Posted by DonS on April 24, 2003 at 14:25:26:
In Reply to: Dive Suggestions for Maui, Kehei area posted by DiverD on April 24, 2003 at 12:47:41:
Once again I was woken up at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am, although this time it was to schlep myself and gear down the coast to Kihei where I was to meet the folks from Ed Robinsonís diving for a 3 tank trip. I stopped for the obligatory caffeine fix, and after getting lost no less than three times (the directions were a bit sketchy), I pulled in to the Kihei boat ramp at 6:15. I introduced myself and it seemed there were only going to be 8 divers, the two DMís and the Captain (a true old salt named Byrd). We were going to split into two groups of four according to experience, and my group was to dive first at each site with the more novice divers following us after 15 minutes or so.
The first major difference from California diving appeared when they asked us for our gear bags, and proceeded to set up our rigs for us on the boats while we waited on shore. While I am sure that is a nice thing for many people, I am paranoid enough that I have to say I prefer to set up my own gear. Nevertheless, I went along with it and contented myself with triple checking everything as surreptitiously as I could when I boarded.
The DMís were very professional, and spent a good 10í with each diver ascertaining their experience, desires and diving styles. This theme would be repeated throughout the day and I canít say enough about their friendly and professional attitudes. We motored off after a brief boat orientation and ended up behind Molokiniís back wall at a place they called Kimís corner. Iím a bit suspicious of the name since our DM, Kim, was Byrdís wife and it was he who announced the site name! This was to be a live boat dive, and we had another boat briefing from Byrd, followed by a site and naturalist style briefing by the DMís. Again very thorough and entertaining.
I was first in, and giant strode off the side into crystal clear 75 degree water. As I floated on the surface waiting for the rest of the team I looked down below to see the wall disappearing into the depths, and a lovely grey reef shark patrolling 100 feet directly beneath me! Ok, some times you just know itís going to be a good dive!
We dropped straight down to about 140fsw where there was a small cavern in the side of the wall. This proved to be occupied by the largest lobster I have ever seen in my entire life. I lay down next to him to estimate his size, and he must have been 3 Ĺ feet long. I could swear he had a little goody bag and a human gauge hanging from his carapace! We ascended slowly along the wall, drifting with the current, and watching the world go by. The wall was straight up and down, encrusted with coral, and marked by undercuts every 30 feet or so. It was under these overhangs that much of the life was hanging out. In one pocket, cleaner shrimp shared a crevice with a large slipper lobster and a sponge crab, in another, a white tip reef shark slept peacefully.
As we slowly ascended, I turned away from the wall to face out into the infinite blue. One of my favourite things in clear water diving is to watch the pelagics slowly materialize out of the abyss Ė first a suggestion of something, then a shadow, and finally a clear outline. Another white tip, a spotted eagle ray and several jacks obliged me by cruising by, when I suddenly heard a loud tapping and turned to see my buddy pointing behind me with eyes the size of saucers. I continued the turn to find myself face to belly with a magnificent Manta ray who had decided to glide up behind me and pass about 10 feet over my head. We watched him gracefully wing his way past us around the curve of the reef and into the blue. Shaking myself out of my reverie I checked my gauges and realized it was safety stop time. We headed directly out from the wall and hovered in the clear blue before ascending to the boat which Byrd had maneuvered to within 25 feet of us.
Max depth 141, bottom time 35í, min temp 74 degrees.
I have more from this trip including a couple of shore dives if people want - they have already been posted elsewhere
Post a Followup