Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gone Fishing Part 2!

Hello everyone. So after days of slow internet connection, I'm finally able to upload pictures. It did take three hours just to upload these, so you can imagine the frustration. So now let's continue on to my favorite fishing hole!

After walking along the slippery rocks for fifteen minutes, we arrived at my fishing spot. It looked like the tide was at stand still. That means that the tide had stopped going out and soon the water would come back in.

I rigged up one of the fishing poles for my friend, so I could go look for crabs while the tide was still out and the rocks exposed.

The fishing is not as good when the water is all the way out. When the water starts rushing in between the center rock and the rock on the right, the fishing gets really good. I figure that lots of food gets rushed in with the tide in this channel and the fish just lie around in the front and wait.

As soon as my friend Loren casted, he gets a bite and lands this little greenling sea trout. It was exciting since it was the first cast and first fish. All Joyluck wanted to do was to play with the fish!

A closer shot of the greenling. These fish have to be minimum of 12 inches in length to keep, so this one was thrown back.

I left Loren with fishing while I went to look for crabs. I had some time to kill since the tide hadn't turned yet. Check out this beautiful little starfish that I encountered as soon as I stepped down from the "fishing rock".

The red crabs love to hide out in crevices and holes in the rocks. I caught a glimpse of a red shell in such a spot. I stuck my camera in and took a picture. A crab waiting for me to pull him out!

Here I'm getting ready to put my hand in to get the tasty little crustacean out!

It can get kind of eerie sticking my hand in unknown places, not to mention I have to pull the crab out without getting pinched. Sometimes I touch something slimy and moving and then it really freaks me out!

This hole in the rock was way in, I had my whole arm in. The trick is to turn the crab around and grab it from the back and pull him out. Not an easy task, considering I can't see what I'm doing. But I've been at it since I was a little kid, so I no longer get pinched!

And here he is, pretty pissed off that I stuck my hand in his home and pried his butt out while he was resting! Check out those claws, they can break bone!

Other than crevices and holes in rocks, these crabs also like to hang out under loose rocks.

Check out what was clinging to the rock underside. Small abalones and black turban snails. The white little things look like small barnacles.

And on the bottom of the lifted rock, a red crab hiding in the sand on the top right corner. He soon went in my bucket!

Typical starfish of temperate waters off of the California coast. These starfish come in usually two colors, orange and purple.

A gorgeous bat star! This one reminded me of back in the aquarium service days when I used to take care of a cold water reef tank in an aerospace lab. It had starfish like this in it.

Another type of starfish. This one actually has some blue in it. I don't see too much of this species, and it was the only one of its kind that I saw on this trip.

I think it would be worth while setting up a coldwater reef if you live near the coast. You can keep starfish like this in it. But make sure you get special permits to be able to collect these and take home.

A giant closed up sea anemone. It looks like an alien eye looking at you!

Check out this rock encrusted with pink coralline algae! Beautiful! In our reef tanks at home, we usually end up growing purple coralline. Liverock from the wild that has pink or red coralline usually ends up loosing its color in our tanks. But the purple coralline still can maintain its color pretty good. I remember I set up a 125 gallon reef for a customer of mine. I set it up and she took care of it. I sold her all the additives and chemicals she needed to maintain the water chemistry. After about 8 months, she was moving and she couldn't take the tank with her. She had sold off the livestock and wanted to bring back the 200 lbs. of liverock that I had sold her. She just wanted her rock to go to a good home. On the phone, she simply said that her rock didn't look like other rocks at my shop.

Holy mackerel! She brought in 200 lbs of pure neon pink rock! It was literally pepto bismol color. For some odd reason, her tank conditions allowed this hard to grow calcareous algae to flourish. It was incredible. I sold off all the pieces within two days. People couldn't resist the color. Of course all the pieces, including some I put in my display tank, all lost its pink and turned white. Eventually purple coralline would grow over but never that crazy pink again. That was the only time I ever saw rock covered with that much pink coralline algae. If you have pink coralline growing in your reef tank, consider yourselves lucky!

As I took the picture of the pink rock, I noticed something moving from the side. It was an arm from an octopus!

I quickly lifted the rock and pulled out the slimy little guy! It wasn't very big and started to run away fast. I've seen big octopus around these waters before. When I was a little kid, I caught one that was at least four feet across. This one was just over a foot. I used to come out at night to these rocks and see what was lurking around. It is very interesting and there are these tiny little octopi (puses) that walk around on the rocks. They are all white and I think they are a different species. Of course I tried taking some home to put in my little saltwater tank, but they all died!

I tried picking it up but it turned on its back. It was clinging to my hands!

And here he is, heading for a small tidepool. Kind of creepy looking! I remember back in the Tonga days when the locals used to go out on the reefs at lowtide and catch these guys for food. It is a major steady diet there and the way they cook it, is delicious. My favorite is when they cook it with the black ink. After done eating, you look like you just got done chewing on a stick of charcoal!

As soon he entered the water, his coloring changed to camouflage himself to its surroundings. Way cool!

Ok that is it for today on this topic.

Now for some coral pictures!

Another nice wild pink millepora colony. Notice I broke off a frag- just kidding! This piece broke off during transit. Many times corals travel for days on a bus, with not so good packing!

Nice bullseye mushroom rock! These happen to be green with purple edges.

A very attractive pair of Cynarina lacrymalis! The translucent tissue is truly beautiful.

Cynarina desheysiana. These are often mistaken for scolymias. The red on this one is metallic in color!

Ok so this odd looking thing is called a tiger sponge here in Indo. I have my doubts on the id. If anyone can positively id this, please let me know. It is sensitive and can rot and turn black very fast. It comes in many different color morphs. Evidently it is hardy once it acclimates in a reef. It is quite beautiful!

A raspberry aquacultured millepora from Sarangan, Bali Turtle Island! Notice the new growth whitish tips.

A large deepwater tabling acropora. Typical of the deepwater tables, the edges have color but the base is brown. This one is an Acropora caroliniana.

A killer wild blue- purple millepora colony with green polyps!

A cute little wild colony of Acropora loripes. The base color looks brown in the picture, but actually it is green. Under halides you can see the true colors.

A large tabling Acropora desalwii. Always one of my favorites!

Check out this tabling millepora colony. It almost looks like a tabling cytherea. I had to take a double look. The whitish tips will probably look baby blue under 20k's!

Another stunning Montipora confusa! The plating tips on the right side are perfect for fragging!

A beautiful little wild colony of Pocillopora verrucosa. Another sps that is looked down upon among sps keepers in the US, a shame!

Another beautiful Pocillopora species. This one is a P. damicornis. It is purple and green. Glows under actinics. This and the verrucosas are the most common in this genus. I remember back in Tonga waters when we used to go catch flame hawks. Flame hawks only live in huge Pocillopora eydouxi colonies. Some of these giant stony corals are three feet tall and it takes some skill to get the small red hawks out. The hawks are extremely territorial and will fight to keep off other homeless hawks. It is a shame that in places like Tahiti, these ancient old corals are decimated to get the flame hawks out. The locals were never taught how catch fish without destructing the reefs. This was one of the reasons why we brought out Steve Robinson to teach our local and Filipino divers how to catch fish without damaging the corals in Tonga.

Guess what species this is? If you guessed Acropora nasuta, you are right. This one is pink with purple tips. For sure an extremely hard coral to keep colored. I remember the ones from Tonga, you look at it funny and it turns brown!!


Ok that is it for today. If the internet allows me, then we can finish off this "Gone fishing" series. I hope you enjoyed the coral pictures too!


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