Tuesday, December 31, 2002

One Humongous Blue Marlin of Kona Coast of Hawaii

Continued from the post: Five Oceanic Whitetip Sharks of Koan Coast of Hawaii.

While we were having good time with five aggressive oceanic whitetip sharks, all of a sudden, something else showed up by our boat. A huge shadow like a small submarine. Initially I thought it was a pilot whale, false killer whale or other cetacean kind, but it was swimming with an incredible speed.

Marlin! So I screamed as soon as I saw its rigid, ribbed dorsal fin breaking the surface. It was a humongous blue marlin, Makaira nigricans or Makaira mazara. The fish was about 10-12 feet (3-3.7m) in length, so it could weigh 300-500 lb (136-227 kg)!

free-swimming Pacific blue marlin, (Pantropical blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, or Indo-Pacific blue marlin, Makaira mazara - still debating), and oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

I quickly aimed my camera rig to the monster fish and released the shutter of my camera blindly a few times. The marlin never came quite close to spear my camera rig ;-) but came close enough for my camera's autofocus to work.

As soon as the monster marlin showed up, all the sharks fled into the deeper water. After all, the blue marlin is the king of all the fish in Kona Coast. Blue marlin are the most powerful and ferocious apex predators of Hawaii. No doubt about that.

The beast circled our boat twice and left as quickly as it showed up. Luckily I was able to produce a single rare shot of the humongous blue marlin and a fleeing oceanic whitetip shark in a frame.

Soon after the marlin left the scene, all dispersed sharks came back to us slowly, and we continued on having fun with playing with them.

By the end of the day, we had drifted several miles offshore - quite far from the human society. We are just two of us on a puny 17 foot CC boat surrounded by many sharks in the middle of Pacific Ocean far from the land. The situation we were in was very surrealistic as well as humbling.

It was such a relief when my Honda outboard finally started after stalling for several minutes! It's good to be alive for sure!

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