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Divers Save a Whitespotted Toby from one of the Reef’s Stealth Predators

Mike Severns Diving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 3 Comments

One of the cutest and most talked about fish that divers see in Hawaii is a little pufferfish called the Whitespotted Toby. As adults they are about the size and shape of a partially deflated ping pong ball. They have beautiful green eyes, look a little clumsy moving through the water, and often travel in pairs. Our divers ask about them almost …

Identifying A Mystery Bottle from a Sunken WWII wreck off Makena, Maui

Mike Severns Diving Diving on Maui, Maui - History/Events, Maui Wreck Dives 6 Comments

During WWII the Kihei-Makena coastline of Maui was an important training area for U.S. Marines headed to the Pacific. The sandy beaches were good for practicing beach assaults with amphibious tractors (AMTRACS) which were also known as LVTs (Landing Vehicles Tracked). For unknown reasons, some of these vehicles ended up submerged in relatively shallow water (60-80 feet), and are now some of our favorite …

Coral Bleaching Report on a 500-year-old lobe coral colony

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 0 Comments

This summer’s and fall’s high ocean temperatures and sunlight intensity have taken the lives of thousands of coral colonies in Hawaii. Some places have lost large amounts of colorful, vibrant coral reefs and in their place is a covering of dark brown algal turf. It has brought some people to tears. Last Saturday morning DLNR held an event called Bleachapalooza which …

Coral Bleaching – Is that white coral dead?

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 6 Comments

As scientists so accurately predicted, we are experiencing a historically high amount of coral bleaching this summer/fall in Hawaii. One of the questions that we are frequently asked is, “Is that white coral dead?” Living corals in their healthiest state are shades of tan, yellow, brown, and green, among other colors. The color they exhibit comes mostly from microscopic single-celled algae …

“Birth” announcement from a Maui Reef

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 2 Comments

Spring is here! Spring on Maui means that whale season comes to a close, the water starts to warm up, corals begin releasing their eggs and sperm into the water during their annual spawning events, and new baby fish begin to settle out of the plankton onto the reef. The spring and summer months are prime months for baby fish …

The Life and Times of a Humpback Whale Barnacle

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 2 Comments

Last week we were treated to an unusual find during one of our dives off of Maui. There on the sand was a strange, black, partially-circular object composed of radially symmetrical segments. Was it plastic? Metal? With that symmetry, surely it was man-made. But no, we’d seen something like this a few years before – it was part of a …

Transparent Moorish Idol recruit

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 4 Comments

How long does it take to become opaque? As Hawaii’s divers and fish-watchers are well aware, this summer will go on record as the largest settlement of juvenile fishes (recruits) recorded in historic times. Estimated millions of Blacklip Butterflyfish, thousands of Yellow Tangs, and hundreds or thousands of individuals of numerous other species settled out of the plankton on reefs …

Part Two – Juvenile Blacklip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii)

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life, Maui - History/Events 5 Comments

Swarming divers and turtles in competition for food Strength in numbers is not a phrase that applies to the recent settlement of estimated millions of Blacklip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii) at Molokini and off the south coast of Maui. This many fish compete mightily for the limited amount of available food. We didn’t realize how serious the competition was until we had …

Part One – Massive numbers of juvenile Blacklip Butterflyfish

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 2 Comments

Have your eyes ever beheld so many individual things that they felt full? That is the way my eyes felt three weeks ago while diving off of Molokini and south Maui. They felt so full that I actually had the sensation they were itching. This is because on July 8 thousands of juvenile Blacklip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii) appeared overnight on …