Tag: Scuba

Bubbles from the Deep…

Common Longnose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus), lauwiliwili nukunuku 'oi'oi at 33ft swimming through Lobe Coral (Porites lobata)

Common Longnose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus), lauwiliwili nukunuku ‘oi’oi at 33ft swimming through Lobe Coral (Porites lobata)


Four-Wheel Diving!?

The unnamed beach where we made our entry. Photo by Andrew Cooper

Yep! Four-Wheel Diving on May 31, 2009 along the North Kohala Coast on the Big Island! Okay. Maybe the vehicles didn’t get wet; but it was quite the road to get to the dive site! πŸ˜‰ Will we make it back up after we have exhausted ourselves in the dive?

Everyone in today’s group met at Kohala Divers at 9:30am, and we caravan up the Kohala Coast from there to find our dive spot for the day!

An Urchin shell becomes home to a small, very fast entity at 46ft.

We’re all here! We gather some suggestions from the dive shop personnel and we’re off!

~Check out one possible: Mmmm…NOPE.

~Check out next possible: Bump, thump…Mmmm…YIKES! No way!

~Check out third possible: Watch that first bit off the highway … umph … bump … ka-thump … Hmmm … this looks passable. Uh, oh … didn’t see that one coming … well, hmmm, hey, it wasn’t that bad … Hooray, we are almost there! Ummmm … how do we get down THAT? Ah ha, there it is … Whew … we made it!

This is p r e t t y! WOW! Let’s gear up and go diving! FIRST, we scout the area to get familiar with our surroundings and to find the best path of entry that is safest for marine life and for us!

Thomas is carefully taking a CLOSER look into the reef.

Okay, now let’s gear up and go diving! Slippery entry where the rocks have a thin layer of alga; but take it slow, one step at a time and the entry is fairly easy. Hmmm, the water is warming up as we move into summer. A little murky close into shore; but looks promising out a bit further on the reef – way out from shore. Oooooh! Now that is a pod of dolphins – spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris longirostris) that is! My camera was not ready πŸ™ But Andy’s was! If he ever puts it back on his blog, you can Check out his entry at DarkerView.com!

Bubbles over a Coral Seascape. Looking up from about 35ft.

Yes! We are starting to see more fish and less murk! πŸ™‚ Okay, this looks good! Let’s go down here! When I get to the sandy bottom at 46ft, I find an Urchin shell that became home to a small, very fast entity that was in and out of the coral around it, then BACK in the Urchin shell. I was not fast enough (nor was my camera) to snap a picture of it in the short time that I dallied so an ID was not possible and there was so much more to see before I breathe my air tank to its safe limits. The sandy bottom and coral ‘walls’ along its sides made an interesting channel to explore.

Eeeeek! We both seem to exclaim as I nearly put my gloved hand right on top of him in one (1) foot of water?! A Snowflake Moray (Echidna nebulosa).

Even though the sand did not have any life in evidence and it took a little while to get to where more fish were hanging out, the coral made it very picturesque! Towers or mounds here and there. Low coral ridges dotted about the sea floor. Although pictures cannot begin to do its beauty justice (even after some modifying), I did my best to capture an essence of what the dive was like in person!

Despite the particles and murk in the water, it was still something special to see!

Then we had made our way around a point of coral reef and found LIFE – Marine Life! The fish that had been scarce until now, some shells that still housed their inhabitants, live Urchins; and down in some caves, some LARGE Lobster, and other night dwellers! I photographed a Crown-of-Thorns Star (Acanthaster planci) at 30ft and it turned a nice red because I ‘Flashed’ it.

On my way to shore to get out of the water and make our way to lunch, I literally stumbled across a Snowflake Moray (Echidna nebulosa) by almost landing a gloved hand right on top of him or in his mouth as it would have been! Glad I still had my face in the water and was able to take pictures instead! πŸ˜€

Now to find my land legs again… What a great dive!

The long, winding and bumpy road back to the top.


Bubbles from the Deep …

In a coral reef habitat, any surface is a candidate for a new home! πŸ™‚

Advanced Open Water Certification Dives Complete!

Underwater Photography and Fish Identification (AWARE) Dives: our last two dives for our Advanced Open Water (AOW) Certifications are complete through Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures at the Waikoloa Queens’ Market Place on Hawaii! We will get our new cards within 90 days πŸ˜€

View at Cave exit at Kei Kei Caverns (Horseshoe), Kawaihae Coast, Hawaii.

View at Cave exit at Kei Kei Caverns (Horseshoe), Kawaihae Coast, Hawaii.

Yikes…we are now AOW Certified! Maybe the next step, after a while, is the “Search and Recovery Diver” dive to see if we can recover the weight pouch that dropped out of my BCD on our Fish I.D. Dive, the second dive; although, I did better on my air supply on both dives! All-in-all, the whole day was great!

