Haleiwa Trench


Sorry folks no pictures this time.  My camera was stuck on video and under water I really didn’t have time to screw with it.  I pushed a few buttons but ultimately didn’t have any luck.  And to be quite honest there wasn’t a whole lot to take pictures of since the visibility was less than perfect and my pictures would reflect that.  The caveat of owning an inexpensive camera for diving.  Alas, I must live within my means. 

The Haleiwa Trench seems to be a little known spot that can be found out behind Ali’i beach park.  To enter the water you must go behind the two-story building and across the grass to the left (if you are facing the water).  There are some rocks and the another small stretch of beach.  Enter along the beach to the left and walk out on the reef.  The trench can be seen from shore as a dark spot.  I would say we walked out about 100 yards from the shore over the reef to where it gets deep.  The entire 100 yards is in knee to waist deep water. 

The Trench is an interesting site.  You go from knee to waist deep water and then drop off the shelf into 70 ft water.  You would never know it was there if someone didn’t show you.  This site is about 100 ft max but we only went to about 70.  At first it appears that it’s mostly dead reef with little life, but as you swim along this changes.   At first you need to think small and look for things like nudibranchs on the rocks.  There are some really neat rock formations to see as well.  But soon rock gives way to large coral heads with plenty of life.  This is also a great place to see the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, locally known as “Honu”.  We must have seen at least a dozen smaller turtles that were juvenile through adolescent.  Every where you looked there was another turtle, sleeping, hanging out or just swimming around gracefully.  I even had one swim right by my buddy and come within 5 feet of me to “check me out”.  They are curious and docile creatures but remember that they are protected and therefore cannot be touched.  They also have serrated gums and, if provoked, could bite. 

Down at 5o feet plus there isn’t a ton of life, but then you come up on these reefs that are full of it.  We spent some time untangling and removing fishing line from the reef as well as what appeared to be a rash guard.  I’m sure some of this stuff was lost accidentally but some was carelessly discarded too.  We even saw a fishing pole!  This site is not included in the pupukea marine conservation district so fishing is allowed there. 

Overall the trench is an interesting site that can surprise you.  I am told that manta rays also hang out at this site, though we didn’t see any yesterday.  We did hear a juvenile and an adult whale and when reached the shore again we saw the spout.  We were pretty darned close to them out there.  I would dive this again just for the rock formations and the underwater landscape but there is plenty more to see if you know where to look.  Fortunately I have a dive buddy that knows exactly where to look!  The visibility was around 50-60 feet for most of the dive and I attribute that to the depth and lack of sunlight at that level.  Up on the top of the reef it was better since the sun was shedding some light on things.   

Also, Haleiwa Ali’i beach is a good place to snorkel in the summer.  But wear something on your feet since it’s quite shallow and you will cut your feet walking on the reef.

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