Apr 112014
 

Hawaiian drone videographer Eric Sterman has captured incredible aerial footage of humpback whales enjoying the waters of the north shore of Oahu.  Watch closely, and towards the middle of the video you will spot a pod of whales surfing the waves at the famed Pipeline surf spot.

To see more of Eric’s amazing work-

http://instagram.com/ericsterman/

http://www.ericsterman.com

Apr 052014
 

Mr. Reeftraveler recently stumbled upon this interesting scene in Bonaire.  The spanish hogfish is lying on its side, while the moray is nestled on top of it.

Hogfish and Moray S 1024x819 What is Going on Here?

Is this simply chance, or is this a specific behavior?

Here’s a side view.

Moray and Hogfish 1024x731 What is Going on Here?

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

The moray is clearly lying on top of the spanish hogfish, which seems not to mind at all.

Are there any marine biologists, naturalists or avid fish watchers out there who can tell me what is going on here?

Mar 282014
 

This post is written by Mr. Reeftraveler (aka Steve).

Mr RT Mr. Reeftraveler Recounts his Tamoya Oboya Sighting in Bonaire

Mr. Reeftraveler

While following Meredith toward our exit from an early afternoon dive on Bari Reef in Bonaire, I had the scuba diver’s equivalent of a Michael Corleone moment: “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.”

At a depth of around 10 feet (3m), with just over 600 psi (41 bar) left in the tank and my buddy headed up the ladder, I was taking a last look back toward the reef when a critter a few feet below the surface caught my eye.

Before I could fully focus on it, the pattern match clicked in my head.  Squid.  That’s where we usually see them – clearish, streamlined with trailing tentacles, hanging just beneath the waterline.  A second later, more thoughts flashed

Not Squid – Jelly?  Need a photo of this.  Let me swim closer.

Box Jelly 1024x731 Mr. Reeftraveler Recounts his Tamoya Oboya Sighting in Bonaire

Tamoya Oboya, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Boxy clear head and brightly striped tentacles.  What the heck?  (or the NJ native equivalent)

Don’t remember seeing this in any of the Humann & DeLoach fish or marine creature identification books.

Looks like a big sea wasp, or Australian box jelly, but the tentacles are all wrong.  There are four, and they’re not jelly looking at all – they are opaque and striped in a reddish copper and white banding, with no signs of trailing tendrils.

Box Jellyfish Australian Mr. Reeftraveler Recounts his Tamoya Oboya Sighting in Bonaire

Box Jellyfish/Chironex Fleckeri – Photo from Wikipedia Commons – Guido Gautsch, Toyota, Japan

It’s getting closer.  Back off.  Breathe.  Check gauge.  400 psi.

Dad always said beware critters that make no effort to hide. Those tentacles qualify.  Respect.

Hmmm – there are 4-5 fish swimming alongside it.   Maybe silversides or some kind of juveniles?  Is that one inside the jelly?

Box Jelly 2 1024x731 Mr. Reeftraveler Recounts his Tamoya Oboya Sighting in Bonaire

Tamoya Oboya, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Time to get some video and get home without bumping into this thing.

Closing on 250psi.  Low on air, time to exit.  Is that another chain moray in 6 feet?  OK, maybe just one more shot…

On exit, got the instant ID from another rare breed – the ever-helpful and supremely knowledgeable Michael G of Bonaire Help Desk – who confirmed it as the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish, aka Tamoya Ohboya.  Turns out it is not in the Humann & DeLoach books (yet) and its Wikipedia listing reports roughly 50 confirmed sightings, 45 on Bonaire.  In my 35 years of diving Bonaire, this was certainly a first for me – and a moment I will not soon forget.

For more on Tamoya Oboya-

Tamoya oboya – A Rare Sighting in Bonaire

Mar 152014
 

I realize that I’ve inundated you with loads of photos from Bonaire recently.  Typically, I try to post photos from a geographically diverse array of dive and snorkel destinations, but the truth is that we’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Bonaire during the past year.  We’ve become quite enamored with its diversity of critters, laid-back atmosphere and plethora of shore diving sites.

Here are some shots we took on Bari Reef last month.

Yellow xmas tree worm m 1024x819 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Christmas Tree Worm

Moon Jelly 2 M 1024x819 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Moon Jellyfish

Porcupine Bari Reef M 1024x731 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Porcupinefish

Cowfish S 1024x819 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Honeycomb Cowfish, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Shrimp S 1024x768 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Arrow Crabs, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Peacock Flounder M 1024x819 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Peacock Flounder

Scrawled Filefish S 1024x731 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Scrawled Filefish, by Mr. Reeftraveler

School of Grunts 2 S 1024x819 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Schooling Grunts, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Scorpionfish M 819x1024 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Scorpionfish

Schoolmaster w Coral S 1024x768 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Schoolmaster, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Squirrelfish M 682x1024 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Shy Squirrelfish

Trumpetfish M 819x1024 Recent Shots from Bonaire and Update on New Photo Gear

Trumpetfish

In addition to bombarding you with photos, I wanted to give you and update on our photo equipment.  I am now shooting with the following system-

Camera – Canon G16

Housing – RecSea

Strobes –  one Sea & Sea ys-d1 and one Sea & Sea ys-110a

Ultralight tray and arms

Mr. Reeftraveler is now shooting with the following-

Camera – Canon S120

Housing – RecSea

Strobes – two Sea & Sea ys-d1

Ultralight tray and arms

Sola 1200 photo light

We both upgraded in December, and so far we are very pleased with the new gear.

Are you considering an upgrade to one of the models we use?  If so, I’m happy to answer your questions if you leave me a comment.