Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

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Scubie Doo
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Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:00 pm

Penders and I are heading to Kona for some diving in January. We are doing the Black Water and Manta dives and staying in Puako, so we'll hit some shore dives there too. I am looking for some locals to take us to a couple new shore dives and/or night dives. I have dove with Sockmonkey and Jackson Seay out there and have reached out to them, but have not been able to solidify anything yet. Let me know if you have any contacts there, that would be willing to show us some new sites. Thanks.

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fmerkel
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by fmerkel » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:36 pm

If you can catch Billy Ball from Kona Diving Compay on his day off he might take you out for a dive.
http://www.konadivingcompany.com/Pages/CrewMembers.aspx
Billy spent some time in Seattle diving cold, and occasionally lurks on NWDC. He took lessons from Bob Bailey.
Tell him Fritz sent you if you look him up.
If you are doing some boats I can highly recommend Kona Diving, especially for photographers and critter lovers. They are excellent.

Best shore dive we did was Ho'okena which is somewhat south of 2-Step, a ways from Puako.
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:43 pm

Thanks Fritz. I heard that site was good. Maybe we will make a run down there after two-step.

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by spatman » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:14 am

Unfortunately, Sockmonkey no longer lives there. You could try contacting Mari who works for Kohala Divers. She's bingediver here on NWDC. If you dive with her, say hi to my singles rig for me. She's currently using it. :)
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Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by spatman » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:15 am

Oh, and Puako is awesome. I love diving there.
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by fmerkel » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:48 am

spatman wrote:Oh, and Puako is awesome. I love diving there.


I was disappointed in Puako. We went in at the tiny cove by the small tree, which seems to be a main entrance. There was a semi-commercial guy there trying to drum up business for guiding the site. He had a map of the site on his van. He was happy to give me a complete run down of the site, so I think we dove it reasonably well. I thought the outer reef area was uninteresting rubble. The closer in caves, overhangs, and notches seemed to be where the good stuff was.
Ho'okena by comparison was a beautiful reef in excellent shape.

Alua Beach (just to the left of the boat harbor is another good one. If you are lucky there will be Eagle Rays down on the flats, ~80'. On the edged of the reef-flat transition there is a puka with a good sized moray and red pipefish living in it. Good for large schools of goat fish, butterfly fish, and coronet fish.
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by spatman » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:25 am

I'm not sure what beach you dived at, Fritz, but it sounds a lot different than the areas we dived in Puako. Granted there are nicer sites to dive on the Kohala/Kona coast, but if you're staying Puako might as well take advantage of it.

In my maybe 15 total dives there I've seen reef sharks, eagle rays, octopuses mating, and a lot of turtles. Most of the reef was healthy with plenty of fish.
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Scubie Doo » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:48 am

spatman wrote:I'm not sure what beach you dived at, Fritz, but it sounds a lot different than the areas we dived in Puako. Granted there are nicer sites to dive on the Kohala/Kona coast, but if you're staying Puako might as well take advantage of it.

In my maybe 15 total dives there I've seen reef sharks, eagle rays, octopuses mating, and a lot of turtles. Most of the reef was healthy with plenty of fish.


I have dove there about 5 times and the first 3 were like Spatman's experience and the last 2 were like Fritz's. It depends. I am planning on at least 2-4 dives there.

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by fmerkel » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:04 pm

It's a big area and I've only seen the one dive there, so maybe I missed something, maybe a lot.
There's a beach just north of the airport that Billy said he could take us on our next trip there. For a guy diving with Kona all the time (and can go out on his days off), that must be some kind of decent. He could give more details. Outside Puako I don't have any shore dive experience north. The majority have been with Kona. Our 1st trip there had bad wave action and scrubbed most of our attempts to shore dive. It was better our 2nd trip.

Is it less expensive to stay up in the Puako area?
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Scubie Doo » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:11 pm

fmerkel wrote:It's a big area and I've only seen the one dive there, so maybe I missed something, maybe a lot.
There's a beach just north of the airport that Billy said he could take us on our next trip there. For a guy diving with Kona all the time (and can go out on his days off), that must be some kind of decent. He could give more details. Outside Puako I don't have any shore dive experience north. The majority have been with Kona. Our 1st trip there had bad wave action and scrubbed most of our attempts to shore dive. It was better our 2nd trip.

Is it less expensive to stay up in the Puako area?


No, more a little more expensive. But I have only stayed at the Hilton Wiakoloa and am familiar with that area. Do you have Billy's email that you could send in a PM?

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Scubie Doo » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:12 pm

spatman wrote:Unfortunately, Sockmonkey no longer lives there. You could try contacting Mari who works for Kohala Divers. She's bingediver here on NWDC. If you dive with her, say hi to my singles rig for me. She's currently using it. :)


Do you have Mari's email you could forward to me via PM?

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Gdog » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:57 pm

fmerkel wrote:
spatman wrote:Oh, and Puako is awesome. I love diving there.


