We simply don’t enjoy the beauty of Maui enough. Yesterday we went out diving for the first time in many months. It wasn’t a particularly spectacular dive but it was good. We went to Ahihi Cove which is in a reserve area so there is no fishing. You don’t necessarily see more fish but you definitely see BIGGER fish. We went out to the turtle cleaning station. We heard the whales singing. We saw a snowflake moray eel out in the open hunting; he was about 5 feet long and beautiful. I love watching the behaviors of animals.
Last night we had dinner with friends who didn’t know what a cleaning station is. This is one of my favorite behaviors to watch underwater. Think of it as the barbershop, beauty salon, dentist and spa for underwater world. There are cleaning stations for different species though some stations will service just about anyone who comes by. Our Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse is famous for that. He’ll clean anyone that comes near him. Eels will go to areas where cleaner shrimp hang out; they’ll open their mouth and get all their teeth cleaned. Even babys fish will hang out together and clean each other. In Kona, we found an eagle ray cleaning station. The rays would come in for a landing, stay while various fish cleaned their backs and then fly off. Another ray would be waiting in line.
But turtle cleaning stations are always the best. The turtles gather while many tangs of various types have a meal of the algae that grows on their shell. This picture shows milletseed butterflyfish which are some of my favorites. Sometimes the turtles “hang” in midwater and sometimes they settle on the bottom. It’s where Peter has gotten award winning photos. Yesterday the 2 turtles at the station had a HUGE school of ta’ape nearby (see right side of pic for beginning of school). They make for great pictures too.