Aloha everyone. Here we are in downtown Kona Hawaii enjoying another beautiful day in paradise. We are happy to report there has been no new cases of Covid19 on the Big Island for the past 5 days. We have the lowest rate of any state including Montana. This is a perfect reason when the quarantine in lifted, to come out to Kona and enjoy island life.
I have used this down time on island by enjoying Kona scuba diving. The boats currently aren’t running but there has been plenty of fantastic Kona scuba diving right off our shoreline. We are fortunate to have unbelievable shore diving that is easily accessible. With the absence of boat traffic up and down our coastline, the visibility and marine life could not be better. This past Saturday, friends and I got together for another epic shore dive off pebble beach. This location is just South of 2 step. It has easy parking and an easy entry off pebble beach.
Kona scuba diving is always diverse. This beautiful location has lots to offer the adventurer. We headed out a bit to see if we can get a view of any big marine life swimming by. We were told by divers that frequent this site that sometimes you are treated to a hammer head passing by. With a fairly steep drop off, you never know what you may see out there. As an experience diver, my friends and I are always on the look out for tiger sharks that are seen often around many of the less frequented South dive spots, as well as eagle rays and manta rays. Like many of the dive sites when you Kona scuba dive, once you go deeper towards the drops offs, you lose some of the beautiful reef you’re more apt to see at 40- 50 feet. Especially at pebble beach. You can enter the water and go either right or left. My mates and I decided to explore the right side. There were beautiful swim throughs and coral formations. The reef life was amazing. There were fish everywhere enjoying an amazing morning of life on the reef.
We spent time exploring the various depths of the reef. I stayed mostly shallow. My favorite depth when diving reef dives is at 40-60 feet. With the morning sunlight in full force, it makes the reef light up. Perfect conditions for GoPro footage. I stopped to listen to a Goby biting at the reef. They always look like they have a constant smile. It’s also apparent when the Bullethead Parrotfish are feeding. They bite violently at the reef, making crunching sounds as they bite and crew parts of the reef. The Yellow Tang and Triggerfish (Humuhumu) never disappoint. They are always in large schools showing off their beauty. The Yellow Tang is the cousin to the Blue Tang (Dory). At one time, the Big Island had such an abundance of Yellow Tang that Kona was referred to as the Gold Coast because you would literally see the yellow color of the schools of Tang from arriving aircraft. The yellow on a Tang is so bright, it is one of the most brilliant yellow color I have ever seen on a fish. The different schools of Butterflyfish were very abundant. I think my favorite Butterflyfish is the Ornate Butterfly and the Tinker’s Butterfly. The Tinker’s is very rare but can be seen on some of our sites here in Kona. That is what makes Kona scuba diving so unique. We have so many species of reef fish as well as some of the most impressive larger animals in one place. As we were making our way back to the shallows, I was still noticing all of the reef critters feeding. I still think of finding Nemo when I see a Moorish idol. We don’t have Clownfish here in Kona but we do have Juvenile Yellowtail Coris. These look nothing like a full grown Yellowtail Coris but they do look similar to a Clownfish for the observer that may not be great at identifying Hawaiian reef fish. The various types of Eel are common in holes where Long- Spined Urchin hang out. Through out the coral and formations, I’m always on the look out for Octopus. These guys are really hard to find. Once you spot one, it’s easy to lose it. Like most sea critters, they can and do blend in with the reef. It’s not until you see them move ever so slightly, that you identify them again. If you’re very lucky, they may play an Octopus’s version of hide and seek with you. They slink behind coral and change colors to blend in with the coral, as you move to another part of the reef close in proximity to the Octopus, it will sometimes pop back up and look for you. This behavior can go on for 20-30 minutes. I had a similar experience to that when diving Long Lava tube a month ago. They are known to be very smart and can be somewhat playful. With all marine life, big or small, it’s just very important to keep your distance and observe.
After about 75 minutes on a single air tank, my mates and I were starting to head back to our starting point. We took our time coming back up the black pebble slope, doing our safety stop as we were checking interesting shaped rocks out along the way in.
We got out of the water after about an 83 min. dive and walked back to the cars with tanks and equipment on. Once back to our cars we talked story about the cool things we saw on the dive and sat around in the hot Hawaii sun to dry off. We got in the water at about 8:20 am, it was now about 11:00 am. I can’t think of a better way to start off the day. I was ready for lunch and the drive back to downtown Kona and still had plenty of day left for other adventures.
Another great Kona scuba dive with friends and another adventure for the memories.