Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stripping the Reef

I whined over and over about how I wished we had an evening promenade through town like they do in most southern European towns and cities.

Well, I stand corrected. Each morning on Maui many people walk for exercise along the beaches. Some even stop and talk to those they meet. Maybe the focus is on working out, and maybe it is only a tiny fraction of the population, but it does happen. So it is time for me to stop whining (at least about this).

A couple of months ago I noticed some guys climbing around on the rocks in front of our house. They were searching inch by inch just below the waterline, and putting what they found in a big plastic bucket. This morning I saw them again on Keawakapu beach searching one of the lava promitories. But this time the bucket was on the shore so I could peek in.

Way cool. They had several small starfish, lots of pretty shells occupied by hermit crabs, and some amazing sea slugs (which I had seen called nudibranches at a photo exhibit). All of the critters were active: the starfish were crawling, the slugs were swimming with a wavelike motion and the crabs were dragging their shells around behind them. I never inspect the coral closely and carefully enough to see these amazing creatures; I am too busy swimming on by. I did not have my underwater camera with me and the only shot today which was in focus was of this not very colorful sea slug. The others were a bright red color.

I'm sure these animals (the ones that survive) will be sold for use in aquariums. Interesting way to make a living.

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