K5 Side & Troy’s Coral Head

Here are some photos from a pair of dives in late August to K5 Side shipwreck (Tateyama Maru) and Troy’s Coral Head (last two photos). My favorite is the green anemone at the bottom; so far the greenest one I’ve seen!

Elephant ear sponges:

Unicornfish:

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Huff Maru and Twin Peaks

Lately I’ve been working on going through all my dive photos, selecting and properly formatting some of them to go in photo albums to be posted soon on a new section of my home page (http://www.greenskychaser.com). I have found a number of decent dive photos from this summer and fall that I haven’t posted here on the blog yet, so here is the first set.

Huff Maru (Japanese WWII shipwreck):

At Twin Peaks Coral Head:

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Roi Dive Photos

Here is a selection of more dive photos from Roi this past weekend. I had a really great time up there and saw a lot of cool stuff. I went on 5 dives, including oceanside Roi (where all the sharks were at), the Eiko Maru (known by the locals as 1st Ship, a Japanese ship from WWII), a reef dive off of 8th Island, the airplane graveyard (collection of American WWII planes discarded after the war), and a C-46 (cargo plane also from WWII times). As always, you may click to enlarge the photos.

Gray Reef Shark, oceanside Roi-Namur

Looking up at a shark silhouette

1st Ship, aka Eiko Maru #2

Bow Gun

Jellyfish

Looking along a walkway

Barrels in the cargo hold

Kingpost

My dive partner John, playing with a jellyfish

Bannerfish, checking out coral growing on the deck

Coral reef dive off of 8th Island (8 islands southeast of Roi-Namur)

Large brain coral

There were several clownfish hiding in an anemone growing in this coral

Giant Clam (just over a foot long)

Airplane graveyard

Look between the tail of the plane and a coral head to the left, and you'll see one of a few spotted eagle rays we saw this weekend

Self-portrait

Me, in the airplane graveyard

John, checking out this plane with the propeller sitting in the cockpit

C-46 plane, sans wings and tail

Looking in the cockpit of the C-46

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Roi Diving

I finally made it up to Roi this weekend for diving. This afternoon we went to oceanside Roi, and saw a dozen or so sharks, mostly gray reef! I had never seen gray reef sharks before, to my knowledge, and and I had never seen so many sharks on a dive. Apparently what we saw was nothing compared to the 40 or so seen by my dive partners on a recent dive nearby.

Here is one of my shots of a gray reef shark. The sharks were not particularly shy, which was cool, as I was able to get some of my best shark photos to date!

Looking forward to more diving tomorrow!

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Lionfish and Other Macro Work

Here are some macro shots from the last three dives I took my camera on.

Picasso Triggerfish

A baby lionfish

A rather large lionfish (there were four adult lionfish here at the South Pass Chaser wreck, all just hanging out in the open)

Clownfish and sea anemone

A cleaner shrimp

A rather disturbed-looking fish (not sure of the proper name, but the fishermen call these Red Perch; the first time I went fishing here I caught two of these)

Twotone Dartfish

Reticulated Butterflyfish

Longnose Butterflyfish

Pacific Sailfin Tang

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Weekend Diving

Over this past weekend, I was able to get in five dives (including my 50th scuba dive!). Two of the dives were boat dives. I saw five octopuses, three manta rays, one sea turtle, several anemones with clownfish, one baby whitetip reef shark, and many other interesting critters.

Here is a selection of my top 25 favorite photos from the dives.

School of sweetlips on the concrete wreck off of Emon Beach.

Anemone on a large coralhead not far from the concrete wreck, about 6o feet deep.

A beautiful scene; one of my favorite photos I’ve taken underwater. I love how this clownfish so often looks like he’s yelling at me when I take his photo. (See the photo I took of this guy with my macro lens last month: Emon Beach Dive)

Another colorful shot.

A very cooperative octopus that kept crawling in and out of several holes on this little coralhead. There was also a smaller octopus on the other side of the coralhead.

Changing color and texture!

A mostly balled up anemone, showing its gorgeous underside.

The anemone further unfurls.

Porcupinefish

One of the manta rays off of Emon Beach, circling around overhead.

Bow guns on the Prinz Eugen (an old German battleship used by the US for nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll following WWII). This ship is just across the lagoon from Kwaj.

Sponges and other growth around the Prinz Eugen.

Torpedo room (showing the back of the torpedoes) on the Prinz Eugen.

All sorts of life growing around the Prinz Eugen (I like the starfish on the left side of the coralhead).

One of the propellers on the Prinz Eugen (the other is sticking out of the water).

One of two octopuses hanging around this spot on the wall, on the ocean side of Carlson Island.

Tail of a baby whitetip reef shark poking out of a hole.

Here it comes!

The shark circled around and swam right for me before swerving at the last minute to pass us by.

While the shark looks like it could be a large one in this photo, it was actually probably no more than 18 inches long, if that. Still, I’m sure it had some sharp little teeth that I wouldn’t exactly want to encounter.

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NuSTAR Part 2

There was an open house a couple days before the satellite launch, and we were able to go aboard the L1011 and check things out up close. Here are a few photos.

The rocket

What would be economy seating on the aircraft. Pretty much stripped clean to decrease weight on the plane.

“First class” seating on the aircraft. This is essentially the rocket and satellite control center. The screen on the right is showing a simulation of the rocket launch.

Dreaming about my future career as a pilot. 🙂

The launch went off without a hitch. We were able to see all three stages of the rocket from Kwaj, even though the plane was over 100 miles away when it dropped the rocket. Pretty cool to be a part of this!

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NuSTAR

Next week we’ll be supporting a NASA mission, where this L1011 aircraft (the “Stargazer”) will take off from Kwajalein and launch the attached Pegasus rocket, which will fly into space and release NuSTAR, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, an X-ray satellite that will study black holes and other stuff. (See NASA mission page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/nustar/main/index.html)

Touchdown!

Turning around to park at the other end of the runway

The payload

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Transit of Venus and Partial Lunar Eclipse

Today Venus passed between the Earth and Sun, in such a plane that millions of people around the world were able to witness the silhouette of the second planet traversing the face of the Sun. The next Venus transit will not be until 2117.

Out here at Kwajalein, we were able to view the entire 6.5 hour transit, in between clouds, of course.

Here are a few photos I was able to take with my Canon 7D attached to my Meade ETX90 (90mm telescope). In case you aren’t sure, Venus is the large black circle, while the other less sharp dots are sunspots.

The following photo shows egress, when Venus is leaving the face of the Sun (note the seeming blemish on the right edge of the Sun). I wasn’t able to get a sharp photo of ingress or egress, due mainly to the passing clouds.

The night before last there was also a partial lunar eclipse. Here are a couple shots I got of the eclipse, also through my telescope.

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Tide Pool Snorkeling

Went snorkeling in the tide pools today and saw all sorts of fun stuff, including several lionfish, a juvenile emperor angelfish, a pipefish (usually see a few every time I go there), a bright yellow boxfish, and a big clam.

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish

Pipefish (same family as seahorses)

Juvenile Yellow Boxfish

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