Tag Archives: fish

Other amazing things from the Vancouver Aquarium

Pink Anemones – really, do I need to say anything more? Strawberry pink living animals, people!!

Pink Anenomes

I’ve loved rays ever since I went nighttime snorkelling to see the giant kona rays, but never expected to see one looking so swanky!

Polka dot rays


I always knew sturgeon could be really big, but this guy was longer than my dad was tall!  And he just hung there in the gloom – really spooky.  And this is why I only snorkel close to shore.

Really big fish

See the yellow fish in the photo below?  See the rest of his friends hanging motionless in the reeds?  I’m not even sure how they breathe because you coldn’t even really see their gills move.  They did a convincing job of playing possum (almost like the goldfish in my Dad’s fish tank that I swear is dead half the time)

Possum fish

And if you thought the strawberry pink anemones were out of this world….here are the lime green ones 🙂  It’s a good thing they weren’t in the same tank – can you imagine the colour clash???

Black, Orange and Green


Adventures with my new camera (2)

So the true test of my sony DSC-TX30 was to stick it underwater (that is, after all, the second main reason I bought it!).  Took it to Hawaii and went out into the ocean with it and promptly forgot how to turn off the touch screen! Because it is a touch screen, it becomes a little difficult to change the settings when your fingers are wet. The screen is definitely not as responsive with wet fingers and when you want to take a photo underwater one minute and then above water the next, well…..Just leave it on underwater setting and live with it – it’s not bad.

Okaaay, underwater – here are things you need to know. It doesn’t matter about the screen – it’s not like you can see anything in it. This was a true “point and shoot” exercise. Between my snorkelling mask, refraction of the bright (bright!!!) sunshine and less than pristine water and composition went out the window. LUCKILY, the fish didn’t move AS fast as you think.

In this first photo, you can see how cloudy the water is especially close to the surface, yet the camera was still good enough to pick up the fish.

Even in cloudy water


Just to be sure, took some shots of the bottom to make sure the camera was working.

The bottom of the sea


And in the very shallow water (as I was being pushed around by all the waves), you get a decent vacation shot.

Really hoped the fish was in that general direction

Really hoped the fish was in that general direction


Really pleased in quieter waters that it also picked up paler fish



Anonymous White Fish


And lastly, setting it to the underwater mode, and taking the photo in bright sunshine above the water, you still get a reminder of your exotic holiday.

Just as good above water

Just as good above water


Hawaii: Favourite Fish

Ok, this took much longer to put together than I thought. There’s very little I could think to say about the fish I saw in Hawaii. It would be a pretty boring blog of “really, really, pretty!” or “ooooh, love the colours!”, or “hmmm, reminds me of so and so at work”, etc, etc. So instead, I’ve labelled the fish I have photos of, in latin AND Hawaiian AND English (brownie points for me!) and put my comments in the captions! (you have to click on them to see the comments) All photos courtesy of my uncle who wouldn’t give up his camera even thought it refused to take pictures of fish in motion….. Note that the identification would not be possible without the well worth it purchase of “The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes” by John Hoover. It really was the ultimate and I recommend it if you are even a little bit curious about what you see in the ocean. It is so ultimate that the biologists recommended it to me and the bookstore staff knew it immediately even though I couldn’t remember the title or author!

First Hawaii Goal – Snorkel (and Don’t Drown)

Hawaii, specifically snorkeling in Hawaii, was my goal for taking swimming lessons (that, and not drowning).  Two months before my vacation, I couldn’t swim. Two weeks before my vacation, I could technically swim; or, as I liked to say, I took a lot longer to drown. However, I succeeded! By success I meant that when I got to Hawaii, I wasn’t afraid to go into the water up to my neck even when the lifeguard kept calling out when a strong wave would break over the barrier and be coming towards us. I put that rented snorkelling gear on and dunked my head into the water. Yay! What was even MORE fun was that I actually saw fish!!!! I saw so many fish, I had to get a book. The one I really remember that day was the bright yellow one and the black ninja one. The 4 months of very expensive swimming lessons in a cold condo swimming pool pushing little kids (and the occasional adult) out of the way was totally worth it.

Snorkeling, for those of you who haven’t tried it, is like going on safari with wild animals who are less likely to bite and eat you. If you haven’t gone on safari, it’s like being in a zoo without cages while flying. Not everyone loves it. When I went night snorkeling with the manta rays, I met 2 people who were very uncomfortable with knowing exactly what was under them. But the combination of fish body shapes, colours, behaviours and species is astounding!

The “don’t drowning” part came into play as I recognized my limits. You don’t actually have to know how to swim to snorkel – because when snorkelliing, you just float. You can even use the floating noodles if you like. So as I merrily floated and paddled my way out to where there were actual coral (and therefore, more types of fish), I didn’t realise that there was still loads of effort involved and even if you could breathe while under water, it was still possible to run out of breath! At that point, I turned back and saved the lifeguard a trip out to get me.

Snorkeling rules:

  • don’t feed the fish (for a whole load of reasons, but mainly because they are WILD animals)
  • don’t stand on the coral (we’ve killed enough by now, don’t you think?)

The photos below were taken by my Uncle R who needs a much better underwater camera