. I figured I might sink up to my knees or so. With my first step I was up to my hip in thick, oozy, foul smelling filth! Trying to fee that leg I managed to get waist deep in the mire! It was insane! The harder you fought it the deeper you sank... We soon figured out a system where I would carefully wade in a few feet, pass back the rubbish, and then Richard would pull me straight up and out by my arms. Luckly the mud wasn't sticky so though we smelled funny we at least weren't covered in the stuff once we got out. We had some fun Navy guys working on our team with us and one of them had a method where he would just lay down flat and pull himself along the surface. He called it the alligator we all laughed so hard our sides hurt. We pulled so much trash out of that marsh it was truly mind blowing, and we didn't even get close to all of it. 

Here is a pic of us returning, you can just see the top of my head.

Here is a shot from opening they were all clapping at Richard and I, because apparently we were the only non affiliated guys there. (Most of the volunteers were employee's of Target and Starbucks). 

It was a really fun day and we are hoping to do it again soon and bring Ben along with us.

One of these tiny butterfly's landed on my shoe they are soooo tiny, sadly I have no idea what kind it is or if it is a good bug or an invasive one... either way it was beautiful:

(this photo also belongs to NATHAN YUEN)