Monthly Archives: May 2019

Small stuff at Kawaihae

Last weekend Marla and I snorkeled at Kawaihae Harbor, inside the breakwater, south of the platforms where the Army landing craft tie up. This is a warm, calm, relaxing place to snorkel—shallow, no waves, little wind. It’s also kind of barren relative to the sites we usually snorkel, with lots of dead coral, but several different coral species. And, like most sites, it yielded some interesting stuff.

We always make sure to visit the huge Plate and Knob Coral (Porites monticulosa) head southwest of the platforms. Oddly, this coral and others of its type don’t seem to be very attractive to fish. This lonely juvenile Convict Tang and a small group of juvenile parrotfish were all that we saw on this one. The light here allowed the coral to show through the fish’s translucent fins.

Cauliflower Corals attract all sorts of fish. This tiny Hawaiian Dascyllus plays hide and seek among the branches. 

There were a couple of wire corals growing from the boat ramp just a few feet off the beach. One was occupied by this Seawhip Goby. (Hoover calls it Gorgonian Goby.)  Earlier this year our friend Hai found  a couple of these fish living on a wire—not a wire coral, an actual wire— that hung into the water from one of the landing craft platforms. Hoover writes that this species can also be found on waterlogged twigs and pretty much anything else shaped sort of like a wire. The similar Wire Coral Goby is apparently more selective, usually confining itself to actual wire coral.