Tag: Water

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! 🙂


Surf’s Up…

Icebergs a floatin’ every where along Tracy Arm, Alaska!

Icebergs a floatin’ every where along Tracy Arm, Alaska!


Surf’s Up…

Humpback Whale in full Breach off of Maui, Hawaii

Humpback Whale in full Breach off of Maui, Hawaii on January 17, 2009. Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera at ISO-400 with Canon EF 70-200mm 4L Lens at 200mm Zoom. Sometimes, I get VERY Lucky.


Back from Vacation and on to my job at the Elementary School…

A Full Launch.

A Full Launch.

A summer off and a month of vacation were an excellent way to spend a hot summer’s break off-Island! Our first stop was to visit my family in Oregon. Then to Alaska for sight seeing, FISHING – Halibut & Salmon, and more sight seeing! Every week was BEAUTIFUL!!! Every week was AWESOME!!!

As Andy mentions in his ‘back-to-work’ entry at A Darkerview.com: “Long vacations seem to be common here in Hawai’i, particularly when flying to the mainland. When purchasing tickets, families tend to make the best of the expense and do everything in one trip. The result is that many vacations are measured in weeks, not days.” I am very glad we optimized our travel like we did and also arranged a visit ‘home’ then to Alaska! 🙂

The call came while still away off-Island, “Are you still interested in working here at the School? Please call me quickly to let me know. I have vacancies to fill and we start SOON!” My reply was made as soon as I was within Cell coverage again, “YES, I am interested!” I was asked to sign in the Monday following my return, August 3, 2009 (the first day of School). How exciting! I was so there!

Having the summer off meant that the ordeal of Email and paper pile-up causing, “No real work accomplished, just the task of catchup and restarting everything” that Andy dealt with so well was not an issue that I had to bear upon my return to work at the school. I was greeted by many “genuine expressions of welcome” and shouts of recognition by students as well as teachers.

It felt good to be back and even better to be remembered with such enthusiasm! The Bear Cub Hugs are a real treat, too!


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! 😉 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 🙁 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! 🙂 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! 😀

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

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


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 😀

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. 😀

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! 😉

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.