Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Water Colors

In my travels, I'm always appreciative of those magical moments when nature unveils artwork that is more spectacular than my human mind can almost perceive. Today I definitely had one of those natural encounters.

Cruising off the coast of Maui in a 100 passenger snorkeling vessel is not necessarily the ideal way to see these beautiful Hawaiian waters -- unless that particular boat is empty, the sky a brilliant blue and the coral-effused waters of the Olawalu marine sanctuary absolutely crystal clear. This trifecta of sailing conditions was the perfect canvas for Ma nature to delight..and she did not disappoint. There is no better artist.

These black durgon fish (Melichthys niger) seemed keen to be immortalized on the canvas - and seemingly undulated on the clear surface in the flat sand bottoms just a short distance from the coral hilltops.

Reflection, refraction, and wave movements all lend to the diversity of color and pattern in this image. Ocean water gets its apparent color from the selective absorption and scattering of the light spectrum as it passes through the water from the sun.
Nature proves that the very best museums are without walls or ceilings.

We're moving out to much deeper water now. Have you a guess what makes that flash of white that seems to be dancing within that shadowy violet blue? You would be correct if you guessed the pectoral fin of one of the largest mammals in the world, Megaptera novaeangilae. The humpback whale glides effortlessly under the bow of the boat and with it more stories for another day.
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