While snorkeling a wonderful location on the Big Island in Hawaii, a spot filled with fields of amazing hard corals, stunning fish, turtles and a very smart little day octopus, the thing that stole our hearts, and made this a snorkel never to forget, was the discovery of a little palm frond floating on the surface.
At first the frond startled me. Seeing something floating close to you that you did not expect always gives you a start when snorkeling. But then I noticed the beautiful color of the wet fronds against the blue water and thought it might make a nice picture.
But then when I got close we found the big surprise. There were hundreds of immature fish hanging out in the protective shade of the frond.
And what was more stunning than that was how friendly they were. They were not very afraid at all. We could get right up among them and they were pretty inquisitive.
But then, what happened to Nicole next was so funny that we both broke our seals on our masks, smiling and laughing.
Apparently, they decided Nicole was their new mama. As she swam away from the frond a bunch of these little tykes followed her. She laughed with surprise as they came swarming around her mask at one point.
There was even a tiny little crab (you can see him on Nicole's flip flop in the picture below) that swam particularly well and crossed the big ocean to come hang out on her. Nicole's entourage stayed with us until we reached shore, and had me shaking my head with mirth the entire time. I kept seeing the little crab at different spots around her. It was a wonderful experience that filled us with joy.
Know Your Hawaii Fishes