Hawaii Pictures

Moorish Idol

These are underwater photos taken off the Kona coast of Hawaii in August 2000. All photos were taken with my Ikelite Aquashot-3e camera using the external substrobe, water correcting lens, macro kit, flash deflector, and 200 speed APS film. While there, I went diving with Dive Makai Charters. Most of these pictures were taken while diving; although, a few were taken snorkeling.


Dive Makai Charters provided a truly personal touch to the diving experience. The nicest part I thought was when the boat heads out the crew asks what kind of diving you want to do, and what type of things you would like to see. Two of my favorite dives included the turtle cleaning station and the lava tube dives. A guide was available on all dives to help find all the fish and critters. A lot of the photos on this page I would have missed if not for the keen eyes of the dive guides. THANK YOU Lisa, Marc, Alexa, Kate and Kendra!

Raccoon Butterflyfish

Being my first time diving in Hawaii (and in the Pacific), the first thing I noticed was how many different kinds of Butterflyfish are on the reefs. I was able to capture the following eight varieties on film and I am sure I missed many other types. This group of Raccoon Butterflyfish makes one realize quickly that you're not in the Caribbean anymore.

What a surprise it was to find that the local Scandinavian Shaved Ice store had two computers with a DSL connection that they let you surf the Internet by the 1/4 hour for a small fee.

Longnose Butterflyfish are very shy. I was only able to get a picture as he swam away.

Longnose Butterflyfish
Pyramid Butterflyfish

Couple my Internet access with a Costco where I dropped off my film for developing every day, and it felt almost like home - only warmer. I doubt that I could find this Pyramid Butterfly in the quarry back home.

Here we see a Pebbled Butterflyfish. Not one of my better pictures but I included it because this species is endemic to Hawaii.

Pebbled Butterflyfish
Threadfin Butterflyfish

This is a Threadfin Butterflyfish

While diving, I saw many schools of these Milletseed Butterflyfish.

Milletseed Butterflyfish
Ornate Butterflyfish

Before and after each dive, the members of Dive Makai Charters gave an extensive dive briefing. They had several fish ID books as well as a binder of their own fish pictures they use to show what type of fish you can expect. One of the best books is "Hawaii's Fishes : A Guide for Snorkelers, Divers, and Aquarists" by John P. Hoover in which you will find this Ornate Butterflyfish.

Hawaii is the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands, in fact, all of the other islands could fit inside the boarder of Hawaii. The scale of old lava flows throughout the island have to be seen to be believed. They were so much larger than I would have imagined. A Fourspot is the last of the Butterflyfish I photographed.

Fourspot Butterflyfish
Hawaiian Sergent Major

Fear not, there are more than Butterflyfish. This is an Indo-Pacific Sergeant Major.

Unlike the Caribbean, most of the waters surrounding Hawaii are not protected. Fishing, spear fishing, and even FISH COLLECTING for aquariums is quite common. As a result many of the reefs have lost a large percentage of certain types of fish. Some areas are under protection but nothing like most of the Caribbean. You have to hope people will realize the value of this Spotted Boxfish is greater as a tourist attraction than as captured wild animal in someone's aquarium.

Spotted Boxfish
Day Octopus

I spent many days snorkeling with this Day Octopus. He was in about 6 feet of water and would come almost completely out of his den until I would dive down to get a picture. This is the closest he would let me come.

Lisa found this Hawaiian Lionfish underneath an arch made of rock. If not for her keen eye, I would have missed this fish. I had to take this picture upside down since he didn't seem to want to pose for his picture.

Hawaiian Lionfish
Decoy Scorpionfish

This Decoy Scorpionfish was found on a night dive just sitting on the bottom wishing no one could see him. Like the Lionfish above, the dorsal spines are venomous.

I was able to dive the "Turtle Towers" dive site twice. The Green Sea Turtles would come swimming in with their entourage of Tangs behind them. Once the turtle would settle on the bottom, the Tangs would meticulous clean the algae off their shells. The turtles would gently lift their legs one by one and the Tangs would clean underneath. It was a very relaxing to just hover and watch these beautiful animals.

Turtle Cleaning Station
Blackside Hawkfish

Hawkfish were on most dive sites. They usually are perched on a piece of coral and remain unless disturbed.

Talk about a hard fish to photograph. These Razor Wrasse are very hard to get in the frame. They are very shy and disappear into the sand if startled.

Razor Wrasse

The Rockmover quickly became one of my favorite fish. I saw many adults like this one turning over rocks in search of prey. What really amazed me is how such a small fish could pickup such large rocks.

This juvenile Rockmover still has the filamentous extensions on its fins. They are sometimes called "Dragon Wrasse" when in the juvenile stage.

Peacock Grouper and Whitemouth Moray Eel

This grouper is hunting with the eel. The eel will enter into cracks in the coral while the grouper goes around to the other side to capture any prey the eel may have flushed out. This Peacock Grouper was introduced into the Hawaiian Islands during the 50's and they are taking over a lot of the reefs.

There was no shortage of moray eels in Hawaii. Unfortunately, I can't say I like eels as much as I use to. At least not after I found out they EAT octopus and spanish dancers!!!!

Yellowmargin Moray Eel
Whitemouth Moray Eel

As you may have guessed this eel is called a Whitemouth Moray. I saw several of this species on my dives.

During the winter months there can even be enough snow on the tops of the mountains to ski. I don't think this Snowflake Moray would appreciate being that cold.

Snowflake Moray
Yellowmargin Moray Eel

This Yellowmargin Moray Eel decided to pose for his picture with a Sea Cucumber.

The spines on the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish are venomous. These creatures feed on the coral.

Spanish Dancer Spanish Dancer Eggmass

The highlight of the night dive turned out to be finding this Spanish Dancer. Unique from anything I have ever seen - just like a blob of flesh. The eggmass of this nudibranch resembled a red rose.

An Imperial Shrimp (shown enlarged) lives on the Spanish Dancer and can be very hard to see.

Imperial Shrimp Spanish Dancer
Light-Spotted Sea Cucumber

This Light-Spotted Sea Cucumber looked pretty scary with all the spikes. I was not even sure it was a Sea Cucumber when I first saw it.

I couldn't find this Sea Cucumber in any of my ID books. If you can identify it please send me an email.

Sea Cucumber
7-11 Crab

He may not carry milk or bread - but so what? This a "7-11 Crab", so named because they either have 7 or 11 spots on their shells.

This Red Swimming Crab was out on the night dive looking for a meal.

Red Swimming Crab

Seagrapes! Not an animal but a type of seaweed. What more can be said!

These rock-boring Urchins can actually bore into the lava rock and create channels and holes in which they form their homes.

Rock-boring Urchins
Slate Pencil Urchin

I selected this Slate Pencil Urchin for my last picture because it is a prime example of the different but beautiful things one can find below the waves.



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