Threadfin Butterfly
Moorish Idol

  So apparently the Cook Islands is one of the best places in the world to snorkel (although that’s what the person at the snorkel rental place told us). There is a large large reef that surrounds most of the island that creates a shallow lagoon that is perfect for snorkelling. It is shallow enough that you can touch the bottom of the lagoon almost all the time, and the reef breaks the waves up before they reach the lagoon so you don’t have to worry. 

 
Nancy and Russell were wise enough to bring snorkels so since we didn’t have to rent them I ended up going every chance I could. Getting up at 6 am worked well as I didn’t have to worry about getting sun burned badly, and there were lots of fish.
 
 
Lotsa Threadfins

 

There are lots of weird and wonderful creatures under the sea.  I saw dozens of different types of fish, and every time I went I saw something new. You can buy fish ID cards to strap around your wrist. They have pictures to help you identify the fish you are seeing. I’ve listed the names of all the fish I saw. I made up the names of the fish I couldn’t identify. They are all pretty goofy names so try and figure out which ones I made up. 
 
Some of the fish were friendly, and some of them took off as soon as they saw my white and sunburned carcass heading their way. The threadfin butterflies were the friendliest.  They would come within inches of me and then follow me around. At one point I had about 8-10 in tow. I’m guessing they were curious about me, but then again maybe they were just worried I was going to steal something. The Picasso trigger fish were the only aggressive fish I encountered. Apparently they are quite territorial and will attack you if you get too close. The first time I went I didn’t know this, and one of them actually bit me on the elbow and drew blood. I tried to kept my distance after that, but I still ended up getting chased around a few times by one of them. You will notice that the picture was taken from a distance.
 
Raccoon Butterflies
 
 
Outerspace Clam

 

Saddled Butterfly
Sunset Wrasse
Trigger Fish (jerks!)
Spotted Lizard Face
Oriental Sweet Lips
Eel
Yo!
Hamburg Damsels
My Escort

         

Hypno Fish (top) Spotted Blunderbuss (bottom)
Eel
Peacock Flounder

The fake names are Outer Space Clam, Spotted Lizard Face, Spotted Blunderbuss, and Hypno Fish. Oriental Sweet Lips is not the fish in the picture. It is an actually name of a fish that I thought was pretty funny. 

                                                         
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