Saturday, October 14, 2017

Exploring outside the bay at Honaunau 10/14/17

Wire Coral Gobie (B. yongei)
This Wire Coral Gobie was the best surprise of the day today, especially after wiffing on a double WCGobie pair at Sharkfin Rock the day before.

Brent and I arrived at Two Step (Honaunau) at 7:30, early because we thought all the locals would be here to stay out of the way of Ironman.  We had an agenda: explore outside the bay, past the big pinnacle off the south point jutting out from the Place of Refuge.

The last time we did this we picked a triangle nav pattern on 200- 320 - 60 degrees and back to the pinnacle.  It had been a great tour of some beautiful, big-structure, reef.  But we wanted to go a bit deeper today so picked 180 - 300 - 60, conveniently getting us into deeper water and giving us the same bearing on the way back that we'd use to head back into the bay, over the endless coral garden, and back to the entry/exit.

About 10 minutes into our 300 degree leg we encountered a very large wall leading us into deeper water.  Immediately I saw wire corals sticking out from the wall and they looked very healthy.  Sure enugh, the second one had a nice gobie sitting on it.

The wall pointed us toward a deep, wide swale that appeared to drop away into very deep water, but we turned onto the last heading because we were out of time and needed to head back for another reason.

I wanted to adopt the patch of Plate Coral with knobs that is just off the point a few minutes inshore from the pinnacle.  Somehow, we missed the patch of coral, and I'd stupidly lost my weighted scale by not securing it properly in my gadget bag.  So will have to come back to document the knobby plate coral, but I did come home with an unexpected prize: my pic of the tiny gobie.

Here are a few other fish from the coral garden inside the pinnacle.

Lei Trigger (bursa)
Bullethead Parrot (spilurus)
Longnose Butterfly (flavissimus)

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