Rick Inman's Dive Log
Puako Church on 3/19/2004
Wow! So many lava tubes and caverns and pukas. Awesome structure! Slide into one hole, out and through another. And turtles everywhere. I dove here 4 times, two different days and never saw another diver. My wife and I had this romantic, secluded beach all to ourselves. This is what diving Hawaii is all about. The dirt road down to the beach has been closed, so there is now a short hump of your gear, which may be why we had the place to ourselves (easier access a mile down at Puako Village End). Also, at low tide, the swim over the shallow reef through the surf can definitely be a challenge. And it is a long way out to the drop-off and the good structure. There are buoys planted out there, and the best stuff is between them. On the second time we went here, while enjoying a lunch of left-over ono on Hawaiian Sweet Bread between dives, we saw humpback whales playing out about 200 yards beyond he reef. Then during my second dive, I could hear the whale's song for the entire dive. Wonderful! I kept waiting for one to swim up and visit me, but no such luck. On the way back in, I saw the biggest Morey I'd ever seen. Out of 16 dives in 8 days at 9 different sites, this was my favorite dive.
Captain Cook (Kealakekua Bay) on 3/19/2004
In the bay itself, made a long surface swim straight out (west) to the reef, worked my way slowly south, then around with the contour of the bay, which brought me right up at the wall/launch. Nice reef, lots of marine life, and the best vis. I had in 16 dives, about 120'. Also, I found a nice snorkel, which kinda made up for the knife I lost a Mile Marker 4 (too bad I don't use a snorkel!). On my second dive I headed north, which was a mistake, because the reef just petered out and turned to sand. From what everyone said, I should have rented a kayak and went to Capt. Cook's monument.
Made 4 dives here, vis. ranged from 60' to 100'. Took the advice of local dive shop and headed far south of the crowd on 2 dives, and far north of the crowd on the other two, and this paid off. Especially nice south, out and around the point. Lots of good structure, lava tubes, caverns, pukas, etc. shallow. All dives were over an hour on AL80s. Saw turtles, eels, nudibranch and the normal Kona fishies. I made 16 dives in 8 days on the Big Island, all solo, and the Place of Refuge was a great 'get acquainted' dive site just too crowded for my tastes.