We managed three dives last weekend. It was a holiday weekend, Kamehameha Day, that helped. But still, we average a couple dives a month, three dives in a weekend was a bit unusual. We dove with some friends at Pukao on Saturday. Then two more on the following Monday. This was conservative, a few of the guys dove on Sunday too!Monday’s diving was with Dennis. Again he invited us out on his boat. The Aqua Safari is quite comfortable, a 42′ cabin cruiser outfitted for diving. There are plenty of tank racks, a big swim deck and a very nice ladder. Dennis is quick to point out one of the best features… A warm fresh water shower on the swim deck! Which, I have to admit, is rather nice.
Thus, Monday morning saw us packing up the dive gear, a cooler with drinks and sandwich makings for everyone, and heading for Honokohau. There Deb and I joined Dennis and Mark for a very nice day diving.
We have been diving a lot in the NELHA area lately, I expect we will be diving some more there. It is some spectacular diving in the area. A rich reef sloping out to a steep drop-off that descends far beyond scuba depths. You look into the deep blue and know that somewhere down there is the abyssal plain, 8,000 feet below.
As usual I had my face in the coral, in and out of every crevice or small cave I came across. This is a great way to find the little stuff I love to photograph, but you can miss the big stuff… A series a sharp clangs gets my attention, the sound of Mark’s tank banger. I pull myself out of an alcove and swim over the large coral outcropping just in time to see a ten foot manta sweep by! The manta was just beyond the reef drop-off, against the deep blue of open water.
The find of the day was a Spanish Dancer, the largest nudibranch found in the islands. I do mean large, while most nudi’s I locate are an inch or two long, this fellow was the size of a dinner plate. Dancers have another feature… They Dance! Actually a form of swimming through undulating the body. I flushed him out of a crevice in the cave and the nudi proceeded to dance for us, everyone got a good look. After a few photos, actually quite a few photos, I carefully shepherded the pretty fellow back into the crevice I found him in.
No dives this weekend, I was on call. But we are already planning another outing next weekend. Summer diving season is here, bringing calm and clear water to the Kona side. The crew is ready to go, discussing where we will dive next.