I think all of you know that I got my Open Water scuba diving certification last fall. I got certified in a manmade reservoir in Central Texas and had yet to really go diving somewhere cool, but I got certified in anticipation of going at some point. This vacation presented the perfect opportunity.
Brian booked us a night dive for the first Saturday morning I was in town. He borrowed Kenny’s scuba gear and I rented some equipment from a local dive shop. Bright and early Saturday morning we drove over the Hawaii Kai on the east coast of Oahu and boarded the Sea Fox which would take us out to our dive sites. We did two deep dives, down to wrecked barges sitting about 100 ft below the surface.
The dives were really cool. We could swim through the first barge since it was open enough and that was awesome. We also saw lots of fish, several turtles, and even a baby white tip shark. We swam with some master divers so they were there to point out the cool animals and lead us around.
Brian and I had a great time and were both glad to have gotten our certification. Almost immediately we booked another dive, this one at night, for the following Saturday. Unfortunately after that I came down with a cold and had some pretty bad congestion all week. You can’t dive while congested since it interferes with clearing your ears as you descend in the water, so I was taking meds all week to try to clear it up in time.
The following Saturday morning I was feeling decent so we rented some more gear and went to the North Shore for a shore dive at a beach called Shark’s Cove. There were no sharks, but there was some reef and swim-throughs to explore. I had a pretty thick wet suit on which made me more buoyant so I had to take 18 lbs of weight to allow me to stay underwater.
Unfortunately, pretty early on one of the pouches holding half of my weight fell out of my vest so I was forced to surface because I literally wasn’t heavy enough to stop myself or to dive down to retrieve it. Kenny and Brian were diving with me and tried to find it, but they weren’t able to. So I headed back to shore while they finished the dive. I didn’t see as much as I wanted to, but I’m glad I got to go for a little bit.
I’m also glad I got to go because I discovered that the dive gave me a pretty bad nose bleed due to my problems equalizing. That convinced me to opt out of the night dive because the problem would have been even worse going deeper. (In Shark’s Cove we were at only 35 feet depth, but the night dives were more like 105 ft down, where the pressure is 4x that at the surface.)
Kenny and Brian still went for the night dive and I came on the boat to hang out with them and enjoy the evening out on the water. The two dives they did included a wrecked Corsair and a shallower reef growing along a ledge. There was a beautiful sunset over Diamondhead and the visibility was great out to the neighboring Hawaiian Islands, so it was well worth it to tag along. Brian got some good shots of the dark water and he said it was very eerie down there in the dark. On the surface we could faintly see the dive lights where everyone was, so we could kind of follow the group as they swam along the ridge. Pretty cool, and I’m sure I’ll do a night dive at some point to make up for missing this one.