Today was my first opportunity to go out on Deep Ecology’s boat on the north shore.  They are virtually the only ones running a dive boat on the north shore and certainly the only ones doing so with any sort of regularity.  So this was an exciting opportunity to see some sites I have never before seen. 

The first dive was at “carwash”, one of the most popular sites.  The site gets its name from a nearby turtle cleaning station where the turtles gather over the coral head and the wrasse and other reef fish “clean” their shells by eating what grows on it.  Since my experience with DE is always spectacular it’s no surprise that this was a great dive.  It started off with a bang when a spotted eagle ray swam right in front of us.  They are truly majestic creatures.   The turtle cleaning station had 3 turtles with one large male.  I spotted a large lizard fish that was really neat, though I’m still not sure of the exact type.  We saw several eels plenty of nudibranchs and swam in and out of overhead lava tubes you could drive a truck through.  The under water topography was, as always, one of the best parts.  We were able to see a small white tip shark hanging out under a ledge, presumably sleeping.  Though this site is not new to me, because I’ve done it from shore, there were several new areas that we covered today that I had never been to.  What a great dive!

Mushroom Coral

The second dive was at a site that was brand new to me called “Atlantis”.  The instructor described it as an underwater labyrinth and he was right on the money.  There were tons of small things to see!  I got a picture of a spanish dancer for the first time because it was my first time seeing one in the daytime.  We also saw a couple of turtles, and many many nudibranchs.  I just ordered John Hoover’s book on invertebrates so I should be able to name some of them soon.  But, for now, they are still really cool.  It’s like hunting for treasure because it takes a keen eye to spot them.  Most are the size of a nickel or smaller, though I have seen several that were much larger than that.  The spanish dancers in particular get pretty large. 

Spiney Lobster- first dive

spanish dancer

Today was such a great day.  We had a great group of divers that were also fun and friendly which is always great.  I could really tell that everyone was excited to be there and, for me, that makes my day better.  The under water landscape never ceases to fascinate me.  The arches, swimthroughs, walls and lava tubes are an endless source of amazement.  I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to dive with a great group!


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