Dave Fortin’s Kwajalein Critters

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This guy was taken on Troy’s Coral Head which is inside the Kwajalein Lagoon just north of Carlson island.  We went there for the sharks, but I think the octopus stole the show that day!


Spirobranchus giganteus


The picture on the right was taken with the macro setup.  This is actually a worm and it’s common name is a Christmas Tree Worm.  This is the smaller variety and is on the order of maybe ½” tall.  They can retract into the coral in a fraction of a second for protection which makes taking their picture a challenging task!  Luckily, they tend to come one in just a minute once they are startled, but it can still be trying on you patience!



Here’s what we were really after when we ran into the octopus above.  This photo is an example of one of the few critter photos that I have taken with 400 ASA film (actually, so was the octopus above).  These schools of fish, and therefore the sharks too, tend to hang out around 90-100’.  I was busy trying to take pictures, but my dive partners tried to count them both this day and on our next trip and the counts were between 15-20 sharks at any given time.  They just move through the schools of fish looking for any stragglers!



Anenome: Heteractis magnifica

Fish: Amphiprion perideraion


This anemone photo was taken on the ocean side of Gehh island in fairly shallow water (< 20’).   I have had mixed results with these critters.  This one seemed to come out pretty nice.


Tridacna gigas



This is one of the “giant clams” that you hear about.  This guy is between 3 and 4 feet across.  He was also on the Oceanside of Gehh island not far from the anemone immediately above. 



Tubastraea coccinea


These bright yellow objects are actually colonial cup corals.  They are rather ho-hum during the day as the “flower-like” part is totally retracted.  At night the come out and are fantastic.  This shot is actually taken on a sunken ship.  It is on our “Ski Area Wreck” which can be found elsewhere on my website.




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