Various Marine Life on the Corsair Wreck- located in Hawaii- Sharks, rays and puffer fish Corsair diving location Oahu. Hawaii scuba diving plane wreck in Oahu.
Diving the Corsair wreck of Hawaii is an adventure of a lifetime. With anything that has been laying on the bottom of the sea for some time, try over 50 years, marine life will ultimately take it over. The location of the Corsair is on a large sandy bottom roughly 105 feet deep with no rocks or coral heads around the plane. However the Corsair plane wreck seems to be an oasis that is teeming with life. Maybe large fish like the hammerheads or the silver jacks use this oasis as a cleaning station- sort of like pit stop or convenient store along a highway in their journeys across the ocean. We may never know, only good luck with produce adequate proof that this is true. The Corsair plane wreck is a busy little dive location in Oahu, usually only in the mornings. However one fact is true- interesting marine life gravitates towards this location, including the humpback whales on occasion. Listed below are the common marine life you may encounter while scuba diving the Corsair plane wreck. If you have any pictures that think may highlight the Corsair plane wreck please feel free to let us know, we will be happy to credit you and provide links to your website.
Eagle rays are among the scuba diver in Hawaii's favorite fish. Gliding so effortless through the warm blue waters of Hawaii divers on the Corsair wreck sometimes get the privilege to see these rays cruising around the perimeter of the plane wreck. Sometimes you may see one while other days we have seen 3 or more cruising in formation round and round the Corsair wreck.
The Hawaiian stingray is by far one of the best encounters to have on the Corsair wreck. Getting a good up-and-personal introduction is not a rare phenomenon here. We have actually seen the stingrays at night which was even better. Foraging for sea urchins that burrow themselves in the sand the Hawaiian stingray sifts through patiently searching for their next meal. We all know stingrays posses an excellent defense at the base of their tails- my suggestion do not try to test him. If you notice you can get very close to some stingrays is the possibility that the stingray has a bad, or damaged eye. This will allow for great close up pictures, again be careful not to startle the animal.
Various type of puffer fish can be spotted near the Corsair plane wreck. It seems to me that most do not stay right up close to the plane in fact the puffer fishes tend to stay at around 70-90ft. just hovering in mid water. If you are luck you can chase a puffer towards the Corsair fuselage to get an interesting photo. Most of the puffer fish you will encounter are the porcupine puffer fish with pointed spines that protrude when caught. The combination of the ability to inflate and have needle sharp spines is perhaps one of Nature's most unique defensive system that works flawlessly
The dreaded eels, the yellow margin moray eel considered Oahu's most aggressive eel species makes they home on the Corsair wreck and literally lives in the cockpit and wing area. Rarely will you see these eels free swimming on the sandy bottom- most likely to avoid predators such as sharks and other large fish such as jacks. Care must be taken when diving the Corsair to not disturb the eels or harass them in any way. Yellow margin moray eels in particular are very aggressive and just feeding fish or playing with an octopus is enough to get these eels excited. Eye sight is not the moray eels best asset therefore mistaken bites at the Corsair have happened before. Before taken any pictures of the yellow margin moray it is best to approach the eels slowly and watch them for a minute to better judge the mood they are in. (At night these eels do move around, their time to hunt keep a look out for them when exploring the plane wreck)
Squirrel fish or big eyed squirrel fish are very common on the Corsair. These fish tend to stay inside the aft or rear fuselage area of the Corsair. Surprisingly there are many of these fish inside. I presume these fish a re a favorite delicacy for the yellow margin eels. Again be careful while taking photos of these fish cause the eels like to go where the squirrel fish are located.
There are different types of sharks that frequent Oahu's waters. Diving on the Corsair is not known to have sharks but this is not to say that sharks are not found around the Corsair. Most of the sharks you will see will be Galapagos sharks, hammerhead, whitetip reef shark and a passing tiger shark. Again, I am sure there has been other sharks that passed by this area such as a whales shark however I do not know of anyone that has seen this before. The picture on the left is a very rare picture to say the last. The shark laying on the bottom not more than 50 feet from the Corsair's port wing is a sandbar shark. Sandbar sharks are not usually seen in this area and are most commonly found in Oahu's deeper parts such as 300 feet or so. The sandbar sharks will frequent the surface when food is around however this sandbar looked as though old age got to him. Taking advantage of the situation a tiger shark was soon on the scene. Due to our bottom time we were not privy to see what may or may not happened afterward we made our ascent.
Despite the Corsair being run by eels Octopus have found a unique niche in this small minute ecological wonder. Remarkably the octopus digs small holes in the sand underneath the starboard wing fairly close to the eels that live there. For this fact molesting the octopus to catch and play with is highly discouraged due to the unpredictability behavior of the eels. Occasionally you can see the octopus moving around the Corsair wreck in search of crabs and a better location. The octopus is very intelligent as you might have guest, in a blink of an eye they can blend right in without you even picking up on this. A sharp eye is needed, if a rock changes color or moves it may be an octopus. You can't be possibly narked a this depth.
About 3 or 4 file fish make their home on the Corsair. If there is a Star Wars inspired fish this would be the one. Very strange indeed looking fish yet incredibly interesting to watch. File fishes are occasionally easy to approach for a good picture. Other times it seems like you have to chase them around to even get a picture. Their color is beautiful, body is gray with bright blue street-like patterns and poke-a-dots. Their colors can change to a lighter or darker shade possibly indicating a mood change.
Garden eels are very interesting. The fact that most people who dive the Corsair wreck don't even realize that there are thousands of these eels surrounding them and watching them at all times. So where are they ? The garden eels are roughly 25 feet away off the Corsair's port ( left) and directly off of where the propeller is located. The only way you will be able to actually get a close-up and half way decent picture is to pay on the bottom, breath slowly and gently crawl up to the location. The garden eels spend their whole life burrowed in the sand, only coming out to eat. The garden eels thrive in areas where currents are fairly consistent which the Corsair wreck does have. This is how the garden eels receive their food which is primarily plankton.
Leaf scorpion fish are very cool. They come in various different colors from black to even pink. These fish do not grow big in size only getting about 4 inches long and and maybe 2 inches high. The leaf scorpion fish sways back and forth in the currents and water movements mimicking a leaf- which they do flawlessly. You need to look closely to find the leaf scorpion fish due to their incredible way to blend into the surrounding area. These fish are not dangerous to handle. It makes you wonder how nature produced this very interesting fish. Getting a picture of the leaf scorpion fish is very easy, use the flash and the macro setting for the best results.