The Enchanted Sea - Videos of (an) Aquatic Nature

The Enchanted Sea

 This video of manta rays was shot off the Kona Coast of Hawaii at night. Several of the dive shops in the area cooperated to place lights on the bottom, which was at about 40 feet. This attracted large amounts of plankton each night, which in turn attracted manta rays, who are plankton feeders. These giants are harmless and gentle, and by some accounts very intelligent. It was an amazing experience to see them swooping and twirling through the lights and I will never forget how they would come right over my head, even touching me with their silky bellies as they glided by. I felt that the music from Swan Lake Ballet fit the experience nicely.

One Fine Day

 On several dives in the Turks and Caicos islands, numbers of Caribbean reef sharks were present. We guessed they had been fed by humans at some time, because they had no fear of us. Most sharks tend to stay well away from scuba divers unless habituated to them. These beautiful fish would come right up to us to check us out and then glide away when they saw we had nothing to offer. The video begins in the gloom of night, showing the ever-present sharks caught in our dive lights, and then continues on through morning dives and then later into the day.  Some trailed fishing lines, which we felt was unfortunate and made us want to help.

Green Sea Turtle Browsing

 Most sea creatures maintain an attitude of wary indifference to humans. People are not on their menu and are not readily identified as predators. As long as you don't move too fast or show too much interest, the animals in the ocean tend to ignore you. Because of predation by sharks and the general sharky look of scuba divers, most turtles become extra wary when they sense they are being stalked. This green turtle, however, was supremely nonchalant about being videoed while he looked for food. He did not seem as wary as I felt about me being in his space; they can give a vicious bite if they think it is necessary.

Sweetest Eyes Were Ever Seen

I really wanted to reach out and scratch this sea lion behind the ears as I videoed her in the Galapagos Islands. I think she wanted it too. But it didn't happen for two reasons. The main one was that wild animals are somewhat unpredictable, and despite what her eyes were saying, even a warning nip from such a large animal would leave me bleeding in the water. Secondly, Ecuador was only letting a very few select boats go to certain islands (Wolf and Darwin) and we were under strict instructions from the boat not to touch anything. I didn't want to start an international incident, so I kept my hands to myself.

Stars of the Night Sea

Night dives provide a totally different look at the ocean. Creatures that are asleep and hidden during the day, are now out showing their true colors. Basket stars are nocturnal filter-feeders who 
curl up into an inconspicuous ball during the day or when a light is shined on them too long. They are beautiful and harmless but very eerie and menacing in appearance. Thus the spooky and menacing music that accompanies the video.

Dancing Squid


While snorkeling in the Turks and Caicos Islands, we discovered Caribbean reef Squid that seemed just as curious about us as we were about them. As long as we did not make any sudden moves, we were allowed to get very close and video their behavior, including color changes and unusual tentacle configurations. Tentacles up seemed to indicate curiosity,  down, uncertainty.
 

Green Moray

Green morays were common in the waters near Utila, Honduras. Despite their fearsome appearance, they are gentle, peaceful creatures who demonstrate a high level of intelligence and awareness.
 

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