Archive for June 5th, 2010

The Fish of Bird Island (as we know it), Tahanea Atoll

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

The subsea features of Bird Island were every bit as interesting as the airborne ones. The west side of the island was covered in dense patch reef.

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We anchored in sand in 90 ft. We could see the anchor from the dinghy.

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There was great snorkeling in 2 – 10 ft of water.

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S was not impressed with the welcoming committee

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K spent his birthday playing a game called Hide & Shark where the human player tries to sneak into the reef and see how long he can stay there before the sharks show up.

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If you can fin quietly, clear your snorkel with a couple of bubbles, stay submerged in one spot like an alligator, and not pee, it might take them 20 minutes to find you.

Between checking all around for blacktips K relied on the eyes in the back of his head and quietly began to document the reef residents.

Like the Redfin Butterflyfish (the red part’s really hard to see but the book promises it’s there),

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the Double-saddle Butterflyfish,

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the Convict Tang hanging with his homey Redfin Butterfly,

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the Striped Surgeonfish,

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the Blacksaddled Toby

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(whose markings are even more interesting when viewed from above),

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and let’s not forget the invertebrates!

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16°52.20′S 144°47.36′W   04-Jun-10 01:01 UTC