Monday, February 3

Hilo, day 9

Pattie and I both slept late but, as our dive was at a more reasonable hour (9:30am) than usual, it was still an easily-paced morning.  We got to the boat slip by 9:15, happy to find that it was just us on this trip (plus divemaster Phillip and captain Kimo).  Nice folks, we found, and they proved easy-going, and a pleasant pair to be with for the morning.

We left Hilo’s harbor for a 30’ ride to our dive spot, which was basically the same spots we were last week with Bill—but further out from shore.  There were healthy swells of about 6’, but not anything unpleasant, thanks to my pre-boat sea-sickness medication regimen these days. On the way out of the harbor, we caught this clear view of Mauna Kea, snow-capped peak easily visible. “Most of the volcano is underwater, and when measured from its underwater base, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, measuring over 10,000 m in height.”

a view of Mauna Kea from our boat in Hilo Harbor

The visibility wasn’t super, but we were constantly finding turtles hanging out in nooks/crannies between rocks.

We also saw a few just freely swimming around.

It’s just so captivating to seem these big animals moving so easily and gracefully through the water.  We also so a good number of needle fish, both transparent and yellow ones, as well as the usual wrasse varieties, and more.

After a surface interval of about an hour, we moved to another spot and did a very similar dive, but the water was decidedly colder.  After about 35’, we surfaced b/c we were getting pretty chilled.

These were good dives, despite the visibility, in large part because we both are feeling growing competence and confidence in our buoyancy control. We are advancing, and it makes an enormous difference in our experience of a dive.

A lunch at the Hilo Bay Café was very nice, indeed, followed by a Walmart stop, a stop to mail things home, and a stop into the Hilo Ocean Adv’s dive store to see if we could find anything to take advantage of the 15% off coupon they’d given us (we didn’t).

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