Sunday, February 22, 2009

Akumal underwater

I just spent most of the last 2 weeks in sunny Akumal with my family, swimming a couple of hours every day from a beachfront condo on Half Moon Bay called Yool Caanal. Mostly around 80F, air temp and water temp. Very nice. Here's the view from our deck (right).

Thanks to the supremely hot Mrs blogfish (left) for making the vacation memorable, and for my birthday present of a nice underwater digital camera so I can show you some of the fun.

Here's the number 1 boo as she's snorkeling in the ocean for the first time at age 7 and seeing coral reefs, fish, a turtle, etc.

Here's boo number 2 learning to snorkel at age 4, and looking at what he called "inifinity fish" after swimming through vast schools of sardines.

I'm so impressed to see these two little boos snorkeling in the real ocean. A dive instructor friend said that kids this young can learn, and these two are definitely not too young. They did some swimming and I did some towing and we got out to look at coral reefs despite a few bouncy waves now and then, sponges that looked like they were sending creepy fingers up to grab little toes, and some big scary-looking fish like barracuda and greater amberjack.

Here's a small sample of what we saw underwater (hope the IDs are right). Click photos to enlarge.

french grunts and a doctorfish

stoplight parrotfish terminal coloration

stoplight parrotfish initial coloration

sharp-tailed eel

reef squid

hawksbill turtle

southern stingray

hound needlefish (aka houndfish, crocodile needlefish, mexican needlefish)

caribbean trumpetfish

black grouper

spotted trunkfish

sergeant majors

french angelfish

juvenile blue tang

adult blue tangs

foureye butterflyfish

horse-eye jacks

sailors choice grunts

peacock founder (note the camouflage)

and here's a sighting of the rare Mexican blogfish

Hasta la vista, Akumal.


Up Welng said...

i'd say welcome back but i bet it was really hard to pull yourself out of such a beautiful place...

Mark Powell said...

Thanks for the thought, Rick, and you're right it's hard to land back in the chilly and damp northwest.

Anonymous said...

Oooh - heaven! - I want to go. And so many great pics.

Kevin Zelnio said...

Sounds like just the refresher you needed! I can't wait to take my kids out to the reef for their first experience. My oldest is 3 and half now and I'm hoping to get him in the kayak when it warms up a little. My most memorable moments as a kid were family snorkel trips to Hawaii, Mexico and Florida. I believe strongly those early connections with nature were important to shaping where I am at today, despite having a typical landlocked midwestern upbringing.

Eric Heupel said...

Man, I have so got to get out of New England and this grey (G)rotten winter.

Looks like a lasting memory and a recharge!
I'm glad to see you don't "Eat your young", too.

Hoping to be able to get Johann out snorkling soon. Maybe get on the Avery Point side of Pine Island where the tropical fish congregate in the summer and fall, a barest hint of the wonders that are a tropical reef.