The Fish of Midway

It became critical that we find our way to a North Hawaii reef for a look before we left. In the end we played the Southern Hospitality card with “Midway” Miller.

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Miller is from Florida so we were able to converse easily about such topics as the scary lightning in Florida Bay, the demographics of Lake Okeechobee, clear water diving in Florida springs and more.  Miller loaded up some summer volunteers and took us across the lagoon for a look at this very unique reef .

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The reef is unique for several reasons. It’s very far north at 28 degrees and the corals are fine carpets of white and purple rather than warm water towers and fans. Fifty percent of the fish are endemic only to these islands and we saw lots that were new to us. So the fish-naming gauntlet is down ( take that, Midway Pete and Kristen the Coral Girl), some of these guys ain’t in our book.

Like this speckled lippy spadefish.

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We saw the infamously named Old Woman Wrasse, who tasted K as old women are wont to do.

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The parrot fish here take the Pacific prize for size and good nature…

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even when confronted by a scrappy territorial damsel fish.

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There was a new flavor of toby.

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A faded yellow-striped sea bass.

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A crazy test-pattern tang.

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A leopard blenny (half leopard, half blenny but the blenny half is dominant)

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A prehistoric looking spikey-dorsal wrasse.

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A small curious octopus.

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And a peppermint rockfish (totally made up)

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28°13.52′N 177°19.10′W   03-Aug-11 02:28 UTC

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