We recently had a chance to explore the reef in Kapalua Bay, Maui, with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program at the Ritz-Carlton, which provides all the gear you need for underwater photography. That's a red pencil urchin I'm holding.
Blue rice coral. Coral is a living organism, the foundation of life in the reef.
The Spotted Cardinalfish, also known as Upapalu, look like they have escaped from an aquarium.
A white mouth moray eel peeks from the crevice in the coral.
A saddleback butterflyfish
The saddleback butterflyfish feeds on live coral, small invertebrates and algae.
You can see from the coloration why this is called a parrotfish. Its tough mouth allows it to eat coral.
An Ornate Butterflyfish is as decorative as its name.
A Christmas wrasse
A pair of Yellow Tangs, one of the most common reef fish in Hawaii.
A damselfish. Male damselfish guard nests of tiny eggs until they hatch.
A Hawaiian cleaner wrasse picks parasites off a Blackspot Sergeant.
A male parrotfish
The Hawaiian Dacsyllus, or aloiloi, guard nests of tiny eggs until they hatch.
A pair of ornate butterflyfish
Threadfin butterflyfish with diagonal stripes and a black bar through the eye.
This stripebelly puffer fish loves to smile for the camera.
The Forcepsfish picks worms and other invertebrates off the reef.
A distinctively shaped Moorish Idol, one of the most beautiful reef fish
A white mouth moray eel with needle-sharp teeth
A racoon butterflyfish, named for the mask over its eyes.
Racoon butterflyfish are often found in groups.
Cleaning station! A colorful wrasse picks parasites off loff a brown surgeonfish.
A honu, a green sea turtle. This one is such a familiar reef dweller, he even has a name: Henry.
A snowflake eel in its crevice
The snowflake eel doesn't have the sharp teeth of other eels, but its jaws are like a vise grip.
On the other hand, an eel won't bother you if you don't bother it.