I know this post is long overdue... thank you for being patient while I scrambled, prioritized, and totally uprooted my life. Now let's get back to the topic at hand: moray eels!
Eels are such a regular occurrence in Hawaii that the usual diver reaction is boredom, if not slight annoyance. But to me (being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Kona water), having an eel curiously tag along on field work is the most exciting part of the day. This guy followed me around for a good 15 meters, diving in and out of the reef and swimming a little too close for comfort. I think I saw a total of 4 eels that day!
This fine piece of machinery is called a Profiling Reflectance Radiometer (PRR). There are sensors facing out of each end that measure the amount of light in the water column. We'll be deploying it everywhere to amass a gigantic data set about ocean optics.
The team was lucky enough to hire an incredible boat driver that had pimped his ride perfectly for our style of field work. Seriously - I have never worked on a boat so comfortable or well-formatted. John was hilarious, accomodating, smart, and gave great local food recommendations. (Not to mention that whole bag of homemade breakfast musubis he brought us.)
Then we discovered reefs have fish. Crazy, right!?
...And this is a great shot of when we desperately attempted to dry all of our scuba gear on the hotel balcony less than 24 hours before traveling halfway around the world with crammed, salty luggage. Welcome to airplane life.