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I remember the 1st baby frogfish I ever saw. It was barely bigger than the top joint of my thumb.......

But 1st, how it came about. I was at City of Refuge with my instructor, a kamaina diver (low pay charter), and a tourist charter. We were just about to get in when Jeff (my instructor), informs me that it's time I led my own dive. My stomach sank. I was a great follower. I just liked to space out in the moment. I never paid attention to direction.. I knew there was a sand patch, and the trippy purple shelf coral place, and the land of mushroom coral heads that made me feel like I was in a fairy tale and I think there's a high ledge somewhere..... All I could think was "Oh shit!" No way I was ready in my mind; so I got myself and the kamaina in as quickly after him and his charter as I could; and hanging back as far as I could, kept his bubbles in sight.

He caught on to me and laid in wait in the big mushroom head corals. He gives me the crook finger like "Come here, Look at this". We go toward him and he puts his hands up to mouth and nose like in prayer or he's going to sneeze. As we get close, he makes like a sneeze convulsion, opens his hands toward us and all this yucky snot stuff came flying out (it was the discarded mucous from the bubble cocoon parrot fish make to sleep in at night). I was so taken by surprise I didn't even think to give him the finger. This became known as the sneeze joke!

Well! I certainly had to get even somehow. A couple of weeks later we were shore diving off Honokahau. I was on my advanced course (learning navigation skills for real), and I looked down and saw what looked like a little piece of bright yellow sponge floating near the bottom with the surge. Upon scrutiny I saw it was the tinniest little frogfish. I scooped it up carefully, signaled to my dive buddy/classmate to come with me and tried to non-chalantly swim over to Jeff (it was hard because I was pretty tickled with myself for being so lucky).

When I got about 10 feet from him, I put my hands up to my mouth and nose like he had done. He folds his arms in front of him with this look on his face like "Go ahead and do it back to me". When I got good and close I brought my hands down a bit and opened them like a book. The baby just hovered there above my hands and the look of surprise and joy on Jeff's face was priceless. Turns out, that was the 1st baby he'd ever seen also. A silly story I know, but a fond memory.