Wednesday, June 4, 2008

At Home Underwater

I've had a lot of people ask me why I stay down for 2 to 3 hours on a dive, don't I get bored down there? I have never been bored underwater, in fact, I feel more at home there than anywhere. It's strange, but somehow I feel it's where I belong, that it's what I am destined to do. I'm always looking for new and interesting things, checking for new nudibranchs, tiny little cleaner shrimp, just anything that captures my attention that day. As I was heading out for my dive Saturday afternoon, I came across this live Textile Cone right under the rope at Lau Lau. This is the 3rd most deadly cone shell in the world. It has little harpoons or darts that it shoots out of the pointed end which paralyze and kill it's prey so that it can devour it. And yes, they have been known to kill humans, so they're something you treat with great respect.These feather duster looking things are called Crinoids, and come in an assortment of colors. They are quite beautiful especially when the sun lights then up and showcases their vibrant colors. They will attach themselves to things like this piece of coral. They can actually move around underwater and go to a new location when it suits them. I thought this shot was cool because of the little red fish curled into the coral.The yellow crinoids are definitely my favorite though, they are just so bright and exotic looking. Sometimes crinoids will be curled up the way this one is, and other times they are all unfurled, and are looking for food to get caught in their sticky little arms.And from a distance, this coral pictured above just looks like a tuft of weeds blowing in the current. But when you use the macro mode on the camera and hit it with light, you can see how it is much more than it appears to the naked eye. I'm always blown away as I discover just how intricate the things underwater are. There are so many more discoveries just waiting to be made. Bored underwater? Never! In the past 2 years I have spent over 500 hours underwater, that comes out to almost 21 full days, 24 hours a day. Yup, that's a lot of time to log in underwater, but I just can't get enough of it.