We got lucky yesterday- we were given a full day at the last minute instead of a half! We used the extra time to explore Kure Atoll, and for the first time we brought our ‘big’ camera along for the ride. Here’s a collection of some of our favorite shots from the day. We are currently steaming full speed to our last stop, Lisianski, and gearing up for our final gear deployment on this cruise! (PS- don’t let our last title confuse you. It’s pronounced cure-ay)
Simon taking photos off the bow of Hi’ialakai
Simon on the bow at sunset
Sunset from the Hi’ialakai
Lauren and Simon on the bow at sunset
Manta gliding below us, upside down. Each ray has a unique spot pattern on its underside, like human fingerprints
This manta ray swooshed under our dive boat just after we had surfaced, so we jumped right back in to snorkel with him. They are incredibly graceful and beautiful in the water!
A tiny crab hidden in a porites compressa coral colony
Nudibranchs! These sea slugs are hermaphrodites, and they grab onto one another like this before mating to decide who will be the boy and who will be the girl. (Really)
Another shot of the nudibranchs
We got in another dolphin lunch swim in the Kure lagoon.
Dolphins off the bow of Malolo in the lagoon
Watching the manta swim from above
Our dive boat, Malolo, as we descend for a dive
Lauren on the reef- this is near the site where we left our acoustic equipment out
Wide angle reef scene, near our acoustic equipment site
A Hawaiian monk seal! This one swam right up to our boat, Malolo, to check us out and Simon was already geared up to join him in the water. They are very shy, and this one didn’t stick around- a stark contrast to the seals of San Diego.
A Hawaiian spotted snake eel. At first we thought it was a snake, especially since it was out and about during the day, but later learned that it is a native Hawaiian
Simon with the big camera underwater
How the small boats are loaded on and off of Hi’ialakai- I always think this looks like a children’s toy, but can assure you it is the real deal!
Simon and our coxn, Carmen, ready to come alongside Hi’ialakai
Dolphin lunch swim in the lagoon
Lauren and the dolphins
Lauren checking out a new site on the north side of the atoll
Lauren snorkeling around ancient, eroded spur and groove formations
One of the friendly Galapagos sharks. We encounter at least one of these on every dive, and more often than not we see several
a big Amalco Jack that followed us around for the entire dive. He is being cleaned here- you can see his open mouth and the blue tail of cleaner fish coming out of his gills