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.

2 comments:

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

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