Pandion

Our family adventures on the sailing vessel Pandion cruising the Pacific.

20 November 2012 | Golden Gate Bridge
19 November 2012 | enroute
16 November 2012
16 November 2012 | enroute
08 November 2012 | enroute
07 November 2012 | enroute
03 November 2012 | Radio Bay, Hilo Harbor, HI
02 November 2012 | Saigon Pho House, Hilo, HI
02 November 2012 | The Great Pacific
01 November 2012 | The Great Pacific
01 November 2012 | The Great Pacific
30 October 2012 | The Great Pacific
29 October 2012 | The Great Pacific
23 October 2012 | Fanning Atoll
22 October 2012 | Fanning Atoll
20 October 2012 | Fanning Atoll
18 October 2012 | Fanning Atoll
17 October 2012 | Fanning Atoll
17 October 2012 | Fanning
16 October 2012 | The Great Pacific

Wall Dive #2

22 May 2012 | Toau, Anse Amyot
Lola
Our basic routine for places where the diving is good is this: Sage does schoolwork while Lorca and I SCUBA. We come back, snack and either do chores, help Sage with homework or go on a shore adventure. Or read and nap. Or take Sage on a snorkeling adventure. Back to the boat to chill then off to snorkel and/or SCUBA again with Sage.

This morning Lorca and I dove the wall again since the ocean is even mellower today. We headed to the South wall dive here in Anse Amyot and it was quite a treat. We weren't sure exactly where to drop - we had GPS coordinates from the Soggy Paws Compendium (highly recommended - best guide so far - if you use it, send them some money if you can too!!) but we didn't have mobile GPS for the dink so we just eyeballed it from the description. We did pretty well - we dropped just at the edge of the wall and Lorca had a good line on a spool to drag the dinghy along. The current was running roughly parallel to shore and not to rapidly so it worked pretty well. We topped out at 51 feet or so but mostly stayed at 30 feet so that we'll be able to take Sage on SCUBA later. I'm SOOOOO glad we have a compressor. We're just divin' fools these days and it ROCKS. Since it was so mellow out Lorca told me that he didn't get his arm yanked off by the dink. On this wall dive there were many canyons and caverns and grottos to drop into where many fishes would hang out. One thing that was really interesting was that there was a concentration of juvenile Humphead (Napoleon) Wrasses along one particular portion of the wall. There were a few of the large ones but mostly what I saw were lots of juveniles. I was glad to see them on the wall because apparently there aren't a lot left because people spearfish them and send them off to Tahiti. They grow very large and very old. It was good to see lots of young'uns on the wall. The surgeon fishes were super aggressive today. A single surgeon fish would chase after small schools of very large parrot fish scaring the crap out of the poor parrotfish who were only trying to nibble coral. The goatfish also seemed more frisky than usual so I wonder if it's egg-laying time for certain species of fish and they're staking out their territories and defending them fiercely.

If you remember from my last BLOG I had decided to select a maximum of three fish per dive or snorkel to identify with our reef fish book. Today's fishes of the day are:

The Orangefin Dascyllus, Pacific Half-and-Half Chromis, and the coolest of all of them: The Slingjaw Wrasse in the terminal phase. The terminal phase is the phase where the fish is usually the largest and most colorful. There was another little fish that I've not yet found in our book - olive green with a thick white racing stripe on other side, cool orange lines around eyes and it rested on its pectoral fins on coral. It looked a lot like a wrasse but I didn't find it in with the wrasses. It looked like a wrasse but acted like a goby... And I'm still trying to find the trigger like fish that had a really cool retractable spike on his head. I'd swim toward him and the spike would some out. Id' then swim away and the spike would retract. ....later.....I just found it in the book! It was a "scythe triggerfish."

We haven't seen a lot of anemones here but today's dive yielded one very large, flowing anemone with fluorescent blue tips and seafoam green appendages. WOW! I grabbed on to a hunk of coral and let myself settle to the wall and just watched it for a few minutes. THe fish associated with the anemone were some kind of damselfish-like things but after a bit I saw these super tiny black fishes with bright blue stripes. They were TINY. Maybe, a generous estimate would have been a quarter of an inch. Very cool and very well-protected in the depths of the anemone. I saw one moray eel and one, maybe 6 foot gray reef shark swimming lazily about at the very edge of the wall. At one point we shallowed to about 15 feet and the wall had plateaued and was full of short, stubby coral heads and lots of small, flittery fishes. For a moment I felt like I was back home hiking out at Pierce Point. With the light dancing on the earth tone corals it looked very much like the bluffs of the Point Reyes National Seashore. I half-expected to see a Tule Elk off in the distance. My favorite dive so far is still the pass dive at the South Fakarava Pass. I'm so glad we didn't skip Fakarava! We had talked about just blowing by it thinking that it would be too much big town-ness. There were a lot of people there - more than 8 boats at any given time and several giant mega-yachts but the diving was so superb it was totally worth it. It's weird to get in the water and see so few sharks though.

We'll be in Tahiti in just over a week and we have lots of chores to do in the mean-time. But there's so much diving to do....I guess the chores can wait - the diving isn't supposed to be nearly as spectacular in Tahiti. Chores, schmores, right? But I been meaning to rebuild that winch since Mexico...so I guess I'd better git to it.
Comments
Vessel Name: Pandion
Vessel Make/Model: Derektor/Chance
Hailing Port: Tomales Bay, CA
Crew: Lorca, Lola and Sage
About: We are a little family on a big boat exploring the beautiful Pacific Isles.
Pandion's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 12 of 12
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Day one of our car rental and land exploration.
66 Photos
Created 2 August 2012
Unbelievable SCUBA with Mantas.
20 Photos
Created 3 July 2012
Bananas, dancing and sunset
20 Photos
Created 3 July 2012
Our incredible sail from Raiatea to Bora Bora.
20 Photos
Created 28 June 2012
Lorca's morning swim the other day produced this coolest ever fish. We followed it around for a long time taking pictures and videos watching it diggy-dig-dig in the sand with its crazy adapted wing-like fins. Very much one of the coolest fish I've ever met.
20 Photos
Created 10 June 2012
Onupohu Bay, Moorea. Stingray alley. Getting schlupped by stingrays. Sage got schlupped three times right on her face (mask and snorkel) by big stingrays. It was incredibly incredible.
25 Photos
Created 10 June 2012
Sunday Morning Market in Papeete. 5AM to 8AM
54 Photos
Created 3 June 2012
28 Photos
Created 2 June 2012
My absolute favorite place in the Tuamotu Archipelago. I could have stay and dove every day for a month here. At least.
36 Photos
Created 2 June 2012
Miscellany over the last few days.
6 Photos
Created 17 April 2012
Tattoos, hikes and locals or Vaitahu, Tahuata, Isles Marquises
45 Photos
Created 13 April 2012
THe most stunning Village ever.
97 Photos
Created 13 April 2012
Jusdt a few pictures of Hanamenu and the amazing woman named, "Mama Tihu" or, "MarieJo" with whom I made an incredible soul connection. A blog posting on her later.
20 Photos
Created 13 April 2012
Last Few Days of passage and Arrival to Hiva Oa and Cultural Festival
30 Photos
Created 29 March 2012
Hey Folks, a mish-mash of select pics from the last several weeks. Enjoy!
53 Photos
Created 28 March 2012
Rudder repair at Lobos...and some other stuff. To go with BLOG posting of 2-25-12
15 Photos
Created 25 February 2012
Before Pandion was Pandion
20 Photos
Created 11 November 2011