The first dive was our Underwater Photography Dive at Kei Kei Caverns (Horseshoe), Kawaihae Coast, Hawaii. The initial entry was brisk, as it always is this time of year; but once in, it was very nice! I FINALLY heard whale song and it was very melodic and lulling, not to mention Fantastic!

However, I was not going to be distracted from the purpose of this dive so I took many photos and a few video clips. Several of my photos are quite decent regardless of my inexperience due to Andy having used the camera on previous dives before the second camera was acquired.

Andy examining the reef & fish during our 1st dive.

Andy examining the reef & fish during our 1st dive.


Deep Water and Underwater Navigation Dives complete!

We completed our Bookwork review and quizzing a couple of weekends earlier so Saturday, November 22, 2008, was a day for getting in over our heads and putting two dives for our Advanced Open Water Scuba Certification under our belts πŸ˜€

Yes, we completed our Deep Water and Underwater Navigation Dives with Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures Corp. in the Waikoloa Queen’s Market Place on the Big Island.

Andy as I usually see him...behind his camera.

Andy as I usually see him…behind his camera.

Note that Blue Wilderness has recently moved from Kamuela to Waikoloa Queen’s Market Place and will be updating their website. Until then, you can call them at their new number: 808-886-0980 to arrange a fun-filled day or night out on the waters of the Kohala coast!

We are taught in our initial Open Water certification to do our deepest dive first so we didn’t have to ask which dive we would do first today. Knowing it would be the Deep Dive first, we went to Ulua Caverns. A beautiful coral, sand and rock terrain!

My max depth indicated that I got as deep as 116 feet as I kept an eye on my gauges. Although this dive is to test how my body will deal with the greater depth, I didn’t feel any issues of Nitrogen Narcosis; but my breathing was less than ideal and I dipped my tank away too quickly – well, at least I didn’t hold my breath. πŸ˜€

Butterfly Fish and Coral somewhere between 60 and 100 foot depth at Ulua Caverns, Kohala Coast, Hawaii.

Butterfly Fish and Coral somewhere between 60 and 100 foot depth at Ulua Caverns, Kohala Coast, Hawaii.

Guess I need to work on the other often heavily encouraged piece of Scuba diving and get myself back in good physical condition. Aerobics here I come! Plus, I need to keep my mind on my conservative breathing while, not instead of, gazing at all the underwater visions! πŸ˜‰

And even at 100 plus feet deep, there were a lot of things to see! I was pleasantly surprised; although, the colors were severely lacking in reds and pictures are hard to “salvage” to make them decent if you can not get close enough for the flash to do its job. This being the main reason, I prefer the depths above 60 feet.


Diving as a Wedding Anniversary Celebration, Part 2…

Whewww! Sorry this has taken so long for those of you that were left “hanging” on the next word πŸ™‚

I didn’t expect a “little” root canal to leave me so wiped out; nor did I expect that I would be doing it again in a Part 2 on teeth either. 😐

Well, on to more adventures from May 26, 2008, Memorial Day Diving:

Hawaiian Day Octopus (Octopus cyanea) at Puako, South Kohala by Andrew Cooper

Hawaiian Day Octopus (Octopus cyanea) at Puako, South Kohala by Andrew Cooper

The first dive was at a site called Catholic Church, Puako. We went deep to 94 feet to see the Garden Eels mentioned in Part One and to give us an opportunity to determine how well we would conserve our tank of air at depth.

The water remained a nice temperature of about 75 degrees for the entire dive and visibility was better than 100 feet. There are a few fish to see at the deeper areas of the reef; although at that site, the Garden Eels were about it at that depth.

When we came back up to shallower water, we saw Many, Many tropical fish and water inhabitants. Like the photo of a Hawaiian Day Octopus (Octopus cyanea) that Andy took as it rested in a crevice on the reef wall near the boat anchor buoy…

And a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), also taken by Andy, that just meandered across our path on his/her way to the next foraging spot or a favorite beach to rest upon…

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Puako, South Kohala by Andrew Cooper

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Puako, South Kohala by Andrew Cooper


Diving as a Wedding Anniversary Celebration, Part 1…

May (2008) marked 16 Years for Andrew and I! πŸ™‚ It does not seem like it has been that long.

To celebrate, we went diving!

No, it was not a plot to finally be rid of me either πŸ˜› We are starting our certification for Advanced Open Water and went for our Night Dive on May 25, 2008.

The Ocean is a whole new world at night! When we turned out our lights as part of the certification objectives, it was an eerie experience to only have the sense of feel and “taste”. If you got disoriented, it would even be possible to lose the sense of direction and which way was up.

Most of the usual fish that are seen during our daylight snorkel and diving trips pretty much hide at night (or sleep), and a lot of other creatures come out in their place. I saw a lot of Regal Slipper Lobsters like the one in this picture:

Regal Slipper Lobster (Arctides regalis) in Crystal Cove, South Kohala by Andrew Cooper

Regal Slipper Lobster (Arctides regalis) in Crystal Cove, South Kohala by Andrew Cooper