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The Snorkeling Trifecta

01-15-2016

Dai Mar Tamarack, Expedition Leader, Safari Explorer

One of the most amazing parts about cruising aboard the Safari Explorer between the Hawaiian Islands is the opportunity to see the islands' uniqueness both above and below the water.

This past week we snorkeled in several locations including near the southernmost point of the United States, on a partially submerged volcanic crater, at night with manta rays, and over the remaining wreckage from an early 1990s hurricane.

Snorkeling in Hawaii

It was among this wreckage off the old Mala Pier on Maui's west side that we completed the snorkel wildlife trifecta; spotting a turtle, a shark and a manta ray!

Hawaiian green sea turtles often hover over the wreckage of Mala Pier to allow tangs and surgeonfish to clean off their algae covered shells. We were all lucky enough to get a front row view as fish would calmly swim up and grab a free meal off the turtles' shells.

Snorkeling with sea turtles in Hawaii

The wreckage also provides a hiding spot for resting white tip reef sharks. Scuba divers sometimes find these sharks sitting on the bottom of the ocean floor, waiting for nighttime so they can begin their hunt for food.

I had always hoped to find one of these beautiful creatures and I was pleasantly surprised to actually see one swimming out and about. Luckily, I had just sat everyone down the day before for a shark presentation called, "The Truth about Sharks."

We all knew that these sharks weren’t harmful so when the shark call came everyone booked it towards the shark instead of away!

A white tipped reef shark in the Hawaiian Islands

To complete the snorkeling trifecta, a lone spotted eagle ray cruised in close to the wreckage.

Many people got to see it calmly gliding over the sandy bottom that surrounded the wreckage. We swim with manta rays every week over in Kona, but this was the first spotted eagle ray we had seen this season.

Snorkeling with a manta ray in Hawaii

It was so much fun sharing this amazing underwater world with all of our guests.

This week we saw some rare and amazing underwater wildlife. It was the first trifecta I had ever seen. It was an awesome week aboard the Safari Explorer, and I can’t wait to see what happens next week.



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