As a certified diver, PADI Open Water, Dive Rescue International Public Safety Diver and Rescue Diver I, I've been in the water a fair amount. With that being said, I've been in Northern Indiana water, I'm lucky to see my hand in front of my face when I'm diving. At work for the fire department, I dive with a Viking Pro Dry Suit (in the picture above, I was diving in a drainage pond and found what looked like a goldfish that got ahold of the same ooze the Ninja Turtles did. The Viking dry suit works great for staying dry and remaining isolated from the contaminates in the ponds and river we dive it. The dry suits, though, don't offer a lot of cold protection and can leave some pretty nasty pinch marks when diving at depth. As you descend, the suit compresses and pinches small spots all over your body! I continue to dive with it because it offers the best protection, with just a little discomfort. I recently dove in 40 degree water with nothing under the dry suit other than shorts and a t-shirt, and remained "kind of" warm.
Any time I get the chance to dive in better conditions, I try my best. When vacationing in Hawaii, you know I'm diving! After looking at a few different companies in Oahu, I settled on Dive Oahu, based on reviews and proximity to the resort I was staying at, they were the best option, and I'm glad I selected them as my dive charter. The registration was super easy, all done online. I chose the 2 tank shallow dive, just so I didn't have to worry about diving deep. It was a short 30-40 minute drive to the harbor from where we were staying, Disney's Aulani Resort at Ko Olina Beach. Parking was a little harder than I would have liked, most of the paid parking area was full. I ended up parking in a free area for beach goers only, and rolled the dice. Everyone on the charter boat was welcoming and friendly. Captain Matt introduced himself, and you could immediately tell he was genuinely excited to be there and running the charter. There was a large group of Naval cadets going through an Advance Open Water class. I was teamed up with Peter, who showed me the gear. I was extremely happy with the quality of the gear. It was much nicer than the gear I used while diving at Sandals Royal Bahamian last year. The BC was a Zeagle with great regulators attached. I dive with a Zeagle Ranger on the dive team, so I felt at home. It was, however, the first time I dove with an integrated inflator/deflator and regulator from Atomic, called the SS1, which was an awesome way to integrate the octopus and inflator/deflator. Peter also asked if I wanted to dive with a DPV. "Yes, but what is that?" I said. He went on to show me and explain, it's pretty much a battery powered fan that you straddle and you fly through the water. It was amazing!
For someone who wanted to be Kevin Costner in Waterworld, or the Rocketeer, this was money! It has multiple speed settings, from a nice easy coasting speed, to a rattling your mask and almost losing your regulator speed! We covered a large amount of ocean, much more than if we had just been kicking along. Check out the first dive GoPro video short!
The sea turtles were amazing to see and swim right along with. You really did feel like you where a part of the ocean, just hanging out with the rest of the creatures down there!
The second dive was just a short trip away from our original dive location at the Kewalo pipe. We went to a spot called Turtle Canyon. Some of the dive instructors talked about how the turtles come to the area because it's a cleaning station, where fish come to feed off the algae on the turtles. The fish are there because of the turtles, and the turtles are there because of the fish. The reef structures were amazing, and we saw a few turtles, getting cleaned of course. The colors visible when in the ocean and around reefs are second to none. The yellows, purples, blues, reds, and silvers are the most amazing color variations on Earth. I've told my friends that don't dive, you'll never see such vibrant colors outside of the ocean! I also saw some kind of eel, who had weaved himself through a few holes in the coral, making himself perfectly camouflaged. We didn't see any big rays or barracuda, but plenty of other fish and turtles. Where is the video and cool pictures? Well the GoPro I took with me decided to turn itself on during the night before my dive. This caused about 30 minutes of HD video to be taken of the pitch black room I slept in... Okay, maybe I had accidentally turned it on trying to see how much battery I had, but regardless... By the time of the second dive, I only had a couple minutes of battery left. Here are some of the screen shots and videos that I was able to recover.
As a final review on both the diving in Waikiki Hawaii and with Dive Oahu, if you are reading this and considering diving, please do! I had a great time, with great divers. The gear looked and worked like it was brand new and the dives were performed in a safe manner. I would certainly recommend Dive Oahu for any divers or snorkelers in the area!
Jack of All Trades, Master of None