Today we watch a couple of the sea’s creatures having lunch. We travel along with our eye on the reef and out into the blue. The reef part is pretty much any dive but the out into the blue part is watching for a turtle or two and quite possibly a tiger shark. It is tiger shark season here and they are about. We don’t see either.
But, on our way back into the shallows on the sandy bottom is one big conch. It is the size of a soccer ball. Seems to be eyeing up an urchin, don’t know the specific name but we call it a pincushion. The chase is on and when the shell catches up to the urchin the creature inside the shell lifts its house 6 or 8″ off the sand and drops it very quickly on top of the pincushion. Excuse me while I dine in private.
Shortly after that I spot a very large zebra eel lying under a rock. The dive master stirs up an spiny urchin that is sitting very near. The eel leaps, leaps as best a sinuous beast can, and without any regard for the spines, clamps its jaws around urchin. Two or three more attacks and the spiny black creature is cracked in half like a walnut. The eel takes half and receeds into hiding under the shelf. It seems the Hawaiian sea folks like to eat without an audience.
Every dive is different in the day a good portion of the reef animals are in rest mode and don’t hunt at all. Today we witness a couple of those nocturnal beasts taking advantage of a daylight opportunity.