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”.