Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Four Fishes, A Little Murky Swim, Waialea Bay, HI

It was late in the day, and we wanted to try a different snorkel spot.  The baker at Up Country Bakery recommended Puako Bay.  We followed the localized directions and ended up one bay north at Waialea Bay.  Our target is the small island a few yards off shore.  The surf is a little choppy, but we head on into the water.  Sandy beaches are not good for visibility with choppy waters.

It was a pretty good swim.  Interesting terrain and a good collection fishes.  A cornet fish was particularly photogenic.

The crown of thorns sea star struck a dramatic pose as I filmed her.

Bill filming a crown of thorns sea star.
Bill filming a crown of thorns sea star.
 We will return to this spot when we can get here earlier in the day and when wind and wave conditions are better.  It seems like a great place for people who would like to swim, snorkel, and the sand it nice on the narrow beach, and there is plenty of shade.

To get to Waialea Bay take Highway 19 (Queens Hwy) north from Kona. Turn left towards the ocean onto Puako Road before mile marker 70.  Then turn right after you pass the trash dump.  The park access road will be on your left.   Park and walk past the bathrooms to the beach.  Walk south to the rock island.  When the ocean is calm, the sandy beach entrance is easy, and snorkeling is best around the island.

small island at Waialea Bay in Hawaii by Engela Edwards
Bill snorkeling to the island.
Some photos from this day.  Although there were lots of larger fish, because the water was cloudy the photos where we could get close to the fish came out the best.  Most of these are small fish.

Orange banded surgionfish by Engela Edwards
Very uniquely marked orange banded surgeonfish about 14 inches long.
Juvenile yellow-tail coris by Engela Edwards
Juvenile Yellow-tail Coris - Coris is one of Engela's favorite fish.  This one is about 4 inches long. 
Supermale Belted Wrasse  by Engela Edwards
Supermale Belted Wrasse about 6 inches long.  The first one Engela photographed.

Large fish.  Look at those pearly white teeth.

Tiny Spotted Boxfish with interesting markings over eyes.  Boxfish have lots of personality.

Arc-eye Hawkfish in a peach color standing in the coral.
Orange Crab in coral by Engela Edwards
We have to go back and see if we can tempt this tiny bright-orange crab out of the coral to get a better photo.