Hopefully, I'll have some great pictures from the trip to share as well, but for now...you get earrings!
If you've been following the blog for a while, you know I never really got over my childhood obsession with Jacques Cousteau and all things ocean-y. I've been lucky enough to be able to travel to Maui the last two summers, rent an underwater camera each time and attempt to take some photos of the gorgeous fish, turtles, etc. I posted about my 2013 trip, but never got around to posting the photos from my August, 2014, trip as I got sick on the way home and then got into the whole "kid transition to middle school" while I was still recovering and then I blinked and it was Christmas.
I'll share a few of those photos now as they were the partial inspiration behind this next pair of earrings:
We didn't experience anywhere near the water clarity on this trip as we had on the previous trip. The islands had already been hit by a hurricane about 3 weeks before we arrived and there were still several storms far out to sea that caused the surf to kick up a bit. The best visibility and most variety of fish occurred on our day boat trip over to the island of Lanai. Above is a video of a Black Durgon and some convict tang that I took while snorkeling there at Hulopo'e Bay. You can really get a feel for the wave action that was happening.
This is a school of convict tang and one yellow tang.
From left to right, this is a yellowtail coris, a yellow tang and an orange-banded surgeonfish.
This yellowtail coris was my big "get" of the entire trip. I'd only seen them on the fish guide but had never managed to find one in the water so I followed him around desperately snapping photos hoping to get a good shot (quick tip - don't forget to pay attention to the incoming waves while following a fish with your camera LOL).
I find this fish's coloring so fascinating. He has a bright pink face and head with lime green stripes, an olive body with almost fluorescent blue spots and a bright yellow tail and fins.
This is a female red lip parrot fish. I can tell it's a female, because the males look like a completely different species. Also, this species can change from one sex to the other throughout its life depending on the population requirements (i.e. if there are too many of one sex around, one or more of them will shift to the other sex).
Here's a video I took of what the male looks like...you wouldn't even guess they were the same type of fish, right?
This was my other unusual fish photo. Amazing jaws on this guy for chomping on coral. This is a Barred Filefish and I took the photo at Black Rock on Maui.
I'm always excited when I can capture a Humuhumunukunukuapua'a.
It's the Hawaiian state fish...and here he is chowing down on some coral.
Long nose butterfly fish.
Moorish Idol (if you're a fan of "Finding Nemo", this is the same type of fish as "Scar" who lives in the dentist's fish tank).
One of the days at Black Rock, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a whole school of these needlefish.
They look like miniature barracudas.
So much easier to photograph things that hold still LOL! Especially when you are trying to simultaneously swim, hold your breath, focus your camera and not get wiped out by a wave. This is a slate pencil urchin with some coral in the foreground.
This is a Sergeant Major - I like their bright splashes of yellow.
This is a Trumpetfish.
My sister-in-law and I got up the nerve to swim around the end of Black Rock out of the calmer, more protected area and into the private cove on the other side and we were rewarded with this unusual sight:
That is a seal! Hauled out on the tiny beach and resting in the sun. I wanted to swim closer to take a better picture, but it was a little too rough with a strong current and I was concerned about getting banged into the rocks and coral...which would be a bad thing.
In addition to snorkeling, the kid (and his cousins - that's one of them in the background in the red, white and blue trunks) did some beach fishing...strictly catch and release...but it allowed us to get more up close to some of the beautiful fish we were seeing when we were under water.
Quick! Reel it in!
Most of the day we caught these silvery-yellow "Papio." At least, that's what the guide called them...I have a feeling they are juveniles of another species, but couldn't get more information.
They are super-fast swimmers and have these bright yellow fins.
And they Ryan got amazingly lucky and caught a Christmas Wrasse! Look at the colors! Oh, and you wouldn't think it, but these guys have super-sharp, needle-like teeth - they look like Dracula up close!
So what the heck does all this have to do with earrings, you ask. Well, after seeing all this stuff live, could you blame me when I found these darling fish beads at Scorched Earth on Etsy and had to have them? And then I turned them into these earrings:
I added some orange jade, lime green dyed howlite rondelles and royal blue seed beads (to pick up the blue spots on the fish).
Add some Vintaj brass wire and some patinated brass earring hooks from Patina Queen and you have my "Tropical Fish" earrings.
Thanks for reminiscing with me about the beautiful sights of Hawaii and hope you liked the earrings, too! I'll get them up for sale on Etsy shortly.