We woke up bright and early this morning to meet the same dive charter from last night to make two more dives. The conditions were getting a little rough, but they assured us that we would head towards a protected bay. The ride to the spot was more like a roller coaster than a boat ride, but we got there and decided to gear up and drop down as quickly as possible. We again saw many colorful fish and pretty coral, but also moray eels and a teeny tiny yellow nudibranch. The water was blue and the visibility was at least 80 feet, much better than anything we are used to diving in. Doug and at least one other diver got sick in between the two dives due to the thrashing of the boat, I nearly joined them We cut our surface interval a little short and got ready and back down to minimize the motion sickness and to get us back to the marina before conditions got any worse. More of the same on that dive; lots of surge which actually allowed us to see a lot without much effort as it just carried us along. When we were in the water the dives were great, though calmer conditions would have made the whole experience a bit more pleasant.
We landed in Kona yesterday and had an amazing day today! We leisurely started the morning with a breakfast buffet, complete with fresh Guava juice and pineapple – delicious. We then made our way over to the beach right outside the resort grounds (Kahalu’u Beach Park) for some snorkeling. The water was very clear, warm and full of colorful fish, coral and green sea turtles. We relaxed a bit and then went to Honokohau Harbor to meet our dive charter for a manta ray night dive. Words cannot describe that dive! It was absolutely breathtaking! We were inches away from five very large manta rays as they gracefully flipped and dove through the lit up water eating their fill of plankton. Buddy, our dive guide, said that the biggest one had a 14 foot wing span! The photos do not do it justice, but they give you an idea of just how close the mantas got when they were not actually making contact with our heads or arms!
We went diving again yesterday (natch) to Marine Room and finally remembered to bring the cheesy underwater camera. So I finally captured on film proof that we were there within touching distance of a shark!
Of course it was the non-human eating (because they all are) variety, a leopard shark. Last time we came here there were many more but we didn’t have the camera. This time we saw just two. We also saw a huge group of lobsters at the bottom edge of a rocky outcropping. The picture doesn’t do it much justice… we’re going to have to invest in a better camera.
Yesterday we went diving with Erin’s coworker Tommy to La Jolla Cove. This was our 18th dive, but our first to the Cove. The visibility was outstanding (for around here), at times it was over 30 feet! Since our max depth was only 22′, we were able to stay under for over an hour. We saw lots of kelp and fish, lots of lobsters, and Tommy even saw an octopus. We saw one big kelp bass that was almost 3′ long. We also saw a pretty big fish that looked like Neapolitan ice cream. The water was warm enough (71F) that we didn’t wear hoods or gloves. After the dive, of course, we went to Chipotle for lunch.
A group of us went diving today, at the very most southern end of La Jolla shores, nicknamed the Marine Room because of the restaurant that’s there. All together there were 7 of us: Brian Chris and Shelley, Tommy and his friend Brian, and of course Erin and me. This was by far our best dive in La Jolla. We saw lots of kelp, lots of kelp bass, garabaldi, and some other fish, a few lobsters, but by far the coolest thing to see was when we were paddling back to shore, in about 8 feet of water, we saw lots and lots of leopard sharks swimming directly beneath us! They were good sized too, about 3′-5′ long. Brian used his brand new underwater camera and got some pretty good shots, but he didn’t see the sharks. I put some of them up on my picasa photo album, shown smaller below:
Well, I just downloaded the last of our pictures from the past 2 SCUBA filled weekends, so I thought I’d share a few of them. On the 10th of June, we woke up at 4am after getting home late after Ashley’s wedding celebration, and drove down to Mission Bay to get on a boat headed to The Los Coronados Islands off the northern coast of Mexico. This was our first fun dive since our cruise in February and the first after purchasing all of our own equipment, so we were excited to go.
The water was really clear, much more so than our experience at La Jolla Shores, and a little warmer. We went on two dives. The first was at the “Keyhole” which was right behind us there in that picture. The second was at “Lobster Shack” which was named that for the place on the island that used to have a lobster shack on it. We saw lots of Garibaldi (the offical saltwater fish of California) and some other cool fish, and best, some seals!
Look at my wife. Isn’t she hot?
Last weekend, the 14th-17th of June, we took a trip to Catalina along with Chris, Shelley, Brian, Janet, and Moses to Catalina. We were going for fun, of course, but also to get our PADI Advanced Certifications.
We left Friday night from Dana Point, and arrived at Avalon (the village on Catalina Island) a couple hours before sunset. We all had dinner together and then went to our hotels to study up for the next day’s dives.
We dove twice on Saturday (100′ deep, and advanced underwater navigation), again on Saturday night for our night dive, and twice on Sunday (wreck, and underwater naturalist). Those 5 dives qualified us to be advanced divers. Unfortunately for Brian, Saturday morning he was congested and couldn’t dive. He tried later in the day but couldn’t clear his ears. The dive spot at Avalon is called Casino Point, and it’s an underwater park with 3 sunken ships, a plaque dedicated to Jacques Cousteau, and lots of animals and kelp. It was a really fun weekend!