I was disappointed in Puako. We went in at the tiny cove by the small tree, which seems to be a main entrance. There was a semi-commercial guy there trying to drum up business for guiding the site. He had a map of the site on his van. He was happy to give me a complete run down of the site, so I think we dove it reasonably well. I thought the outer reef area was uninteresting rubble. The closer in caves, overhangs, and notches seemed to be where the good stuff was.
Ho'okena by comparison was a beautiful reef in excellent shape.

Alua Beach (just to the left of the boat harbor is another good one. If you are lucky there will be Eagle Rays down on the flats, ~80'. On the edged of the reef-flat transition there is a puka with a good sized moray and red pipefish living in it. Good for large schools of goat fish, butterfly fish, and coronet fish.


Interesting comment on Ho'okena. Would love to hear a bit more about how you dove that site. I have passed it up on previous trips, as it didnt sound too good on Shorediving.com

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Nwcid » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:15 pm

I will put in a plug for Billy. Bob hooked us up with him about 2 years ago. Beth and I only had a few dives on our own at the time. I think we had done 4 dives not counting the OW dive, then did a weekend "workshop" with Bob before we went. I think our first dive in HI was #12. Billy was awesome for us.

We are loosely planning on going to BI again in June/July and hope too hook up with him again now that we are more experienced divers.
John

Check out my site, http://scubadivesites.webs.com/

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by mpenders » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:25 am

Scubie Doo wrote:Penders and I are heading to Kona for some diving in January.


:taco: :breakdance: :funky: \:D/ :bounceline: :80sdance: :partydance: :eric:







That is all.

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by fmerkel » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:48 am

Gdog wrote:Interesting comment on Ho'okena. Would love to hear a bit more about how you dove that site. I have passed it up on previous trips, as it didnt sound too good on Shorediving.com


So far I consider shorediving there to be kind of a guide, certainly not an absolute. Tastes certainly do vary, along with expectations, diver skill, and conditions at the time.

It's pretty easy to find on Google maps.
http://goo.gl/maps/8BQLm

If possible park to the far right as you come down to the beach. There's a shelter to the right with nice tables to load gear and a shower right in front of the parking area.
BEWARE-there are some kind of bees that nest in the sand near the shower! They were not a big nuisance but could be a deal breaker if you are allergic.
There's the remains of an old pier wall going into the water. Enter here on the left side and pick your way through the coral.
Swim toward the point on your right. Along the way you'll see some large coral head sticking up. Drop where it pleases you and head kind of right toward the point and out. We did not go around the point but you can. It's a shallow dive unless you go WAY out (not been there but was told that). Give yourself air and time to get back. Simply poke along and look at stuff, but then, that's my dive style. I thought the coral and reef were in very good shape and quite pretty. Some of our other shore dives were kind of beat up looking. This one was not. :supz:

We ended up coming in more at the main beach. The area out front of the beach is quite shallow. I think the whole area can work for entrance and exit as long as you can get through the coral. I think if the waves are running from the wrong direction this could be pretty exposed. You can get wave reports on line when you are on island. That makes a big difference on some sites.
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Gdog » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:42 pm

Thanks for the pointers. I will give it a go!

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by PapaZ » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:25 pm

Jan. 17......
Surf is up big time and three more 'surges' are in the forecast for the next several days.
Surfers are in heaven, but shore diving is not happening here in Kona.
Will be checking on boat diving conditions for the next couple days.
:pirate: :angry: :angry:

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by spatman » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:40 am

Check out the Kohala Divers' FB page for a really cool whale video:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kohala-D ... 4108875269
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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:33 am

PapaZ wrote:Jan. 17......
Surf is up big time and three more 'surges' are in the forecast for the next several days.
Surfers are in heaven, but shore diving is not happening here in Kona.
Will be checking on boat diving conditions for the next couple days.
:pirate: :angry: :angry:


We flew in on Friday (late night) and have 7 shore dives. And yes, the surfs up. But we are from PNW, this has nothing on deception pass. Haha

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by PapaZ » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:56 am

Much better here in Kona.

Had this yesterday to wave to as it came out of a cave.

http://youtu.be/aCWPt5qUTU0

Of for a couple more dives this morning too.

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by Fordman » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:20 am

PapaZ wrote:Much better here in Kona.

Had this yesterday to wave to as it came out of a cave.

http://youtu.be/aCWPt5qUTU0

Of for a couple more dives this morning too.

PapaZ
:rawlings: "nothing more dangerous than an old diver with a camera in tow."


That's funny. I ran into the same one in that same hole in October of 2012...

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Re: Big Island Diving - 1/18 through 1/21

Post by lologrande » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:08 pm

Greetings all. I am a little late to this thread. I am not lurking too much these days. Anyone coming to Kona please feel free to contact me. I will give all the help I can and hopefully join for a dive or two. Feel free to pm me through the board. My account is still active.

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