Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kradan Island Snorkeling:

Heading towards Kradan Island.

Passing a Kradan resort.

Kradan is widely regarded as the most beautiful of all the Trang Islands, possibly because it is one of the more accessible. We snorkeled off a lovely reef in a cloud of Indo-Pacific Sergeant fish attracted by bread tossed into the sea. (I cringed when it was tossed as fish feeding upsets the ecological balance of the entire reef.)

I saw many familiar species such as wrasses of all kinds, including a cleaner wrasse a different color than the endemic Hawaiian one, some parrotfish, many Moorish idols and some beautiful butterflyfishes, including the raccoon and threadfin, plus a couple I had never seen before in Hawaii.

The urchins we were warned not to touch had long black spines like needles and five silvery knobs in a star-shaped pattern on their bodies. In the center of the star pattern is a single protuberance that looks like an eye. (Urchins do not have eyes, however.) What this was I have no idea but it was a brilliant phosphorescent purple or orange color. Very exotic.

They were the most gorgeous and unusual urchins I have ever seen. We have nothing like them in Hawaii.

Note: Sedimentation was slowly degrading the reef and I also saw some coral bleaching, indicating that the reef is stressed—but overall, I was thrilled to see as many fish as we did and so many gorgeous big coral heads, plus an abundance of staghorn coral.


  1. could the feeding be causing some of the coral to die?