Category: Diving-Snorkeling

Tag along on an AWESOME dive with us…

Mark is one of several regulars to our dive parties.

He has put together another great video of diving adventures aboard the Aqua Safari around the Big Island!


This dive was on August 17, 2014. A Nitrox Dive – special certification required.

It is a special treat for me to watch these videos, especially on the dives that I was unable to take part in. Thank You Mark! 😀


Oooooh Nooooo! It has been happening all too frequently…

The increasing time between dives when I find myself approaching the dangers of “Bottom Time” withdrawal!!!!

Snorkeling with MY Sister and Andy at Beach 69!  Photo ©2007 Andrew Cooper behind the lens!

Snorkeling with MY Sister and Andy at Beach 69! Photo ©2007 Andrew Cooper behind the lens!

Bottom Time” – It is how we calculate each dive to determine how long we need to remain surfaced to allow the nitrogen to sufficiently escape from our bodies before we submerge for more Bottom Time (BT). Cumulative BT is also used to determine diver experience. Snorkeling helps to prevent withdrawal; however, after a long enough period of only getting to snorkeling depths, let alone out of the water all together, MY ‘gills’ get VERY dry!

I ‘NEED’ the pressure of 40 to 80 foot depths with a diving tank to infuse the water deep into the ‘gill’ tissues to fully saturate so that I can survive the ‘landlocked’ periods no matter how long they may be. Similar to a bear getting ready for hibernation. 😉 A dive was attempted before our summer get-away to Alaska where the bear are just coming out of their winter sleep; but the weather did not cooperate. 🙁

A Happy Dive Group. We located an acceptable dive site today! ©2011 Andrew Cooper behind the lens.

A Happy Dive Group. We located an acceptable dive site today! ©2011 Andrew Cooper behind the lens.

July 31, 2011: At LOOOOONG LAST!!! I got BT again, just before the withdrawal began to get serious; and the breathing gasps for tank air started!!! 😀 Today, with strong determination, we looked at several shore sites to go diving from before we found one that was sheltered enough from the surge and wave action where we would not have more of a challenge than fun in the water.

The site we found was Pine Trees Beach. Tucked in from the outer edges of the Kona Coast just enough to have the waves role by and flatten a bit before it reached the small beach where it is fairly easy to enter and exit the water. But, be ready to either descend right away and swim along the bottom; or tuck yourself up close to the waters edge and snorkel as you make your way out to the reef because this IS a high boat traffic area. It is especially popular with the dive boat operations! 😎

A seen from Holoholokai; but very similar to what I observed at Pine Trees. ©2011 Deborah Cooper.

A seen from Holoholokai; but very similar to what I observed at Pine Trees. ©2011 Deborah Cooper.

Depth starts shallow at 20-40 feet (Some divers were getting open water certs), and quickly dips to more than 100 feet but it is a smooth transition. It is also view-filled so I was surprised to look at my depth to see 80 feet! It felt like we had just descended even though our starting bottom depth was only 40 feet and just a few kicks earlier! :-O

We had already observed an Eagle Ray or two, many Tang, a few Arc Eye Hawkfish, some Goatfish, and much more. It is little wonder that the depth escaped my scrutiny. Around 85-90 feet, I saw a few Garden Eel in the distance. There was an interesting shape on the sandy bottom that was well covered by Coral Colony, and it looked like it had once been a wood transport pallet.

Pine Trees shore dive site is a strong rival to Puako End-Of-Road, my favorite dive site on the Big Island; and a dive site we frequent regularly. Pine Trees will receive more attention from us in the future. In this one dive, we barely broke the water surface tension on the discoveries that are available.

Other than the dive mentioned here, I am having trouble remembering when my last BT Infusion was done! I know that A Darker View has posted something about this dive and some of the photos that he took, too; but I will not dare to assume when these items were scheduled to post since he has so many articles scheduled ahead in his “Drafts”.


Another Year Older and Deeper In Depth!

The call came on a Tuesday from Mauna Kea Summit, “Are we doing anything on Saturday?” I reminded him that I was going to arrange our haircuts then mentioned that I hadn’t sent the message yet. His next comment, “Good, some of the usual group want to go diving, can you make it for next weekend?” My reply was, “I can hold off until next weekend if it is for diving!” 🙂 ” Thus, for my Birthday this year, we went diving off of the North Kohala Shores of the Big Island!

Two very enjoyable dives. Caves, and Marine Life abounding as we kicked our way along the coral walls; and checked out a few caves along the way. The Long Nosed Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus) near black coral at Black Point, about 85′ depth, was very different and not easily seen.

One cave was dubbed “The Kitchen Sink” 😀 It was an almost straight down entrance then it felt like a drain might feel as it leveled out and got a bit narrow. The Slipper Lobster appeared to really like this cave, and so did the shrimp. There were, of course, many of the “What-was-its” as the animal darted too quickly into a hole or crevice for even a cryptic ID.

The Dive was GREAT! The Marine Life was B-E-A-UTIFUL!!! An Underwater Birthday Card! EXCELLENT Birthday!!!!

The Dive was GREAT! The Marine Life was B-E-A-UTIFUL!!! An Underwater Birthday Card! EXCELLENT Birthday!!!!

