Because we only really took pictures on our mountain trek (except for the occasional shot from the iPhone), I wanted to write up a summary of the sea life and birds we’ve seen this trip, before I forget. I also wanted to make a little list of tips we’ve learned, so we won’t have to re-invent the wheel next time. So here goes:

Things We’ve Learned:

  • Always check ocean conditions before going snorkeling
  • Don’t put sunscreen on your face when snorkeling – it keeps your mask from getting a good seal, and gets in your eyes and stings, and is unnecessary since you will be face down in the water. Apply sunscreen to your face when you are done.
  • The crackling sound you hear near coral is the sound of the fish feeding – water magnifies the sound.
  • Snorkeling a couple hours a day can give you a very mild case of sea legs.
  • The following are some of the Save The Reef things we learned from Snorkel Bob:
    • Sunscreen kills coral – don’t apply sunscreen and then get immediately in the water. Apply at least 30 minutes before entering the water. Or, better yet, says Snorkel Bob, wear sun protection clothing instead of sunscreen lotions.
    • Don’t buy shells, and consider not taking the shell leis you get at luaus or in some stores (we passed on some shell leis at Hilo Hattie).
    • Don’t feed the fish – it changes their behavior and makes them more aggressive. (This was fleshed out for us by a Pacific Whale Foundation volunteer: when fish are fed, the aggressive fish take over and chase out the less aggressive fish, which includes the fish that clean the coral. Then the algae builds up, and the coral starts to die off L )
    • Don’t go on tours that don’t follow the above rules.

Birds We’ve Seen:

Fish/Sea Life We’ve Seen: