On Saturday Marla and I took a two-tank boat dive with Blue Wilderness, a good outfit based at the Waikoloa resorts. Their rigid inflatable boat leaves from the Puako boat ramp, right in the heart of the numerous fine South Kohala dive sites. The first site we dove was near the southern end of the Mauna Lani resort. I believe the site is colloquially known as “Skate Park.” Interesting topography, but not too fishy on the morning we dove. The second site, known as “Puako House 20” was more fun, but we saw some good stuff at both sites.
A couple of months ago, on a dive club shore cleanup at Kawaihae, we ran into a local architect named Hai On. Hai is an avid snorkeler/freediver, very knowledgeable about Kawaihae’s fishy fauna*, and an overall good guy. He graciously gave Marla and me a tour of what Kawaihae has to offer.
For those unfamiliar, Kawaihae is west Hawaii’s primary commercial port. A long breakwater creates a large, lagoon-like harbor. Despite all the commercial activity, as well as periodic military exercises, the protected waters inside the harbor are home to a surprising variety of marine life. Invertebrate diversity is especially rich. We’ve snorkeled there three times so far, most recently yesterday with our buddies Jeff and Sandra. Here’s some of what we’ve seen:
*Check out Hai’s blog: kawaihaereef.wordpress.com. He’s got a link to some great black tip reef shark video and other cool stuff.
Earlier this month Marla and I had the pleasure of hosting our fantastic mainland friends Jill and Eric and their fantastic kids, Finn and Sophie. These guys are about the most ocean-oriented family we know. The kids—especially Finn—are virtual fishes, and the parents are avid snorkelers and divers. Their visit provided the occasion for two dives at Mahukona.
While we’ve snorkeled at Mahukona innumerable times over the last ten years, we’ve only dived there a handful of times. It’s, not surprisingly, as good a dive site as a snorkeling site.