Maui, Hawaii 2007 Saturday
August 18th

Diving Mokini Crater


We signed up with Ed Robinson's Dive Adventures out of Kihei for our two tank dives.

link to Ed Robinson's

We were to report to the Kihei Boat ramp at 6:30 AM. We were so excited about diving again, we were there at 6:00 AM., gear in tow. Our dive boat was the 32' x 10' Sea Spirit. It accommodates 12 divers and 4 crew. Our dive guide was Tiffany, and she was indeed an excellent guide. She had a great eye and found lots of fish to see that we might have missed on our own.

Our first dive was to a depth of approximately 85' at Molokini's Reef End. An underwater finger of reef extends the half-circle you see above water by another quarter of the circular crater. At the end of that submerged reef is an area aptly named: Reef's End. The reef ends in a series of stair steps that extend from 10 feet below the surface to approximately 350 feet. The water was about seventy one degrees on this dive and the visibility was at least 150 feet.

During this dive we were fortunate enough to see the unusual Flying Gurnard (also called Butterfly Fish or Flying Robin). It walks along the bottom with the two small leg-like pelvic fins looking for food. The pectoral fins are not actually "wings" and it does not have the capability of flying, but it can use its "wings" to move through the water in quick, short, "flights". When alarmed it spreads its "wings" increasing its appearance in size as a threat to predators. This also helps the fish blend into its bottom surroundings. Or guide told us that this fish hasn't been seen on any of their dives in months, and it was a real thrill to see one first hand. We also saw four eels, a small school of Pyramid Butterfly Fish, and lots of Sea Cucumbers. The first half of this dive was a nice easy drift dive.

On the second part of the dive we saw undulating eel and a very handsome little frog fish. Unfortunately, our cheap little underwater cameras take pretty crummy pictures. That problem should be remedied by our next dive trip. We have ordered an underwater case for our good digital camera. Guess we'll have to take another trip soon to try it out!!

The second dive was to a reef called Pu'uola'i, otherwise known as "Red Hill" (a small crater that towers over the shoreline of Makena) moving from the bay just off the Maui Prince Resort toward "Big Beach" and "Little Beach" of the Makena Coast. We were treated to lava rock formations, caverns, corals and the wonderful—Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (we saw four of them, one at least 4 feet across under a ledge). Once at the edge of extinction, the Green Sea Turtle has made a remarkable comeback and is a real treat to dive with. Pu'u ola'i is a second dive with a profile of 45 feet max. for the duration of the tank (generally 45 minutes to an hour). We were actually down for 52 minutes. We also saw four octopi, two small pair, and two larger pair, a snowflake moray eel, lots of needlefish, and a large frog fish. Water temperature was about 81 degrees on this dive, and we didn't want it to end. Unfortunately, our turtle pictures were on a roll of film that was ruined in the defective camera. The diving was fabulous, but very expensive. While we did consider another day of diving, we decided we could just snorkel for free, so that's what we did on Sunday.

After our diving adventure we had a great lunch at a little streetside grill in Kihei that advertised half pound burgers on homemade buns, fries, and a drink for $6.95. Unfortunately, we don't remember the name of the place, but would love to go back. Lunch was fabulous. We were starved. We did a little shopping in a street bazaar and called it a day.