Bill Stohler's Dive Log

@bill_stohler

20 dives

Puako Village End on 5/20/2001
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
May 20, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is one of my favorite Kona Coast dive sites. Puako has been discovered by the world, and now real estate prices are sky high. There's garden eels, a 'shark cave' with 3 entrances that sometimes houses docile white tip reef sharks. This is about as good as it gets on the Big Island!
Honolua Bay on 10/6/2001
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Oct 6, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is an excellent dive/snorkel site on the Upper West Side of Maui. It entails a 5 minute walk down a dirt road through the woods and over an intermittent stream. Entry is at a slippery old concrete boat ramp. The reef is good on both sides of the bay. Spinner dolphins can often be seen playing on the surface just outside the bay. Manta rays and spotted eagle rays are occasionally seen off the right side. For the best reef, and a deeper dive, go right. For a dive that can take you into the adjacent Makuleia Bay (Slaughterhouse), go left.
Honolua Bay (Test) on 3/30/2002
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Mar 30, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
"Old Airport" is a great dive, when the surf is down and the current isn't very strong (the current can be very strong here). The diversity of marine life (magnificent snake eels, manta rays, eagle rays, etc.) and the health of the reef make this a great dive. There is a "bicolor anthias' reef around 70 feet to the north of the entry. Very popular with divers, tourist groups, etc. Great white sandy beach, picnic tables, showers, restrooms, grassy area. Adequate parking.
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Mar 30, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
After parking in the undeveloped lava lot, the walk to the entry is about a quarter mile. There's a narrow (8") wide black sandy beach that is an easy and steep entry. Snorkeling straight out, there are great shallow reefs to the left and right. For scuba, I go straight out and then around Cape Kinau to the south. The reef here is seldom dove, and is nearly pristine. In the past, I have seen spinner dolphins and eagle rays, but I haven't seen any dolphins since the eco kayak tours at La Perouse Bay took off a couple of years ago.
Black Rock on 3/30/2002
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Mar 30, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a shallow dive site (<25 feet) that has mostly a sandy bottom with a lava outcropping on the mauka (mountain) side. There are quite a few different types of eels here, including an occasional brotula. Also, a large school of bluestripe snapper cruised by. Very easy, beginner type dive in the daytime. From one end to the other of the site takes about 30 minutes round trip. Parking is very limited (garage) and there is a bit of a walk to get to the entry.
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Mar 30, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
"Old Airport" is a great dive, when the surf is down and the current isn't very strong (the current can be very strong here). The diversity of marine life (magnificent snake eels, manta rays, eagle rays, etc.) and the health of the reef make this a great dive. There is a "bicolor anthias' reef around 70 feet to the north of the entry. Very popular with divers, tourist groups, etc. Great white sandy beach, picnic tables, showers, restrooms, grassy area. Adequate parking.
Ulua Beach on 7/28/2002
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Jul 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is THE training site for Maui's South shore dive companies. The parking lot fills up before 8 AM on the weekends, and the lower lot is even full past 7 PM! Very easy entry. Reef begins at the shoreline. The inner reef is excellent for beginners, but the outer reef is a bit more extensive. Very shallow, easy dive. For advanced divers, it makes a better night dive.
Kamaole 3 on 7/28/2002
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Jul 28, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This site is not commonly dove by scuba divers, although I have a few friends who like to dive here. Mostly patch reef diving. There are occasionally things that make it worthwhile like dolphins and rays, but these are usually few and far between. Long surface swim. Without a guide, you may have a hard time even finding the reef!
Puako Church on 8/4/2002
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Aug 4, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
I thought this was a great site. From the beach just a few steps from the parking area, I watched as a large group of green sea turtles fed on the sea grass and algae in the shallows practically in the surf. Heading over the reef, then South, there's some good topography, and out to sea it drops off pretty well. Good critters and reef. Variable visibility. As usual with this side, it's best to dive before the trade winds kick in, and don't try it if the surf's up.
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Aug 4, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a great site that's less than 5 minutes from Kona town. The park's just off the Old Airport runway, so there's always ample parking unless the fair is in town (they cover the runway with the rides, etc.). One of my first introductions to the site was two local divers exiting amidst high surf, one with a bloodied hand that he shredded on the rocks. They told me to go elsewhere, and I took their advice. If it's calm, the rocky entry is a bit slippery, but only moderately difficult. Great drop-off, and interesting reef and marine life.
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Aug 4, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
I've done this site as two dives-one off the old wharf to the left (it's a fun giant stride entry-just watch out for the bottom) and the second in the bay to the right (reef on the right side). They're both great dives, but the center of the bay is mostly sand flats. Lots of interesting reef and marine life. Spinner dolphin schools can often be seen in the bay.
