Kona, Summer 2009 – Dive Day #1

Filed under: — Anastasia @ 4:30 pm

About a week before I went to Hawaii, I got an email from my friends Sylvia and Francesco, asking me for dive shop recommendations on the Big Island for their upcoming trip.  I did a double-take at their travel dates – we’d be there at exactly the same time!

This neatly solved one of my dilemmas: I was scheduled to land around noon on Monday, and hated to waste a perfectly good chance to dive for lack of a buddy.  Now I had two!

I headed straight from the airport to Jack’s Diving Locker to meet up with Sylvia and Fra.

Making fish faces with Francesco at Jack’s – at least, I made a fish face…
Making fish faces with Francesco at Jack's - at least, I made a fish face...

Once they were all set up with gear, we headed to Honokohau Harbor.  The dive site just south of the harbor has overtaken Place of Refuge as my favorite beach dive on the island – though the entry is a bit more of a pain thanks to a longish hike over lava.

We picked our way across the rocks uneventfully and walked into the water off the beach.  I was stunned by the water temperature; I’m used to the low-to-mid 70s of winter and spring, but it was 80-plus today.

As we snorkeled at the surface, we got an excellent welcome to our dive trip: a turtle right next to us.


We dropped down at the first of three mooring buoys.  Our plan was to descend to the sandy bottom, where divers are often treated to large critter sightings (eagle rays and tiger sharks), as well as garden eels and coral heads full of juvenile fish.

No sharks today, but we did spot an enrmous school of Heller’s barracuda.  These fish are usually rather skittish, but today they didn’t seem to mind as I slowly worked my way closer.


Francesco and Sylvia were terrific divers, especially considering they only had a few dozen dives under their belt – and those more than two years ago!  I never would have guessed if they hadn’t told me.  They followed me back up the slope, peeking into coral heads for eels.


One of my favorite (and reliable) sights at Manta Ray Bay are the schools of goatfish that linger in the shallows, waiting for the shade of a moored boat.  Like the barracuda, they let us swim right up alongside.


We spent some time poking around the third mooring buoy, where the staff at Jack’s had told us there was a yellow frogfish.  I didn’t have very high hopes of finding it (the darn things look just like the sponges they like to park next to), and sure enough we had no luck.

But it was still a pretty fantastic dive, and I was so excited to have a chance to show off this site to my friends.

1 Comment

  1. Pretty pictures! I especially like the fish face :)

    Comment by Mir — 9/4/2009 @ 5:04 pm

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