Robert Lower's Dive Log
Jul 16, 2002, 12:00 AM
So my companions and I arrived just hours before on a flight from Honolulu and knew that we would be diving a popular site, but we could never have guessed how good it would be... We made sure to park in the lot adjacent to the entry point and were making our giant stride entries off of an easily manageable rock ledge into a flat calm bay in no time at all. The plan of the day was to see as much as we could and dive dive dive! The profile was exactly what the doctor prescribed. From the ledge, we surface swam about 30 yards out and to the right, making sure to avoid boating traffic to the left. Our cue to descend was when the "Aloha Sand Patch", as the locals call it--for a good reason, was directly beneath welcoming us to this place of refuge. Trust me, you can't miss it and you'll know that it is it when you see the patch because there is a huge cinder block "Aloha" written in the sand with a masterly crafted honu (turtle) above it. There was even a cool yellow margin moray that lives in the cinder blocks, who asked my dive buddy out on a date (of course she had to decline because we still had 2 more dives to do that day). We then swam right at a 60 degree angle until we hit the wall, which gradually slopes to 500ft, and drifted at about 50-80ft. The visibility was unlike any other site I had seen before in Hawaii, with some parts of the dive being well over 130ft. of vis. Coral formations on this dive reminded me a lot of Hanauma Bay's 2`nd stage (on Oahu), and was mostly loose finger corals and comprised of many long nose butterfly fish, parrot fish, assorted damsels, and an occasional pod of spinner dolphins to name a few. After we had drifted for 30 minutes or so, our cue to turn back was an acute bend left in the underwater topography of the wall. We then ascended to the top of the wall, about 25-35ft., and drifted back in the direction we had come in since the current changes direction on the top. The top of the wall is a completely different type of reef than the side. It is mostly lobe corals, tight finger corals, and some lava formations. This was where we saw most of the fish life made of huge schools of white goat fish, squirrel fish, soldier fish, parrot fish, black long nose butterfly fish, peacock grouper etc. Our cue to turn into shore was once again the "Aloha Sand Patch" which was now bidding us a fond goodbye. We took turns getting out of the water, which requires you to take off your fins first, and possibly your gear too if your not sure footed, and said goodbye to a prolific dive at Honaunau.