Kona Classic, Day 5

Filed under: — Anastasia @ 11:45 pm

My foot was killing me when I first got out of bed, but it seemed to get better after some walking around – and of course, the diving seemed to help! (It probably just distracts me from the pain.) Unfortunately, once we were back on land it got progressively worse again as I walked around, and it’s ace-bandaged again as I type this. So: walking, bad; diving good. Duh.

Today we decided to head south for a change; our first stop was a dive site named Driftwood. We puttered downwards along a ridge and over a lava tube (which Jeff then went back up and over again to meet up with me). In around 70 feet of water, I spotted a pretty, multicolored potter’s angelfish. We hopped over to the other side of the ridge, where the divemaster pointed out an eel hunting with a bluefin trevally. Jeff was so focused on photographing the trevally (who wasn’t running away from us like they usually do), he didn’t notice the eel went right under him. Heading back towards the boat, we spotted a trio of male bird wrasses – first ones we’ve seen, though there’ve been plenty of females!

After the usual surface interval spent eating sandwiches and motoring miles offshore in search of big stuff (didn’t find anything today), we headed back to shore and moored at The Dome. Jeff and I kicked off the dive by poking around in the enormous cavern the site is named after, with lots of skylights to let some light in, but plenty of dark holes to peek into. We didn’t find anything spectacular, but it was a pretty area with the light trickling in and the fish swimming upside-down. We exited on the far side and looped back around past the boat, then went down along a ridge next to the sand. I filmed some goatfish feeding in the sand, and Jeff found a tiny lizardfish in a hole.

On our way back up the ridge, I spotted a bunch of jacks and goatfish hovering together over a coral head, and they didn’t spook as I inched closer – so I started looking for the eel they were out hunting with. Sure enough, one appeared, and Jeff and I watched the show for a bit.

Then Tee came over to grab us, and showed us a bunch of the other photographers gathered around a triton’s trumpet (enormous snail) eating a crown-of-thorns starfish (an invasive species that eats coral). Everyone took turns snapping pics and video of the triton’s meal, while I filmed the merry-go-round of photographers. Jeff pretty much emptied his tank (80 cubic feet as opposed to my 72), and used my octopus on our safety stop just to be safe. (First time we’ve used it, for you mothers out there who are now panicking, and he wasn’t even totally out of air; we were just being cautious.)

Triton’s Trumpet devouring a Crown of Thorns:

We spent the evening in various presentations by the photo pros: Dan talked about digital workflows and some basic Photoshop stuff (though with some tips that were new to us), and after dinner there were slideshows by Marty Snyderman, Jim Watts, and David Fleetham. Jeff and I barely had a chance all day to look at photos or footage – I’m now two days behind in logging my tapes! I guess there’s a chance I’ll catch up tomorrow, since there’s nothing scheduled between the boat dive and dinner at 7. Then again, I may just take the opportunity to nap!

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