Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Under the Dock Part 1: Bob the Batfish

You may know that I love fish that others find "ugly." Perhaps you received a Christmas card with such a fish on it? Shortly after arriving at Yakima Valley Community College, I gave a talk about my volunteer work in Roatan, Honduras. I started the talk with the images that as a child made me want to be a marine biologist. Those images were of batfish, frogfish, toadfish, viperfish and scorpionfish among others. I love the "ugly" in the sea. The strange. The different. The alien. I had the pleasure of spending a little one-on-one time with Bob, the batfish(pictured above), near our dock a short time ago. He's a pretty low-key fish. I haven't seen him lately and I kind of miss him. Here's some video to give you a different view of Bob. I love how all of my videos look like they were shot in the 50's on 8mm.

We just finished up my first "family week" here at the Oceanic Society Field Station. It was great fun. We had 4 family groups (many school teachers in those families -- teachers seem to do cool stuff by the way -- I swear that everybody that I did yoga with was a schoolteacher). There were two young boys, Nate and Desmond, that soaked up fish identification at an incredible rate. Nate would be at my heals during our snorkels. I couldn't lose him. I look behind me and he'd be right there, sometimes giving me a thumbs up when he saw something cool like a barracuda. They leave tomorrow and I'm going to do a few days of diving and relaxing before we start a week of coral reef monitoring.

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