Aug 22, 2012
I spent this recent summer time observing the sea life at Waimea Bay. Its crystal waters had plenty of surprises waiting for me. I was awestruck by the pod of Spinner Dolphins which cruised the bay daily. Unfortunately, the dolphins were little rascals. I could hear them squeak and squawk underwater and I swam to the middle of Waimea Bay to meet them. However, they kept on swimming away! I could see their jumpy butts gleefully flying in and out of the water but I could never catch up. They were too quick for me.
However, I did photograph an interesting phenomenom called a “bait ball”. A “bait ball” occurs when a small group of fish bundle up together into a tight ball in an effort to confuse predators. Usually, their efforts end in vain and they are eaten by the predatory fish.
On this particular morning I had an Animal Planet experience. I witnessed an akule baitball and 5 skipjack and 2 barracuda fight for survival. The 5 skyjack began to munch on the akule fish ball and they were later joined by 2 barracuda. I don’t know why, but the little akule fish kept on following me. I tried to move to the side in an effort to watch the barracuda and skipjack eat them but they kept on following me. The skipjack and barracuda didn’t attack while the akule fish ball was underneath me. I thought this was odd. I guess the skipjack and barracuda were afraid of approaching while the akule was directly underneath me.
Waimea Bay from a Sea Turtle’s viewpoint
I swam out to one of the boats in the middle of the harbor and took a picture of its anchor. I thought this would be an interesting picture.
My little friend just cruising along the bottom
I believe this is a Spanish Dancer. Spanish Dancers are swimming slugs that appear to dance when they move.
He is tired of dancing
This is what he looks like when he is sleeping.
Those little fishes were forming a bait ball which was 10 feet in circumference.
Cue the Jaws Music! The bait ball of Akule was hiding underneath two teens playing in the ocean.
It was difficult for my Walmart disposable camera to catch all of the action. That big fish to the right of the picture is an ulua or tunafish. He is eating the smaller fish called akule. They bundled themselves into a tight ball to scare the ulua and barracuda. However, the persistent ulua swam in and feasted. The girls swimming on the surface were unaware of the action below them. I quite enjoyed the show. About five ulua came in to dine on the akule. The ulua managed to eat half of the akule fish ball. Then the barracuda came into the scene and finished the akule off. It was quite amazing and it made me hungry for sushi.