Kewalo Pipe and Horshoe Reef

Yesterday afternoon I headed down to Kewalo Basin and caught a boat out to do a couple of shallow dives.  There were 5 of us total and an instructor.  The first site was Kewalo pipe which I have done before.

Of course, each time you see something new and different.  I hadn’t been out to this little concrete structure that a yellow Moray hangs out in.  He was in there but there was no way I could get a picture.  He was hard to see. 

We also swam out to the end of the pipe which I don’t recall doing the last time I did this site.  That was kinda neat. 

We saw one turtle and I managed to get a neat picture of him. 

The last time I dove this site it was part of my Advanced Open Water certification so I was more focused on skills.  This time I marveled at the “field” of coral with many finger corals.  Finger corals are a little less common than brain coral and they’re really neat looking. 

The second dive we planned to head out to horseshoe reef, an easy 500 yard swim from the pipe.  The boat remained moored at the pipe since someone else was on the mooring for horseshoe reef.  We made the swim out with no issues following the instructor.  The vis was decent and we poked around the reef.  All of a sudden I turned around an everyone was gone.  I couldn’t see a fin, a bubble, nothing.  I looked in all directions and stayed put for a minute.  Then I saw another group of 3 divers.  I signaled them that I couldn’t find my buddy.  The DM took out a slate and I wrote the name of the boat.  She signaled she was going up to look around.  She returned and signaled for me to follow her.  I followed and she brought me to the surface near her boat.  I could see our boat about 500 yards away.  I had been disoriented under water.  I was following an instructor.  Once I was aboard the other boat he radioed the boat I was on and they came along side to pick me up once all their divers were back on board. 

The instructor shouldn’t have left me behind.  I did what I was supposed to do.  Though I didn’t surface myself, the DM did and didn’t find them.  I share the blame since I turned to take a picture.  But it was less than 30 seconds and a surge kicked up a bunch of sand and the vis went down significantly.  It’s far too easy to get turned around under water.  I know this, but it was illustrated yesterday. 

In the end there was no harm done and nothing but a bruised ego for me.  I felt pretty dumb.  I wasn’t the only one at fault and my training served me well though.  The captain of the boat was teasing me when I boarded since he was my dive buddy in zero vis last weekend.  It was good-natured and the instructor assured me that it happens from time to time.  In any case, at least I learned something.


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