Marla and I have been feeling that our scuba skills were getting a bit rusty. Neither of us had dived for almost year, so the other day we booked a single tank dive with the friendly folks at Jack’s Diving Locker.
We went to a dive site I’d been wanting to visit for a long time. It was a very short boat ride—just a few hundred yards outside Honokohau Harbor where Jack’s keeps their boats. The site has a lot of different names, including Alula Beach, Crescent Beach, Manta Cove, and Dog Beach. The last of these comes from its popularity with dog walkers. So popular that the beach can smell of dog urine. Which is why we, in our typical coarse fashion, call it Dog Pee Beach. The site can be accessed from shore, but that involves a rather long walk over lava to reach the beach, so doing it by boat, while a bit costly, was our preferred option.
We had a great dive. The site had lots of fish, and lots of variety. Here are a few highlights:
The numerous large Yellowfin Surgeonfish at the site seemed very interested in us, sometimes to the extent of interfering with my attempts to photograph other types of fish. I often see these guys while snorkeling at Hapuna Beach, where they’re much harder to approach. I wonder if someone’s been feeding them here.
Another large surgeonfish, the Eyebstripe, or Dussumier’s. These did not seem as interested in us as the Yellowfins. I think these are the handsomest of Hawaiian surgeonfish.
For me, the best fish of the dive was this gorgeous Bicolor Anthias—only the second I’d ever seen. This solitary male was skittish and difficult to photograph.
Lots of Gilded Triggerfish at this site. This one’s a female.
And here’s a male, so you can tell how this species got its name.
I wish I could say I took this photo, but I can’t. It was taken by our most excellent divemaster, Keller. He blew this bubble ring and shot through it to capture one of the numerous spinner dolphins that swam above us during the dive. I gotta learn how to blow those rings.
A Twospot Wrasse, probably not very interesting except to us geeks. The wedge-shaped tail and (I think) red and black triangle at the front of the dorsal fin indicate that this attractive little fellow is a male. This species is one of several small, nervous, deep water wrasses I’m always trying to get a decent photo of.
And, oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, Marla and I were attacked by a large shark. Luckily, we escaped.