This last trip to Hawaii we were able to dive and explore more caves. In the beginning stages of diving this was a non-interest to me, however, after skimming the entrances to a few and beginning to learn what you might be able to see inside, the idea of cave diving had more potential. These are pictures from a cave site along Henry's dive site south of Kona. It has a very wide cave base but the height is very shallow. Upon entering the cave, as it is probably at it's highest point four to five feet, a diver must make themselves as negatively buoyant as possible and creep along the rocky bottom as you explore the crevices and other chambers of the cave that lie along each side of the main chamber. This main chamber is very wide and we could comfortably dive along side three to four dive buddies.
While we were looking past some of these overhangs that prevented us from diving into the side chambers, I saw three to four white tip reef sharks sleeping in the sand beyond. From time to time they would leave their resting site, circle the cavern to allow for movement of water through their gills allowing them to breathe. One shark seemed to circle closer and closer to Dennis and I. This is me giving Dennis the hand signal for shark. This is a picture of the cave and it's side caverns that were to narrow to make our way through, not to mention, the sharks were sleeping in these... This is the shark that kept swimming closer and closer as it circled around to rest back in the sand. Our camera wasn't able to take a better picture due to our flash settings and lack of strobes to bounce light off the particles in the water away from the image we were trying to shoot. So instead we just turned off the flash and took a "moving" picture of the shark. These pictures are without any zoom, so yes, this eight foot shark was indeed this close to us! Turned around and swimming back to rest in the sand. This was the exit of the cave we had just explored. Another cool thing I noticed this time was all the air used inside the cave while exploring had found it's way to migrate to the surface. As we exited we saw bubbles streaming out of various places all over the lava rock and coral that now covered the cave structure.
These are some random photos that I put together in this post because I thought some were great pictures but they didn't necessarily go with any other particular entry. Cool pic of a spiny sea urchin that had some kind of rock, sand or debris on top... This is a shrimp in a cave... This is another photo of another red "scrunci" an egg sack for something I cant recall the name of... found during our dive at Au Au Canyon. Pretty shell, with something living inside found upside-down so we put it back on the rock right side down and it started to crawl away... Pin cushion star, I think these are so cool... Long limbs... a green sea star... A Crown of Thorns Sea Star, named after the poisonous spikes that cover it's entire body, we had a dive buddy who accidentally touched this very venomous star and became ill for quite some time as his body tried to rid itself of the toxins. They are green in color are usually very large and they eat coral.
This is a marlin spike I should have had Vinny put his hand next to it for reference it was a huge shell! I would venture to say almost twelve inches in length! Vinny found it under the sand from its tracks left above the sandy bottom. Another cone shell Vinny uncovered and is holding... These are photos of King Helmet Seashells we came across four or five during dives and each time we would put a collector sea urchin in front of it, their diet, and wait for the helmet snail to envelop the urchin to eat. Well each time we did this we would wait to no avail. I guess all of the shells we had happened upon weren't hungry during our dives. Then on our very last dive there was this one crazy urchin...
Apparently this is a case where after we left helmet shell to perhaps devour the urchin while we were swimming along looking at other cool stuff, but when we came back to it we found the urchin had scurried atop it's predator, the safest place it could be! Dive master Vinny, on the left was laughing so hard I thought he was going to drop his reg, breath in water and leave the rest of us to rescue him! He couldn't believe the site we had come back to!
I describe myself as an innovative private piano teacher located in northern CA. I've been teaching beginning, intermediate and advanced students for nearly ten years. I love to employ the use of multimedia to inspire and encourage students' success. In my spare time... I'm a certified rescue scuba diver, photographer, artist, writer, mother of two, a wanna-be Martha Stewart kind of know-it-all. I love to travel. I find joy and love in family & friends! My favorite place to be is at home and diving in the ocean!