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Sep 7, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
I've done this dive several times as a twilight/night dive, and it's a very mellow place with a great reef, and typical Kona drop-off to the abyss. There are some large fish that swim by, turtles, eels, lots of other critters. Sheltered bay/entry. Bit of a hike over the pahoehoe lava (ropey basalt), but it's worth it. Just watch out for the black sea urchins in the shallows (ouch).
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Sep 7, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Alternate entry on left side of bay at Minini Bay. Easy protected entry. Really impressive large coral heads, tako (octopus), eels, yellow tang, raccoon butterfly fish... I did the dive out to sea and around the corner to the left (south). Great beginner-intermediate dive, or just a mellow, shallow dive. Small parking lot under the trees, with a porta-potti.
Maliko Bay on 6/27/2003
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Jun 27, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
Maliko Gulch is one of the easiest North Shore sites (entry), and is a great place to dive in the summer. Entry is off the boat ramp (yield to boaters). The main hazard here is being run over by boats in the channel! The reef below is amazing, with plate corals and rice corals dominating the bottom. Eel, turtles, game fish, and lots of other critters abound here. Both the left side (lava tubes farther out) and the right side (several deep canyons) make great diving. There are also a number of turn-of-the-century very large anchors here that make for great photo ops!
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Oct 30, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
Slaughterhouse has some solid stairs that make the hike down the hill easier than the adjacent Honolua Bay. The central portion of the bay is mostly 'barren' sand flats; the reefs hug the outer portions of the bay on the left and right. I actually prefer to dive this site from Honolua Bay....heading out the left side of Honolua and into the right side of Slaughterhouse (as referenced from shore). I've seen green sea turtles in the bay. Great beginner snorkeling spot in the summer time when the waves are non-existent, and the bay is as flat as mirror!
Mala Wharf on 10/30/2007
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Oct 30, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
AKA, the Mala Wharf...is a twisted wreck of a disintegrating concrete pier / dock. Underwater, it makes for a great habitat of fish, eels, and even some white tip reef sharks! This is a shallow dive, and getting out to deeper (divable) water is a bit of a trek through a rough bottom...but, it's worth it! Probably a good idea to bring a flag.
Makena Landing on 10/30/2007
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Oct 30, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
The "landing" at Makena landing is a nice, white sandy beach. It's a very easy shallow gradient walk-in entry. The DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) patrols the beach often looking for divers without flags...so be forewarned! Diving along the right side of the bay from the landing, the Sand and Bubble caves are within a 10-minute swim. As mentioned in the 5 Graves review, I prefer to start and 5 Graves and make a one-way trip, exiting at the Landing, where showers and restrooms await! Very busy during peak tourist time....look out for kayaks overhead! This is also the launching spot for boats transiting (under access agreements) to Kaho`olawe, and there's a fair amount of traffic here.
Honolua Bay (Test) on 11/6/2007
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Nov 6, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
Just a quick update. Adjacent to the beach park, there is now a towering hotel/timeshare (three towers), and the beach park has lost most of its solitude. Other than that, the world below remains largely unchanged. I will mention that this became my most common Maui dive site to spot the relatively rare hawksbill turtles (up to two on a dive). One day in the shallows, I found a dragonet fish. This fish is not found in the Hawaii reef fish ID books, and I suspect that it was an aquarium release.
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Nov 6, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
Just a quick update. Adjacent to the beach park, there is now a towering hotel/timeshare (three towers), and the beach park has lost most of its solitude. Other than that, the world below remains largely unchanged. I will mention that this became my most common Maui dive site to spot the relatively rare hawksbill turtles (up to two on a dive). One day in the shallows, I found a dragonet fish. This fish is not found in the Hawaii reef fish ID books, and I suspect that it was an aquarium release.
Maliko Bay on 11/6/2007
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Nov 6, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
After my first review, I've done quite a few other dives here. First off, a couple of things not to do….don't dive here after it's been raining on the North Shore (Maliko stream empties into the gulch, turning the water muddy brown)...and don't dive without a flag (I was nearly run over by an inattentive tourist on a jet ski). The inner bay is sometimes host to some interesting critters...including schools of small, juvenile oval squid...and a couple of juvenile spotted eagle rays. These both hang out near the surface, so be sure to look up when returning to the boat ramp (also looking out for boats). Typically, I dive the right side (closer, great topography and canyons)...but I recently discovered the left side. There are shallow lava tubes....with lots of Spanish Dancer nudibranchs...and an occasional yellow frogfish. The left side requires a bit more of a swim...and would really be an easier boat dive (gasp)...unless you're good for 90+ minutes on a tank.