A short time into our second dive, Andy slowed down a bit; and came along side of me. He signaled a question if I was having fun, to which I signaled that I was having FUN (or as best as I could get across).


Preserving the natural coral reefs!

This is a cool idea. I hope it does work to help preserve the natural coral reefs!

National Geographic Video of a unique artificial reef…

Jason deCaires Taylor


Holoholokai…? Story? Oh Yes!

November 28, 2010: We explored in and around the caves of the waters at Holoholokai Beach Park, Kohala. This dive helped me narrowly avoid serious “bottom time” withdrawal; and a case of “DRY Gills”! 😉

Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus) in a cave at Holoholokai!  Photo ©2010 Deborah Cooper behind the lens.

Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus) in a cave at Holoholokai! Photo ©2010 Deborah Cooper behind the lens.

Beautiful caves with “sky lights” allowing the sun’s rays to dance gracefully about the shadows of the depths, and giving us glimpses as well as photographic opportunities of several marine animals that make themselves scarce in the daylight hours. We found their “hiding” place 😉

We found a Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus) and some fish commonly referred to as Squirrel Fish. These caves, with Andy’s help, also presented me the opportunity to finally photograph a Nudibranch that I had not seen before. Nudibranchs and Flatworms are both very interesting life-forms indeed!

Puako-End-of-Road; is only a few hundred yards to the north of Holoholokai. Using DarkerView’s words here, “We had also been boat diving in front of The Orchid, just a few hundred yards to the south.” Yet, it took me this long to visit Holoholokai from the shore and find its easy access underwater charm?


This Rubbish did not Soil my Dive!

Early in the week, I get a call from Dave at Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures with an invitation to join them again this year for a trashy dive…huhhmmm…

One Small Group of Dive Buddies: Dave, Lori, Joy, and Deb.  A few of the many that turned out to support the efforts.

One Small Group of Dive Buddies: Dave, Lori, Joy, and Deb. A few of the many that turned out to support the efforts.

I mean another Puako Beach Clean-up Dive on Saturday morning, September 18th 😉

Both Andy and I joined in on last year’s effort on September 12; but, “sadly”, Andy had to work on the Mountain this year on the scheduled date. This year, while he was on Mauna Kea Summit, I went shore diving bringing in rubbish of all types and taking pictures as best as I could in the murky water so near the Puako Bay shoreline.

When it is now so much a Part of the Reef that it would destroy more of the coral than would be benefited, we leave it embedded.

When it is now so much a Part of the Reef that it would destroy more of the coral than would be benefited, we leave it embedded.

We didn’t have to dive very deep to bring up a lot of rubbish such as car tires, a vehicle break cylinder, numerous drink cans (what a waste of HI-5‘s!),

Catch of the Day:  A nice sized anchor!

Catch of the Day: A nice sized anchor!

yards of abandoned fishing line with a couple of large hooks attached, some golf balls, a few “what’s its”, and a boat anchor (Lori got her workout on that one) — and that was just what was pulled out of the water.

The take for the day.

The take for the day.

The onshore team gathered up way too many cigarette butts, a rusty section of barbed wire fence with rusty posts, a dirty diaper or two, more golf balls, and a few more “what’s its”!

Off to the Waste Disposal site so near the Bay. Why this gets dumped in the Bay instead... ??? ...

Off to the Waste Disposal site so near the Bay. Why this gets dumped in the Bay instead… ??? …

The “what’s its” lead to some interesting speculation of what the former function was prior to becoming rusty litter :-O Much laughter ensued from the comments put forth!

All was not depressing, however! 🙂


Bubbles from the Deep!

Don and Deb over coral at Puako. By ©2010 Andrew Cooper.

Don and Deb over coral at Puako. By ©2010 Andrew Cooper.

Starfish Date 20100711.0900 D1: Surf Forecast called for choppy conditions on both East and West sides of Hawai’i today. We decided to go for a drive to check out Diving conditions at End of Road Puako. It was Fantastic!!!!!

It was in just the right position to be sheltered from the brunt of the wind, surf and surge. Although the water wasn’t as clear as we have seen it, it was better by far than I was expecting. Almost no noticeable surge either, unless you held still enough for a few minutes and made conscious note of it.

Garden Eels (Gorgasia hawaiiensis) at 80' depth at Puako. By ©2010 Andrew Cooper.

Garden Eels (Gorgasia hawaiiensis) at 80′ depth at Puako. By ©2010 Andrew Cooper.

We decided to go South today, and it turned up a new specie or two of Marine life. Due to the lack of surge, I got to enjoy the dive more instead of fighting to keep my position while I was looking at one bit of coral or another.

Realizing that without a camera, the dive is much more relaxed for me; but oh, the pictures I do not get … Like the Garden eels at about 80′:

‘Thick Cotton Ropes’ 😉 AND Summer Diving as well as Stout Moray — posted by Darkerview.com….

This is listed in those moments to remember! It’s times like this I’m a ‘Sucker’ for ‘Bottom’ time; BUT don’t confuse this with being ‘A Flounder’. 😎

Deb and Andy exploring the reef at Puako, photo ©2010 by Kirk Tateishi.

Deb and Andy exploring the reef at Puako, photo ©2010 by Kirk Tateishi.