Sorry for the title on this post... just giving the search engines something to look at (maybe, not sure it really does anything). We've had some really nice diving the last couple of days. Tuesday morning it was pretty flat on the ocean so we decided to take the boat down to the Red Hill area of South Kona and do a drive at a site called Driftwood (Bob's favorite spot in that area)... got there and a private boat was just tieing up, so we moved on over to Lava Dome/Coral Dome (not sure which it is most often called), which is one of my favorite spots in that area. This particular site features a lot of little cuts/shelves/mini-canyons to poke around in and a very good sized dome feature inshore that is very reminiscent of the 1st cathedral on Lanai.... it's a cool dive. After that dive we moved on up nearer the harbor to Eel Cove for another nice dive. Water conditions were fantastic, and we saw lots of whales on the trips to and back from the first dive site.
Yesterday we had a combination of north swells, light southwest winds and a boat full of newer divers so we went on down to Pawai Bay to get out of the swells. Had a couple of real nice dives and then it was time to head home. By then the south winds were howling, and the northwest swells were coming up. When that happens, and the wind is strong enough, the swells get bunched into a series of back to back mini-walls of water. Fortunately that is very rare here, I've probably been in water like that a handful of times in the years I've been doing this. It was nasty enough that the waves were breaking in deep water, luckily my boat's a Radon, originally made for rough water urchin harvesting from what I understand, and is quite heavy for it's size so it handled the conditions quite well. I'm just glad the conditions hadn't turned like that on our long trip south, it'd been a long slow ride home if that were the case. I can usually cruise around at 20-24 mph when I'm covering some distance, it wouldn't have been so yesterday. Anyways, we had fantastic whale action on the way back from Pawai Bay.
This has turned into a relatively busy February for us. I've noticed the companies with multiple boats are actually using multiple boats this year, I'm not sure that was the case last February. It looks like the tourist numbers might be inching upwards if my guess is correct.
Here's an underwater photo of a Longnose Butterfly. They're one of our more common reef fishes here. Hawaii technically has two species of Longnose Butterfly, a short snouted one that is found throughout the Indo-Pacific, and an endemic (only found here) species with a significantly longer snout. Oddly enough, the frequency of which one you see can vary greatly depending on which island you are on. The "common" longnose is readily seen on Oahu, they rarely see the longer nosed endemic one.... here the longer nosed fish is quite common. We even see the black phase version of the endemic species here, I'll show you that on the next post.