Tag archives for underwater photography

Back in Maui and I cannot wait for my first Scalloped Hammerhead Shark dive off of Molokai.  We come back here each year for this dive and it is one of my favorite dives on the planet.  The rich biodiversity of this dive site, the great topography and of course, the Scalloped Hammerheads.

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna lewini, Molokai Hawaii, Moku Ho’oniki Rock

I have been diving on this site now for over 10 years and it never gets old.  It is an advanced dive and the seas can be quite rough but oh, what a dive.  I dive the site with Lahaina Divers, which is the only dive operator on Maui that goes to this site.  Lahaina Divers is a great dive company, extremely professional and competent with a number of diver professionals that have been on Maui for a number of years.

 

 

Mokuhooniki Rock

Mokuhooniki rock is situated off the northeastern point of Molokai in the Pailolo Channel. The trip takes about an hour from of Lahaina Harbor.  You do a two-tank dive on the site with a surface interval of about 45 minutes.  I dive this on Nitrox to help with bottom time, especially given the short surface interval.  This will also allow you to descend to depth when needed for that perfect shot. The dive site ranges from 60 to 110 feet although at the end of the dive you could be in water that is over 150 feet.

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna lewini is an amazing creature. The adult can reach up to 14 feet in length but those found around Mokuhooniki rock tend to be around 6 to 10 feet in length.   They typically can be found swimming alone or in small groups of 2 and 3s.  However, there are times when these sharks begin to gather especially towards the summer where you can see dozens swimming together on this site.

Scalloped Hammerhead

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark tends to be a very shy shark.  The worse thing any diver can do is to swim aggressively toward the

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Interaction – Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna lewini, Molokai Hawaii

shark with their GoPro hoping for that amazing shot.  The result, of this behavior, is the shark will turn and swim away and deny the rest of the dive group a chance to interact with the shark.  The best way to observe most sharks is to stay still or move slowly.  The Scalloped Hammerhead is curious and if your dive group is still and chill you may well get an encounter you will never forget.  I have had these marvelous sharks circle me for over 7 minutes on on a dive.  But again, your group typically needs to be very relaxed to be able to get these sharks interact with you and the rest of your dive buddies.

I like to stay around 60 to 65 feet and look into the blue to spot the sharks.  When I see some that are close or look like they may come in close I slowly descend to their depth, typically about 80 to 90 feet.  However, these sharks can be anywhere in the water column so make sure you keep your head on a swivel.  I like to stay on the outside of  the dive group and towards Molokai on this dive.  Typically, I stay about 10  meters away from Dive Master.  This position allows me to better interact with the sharks without worrying as much about other divers behavior.  However, you will encounter sharks close to Mokuhooniki Rock and in the middle of the channel.  So don’t worry, just keep looking and watching your dive guide.

This is amazing dive site.  Take your time and enjoy.

The pool is open

Content Protection by DMCA.com
Scuba Diving Lighthouse

Scuba Diving Lighthouse

Scuba Diving Lighthouse is always a treat.  It is located off the island of Lanai which provides some of the better dive sites in Maui County.  Lighthouse is a great dive site that is not visited often due to the distance from Maui.  I dive this site with Lahaina Divers, my favorite dive shop on Maui, usually on a drift dive charter that runs each Thursday.  Check out Lahaina Divers, dive schedule for more information.

It is about an hour around to this site from Lahaina Harbor and it is usually a nice boat ride, but the channel between Maui and Lanai can be rough so if you are prone to sea sickness, make sure to take Bonine, ginger, use the patch, etc., before you get on the boat.

Scuba Diving Lighthouse

Scuba Diving Lighthouse

Lighthouse Rating: 3.11 out of 5

This scuba diving site gets its name from a structure on shore that resembles a small lighthouse.  The site has a number of large boulders strewn around the bottom and has a wide variety of marine life.  This scuba diving site can get blown out by wind and current and be very cloudy.  However, the boat captain and dive master will check out the conditions prior to getting in the water.  The conditions today were great.  The sea was very flat, the current was quite mild and the visibility was 100+ feet.

Scuba Diving Lighthouse: What You Will See

You can typically see smaller White-tip Reef Sharks, a wide variety of butterfly fishes, Triggerfishes and much more.  Make sure you check in the cracks and crevices where you can find octopus, a wide variety of eels, crabs, shrimps and other small marine life.  The hard corals here are also in good shape as they get a lot of nutrient and not many divers on the site.

Scuba Diving Lighthouse is a treat if you are going to be on the Maui for a few days.  I usually dive on Lanai two or three times during each trip and Lighthouse is often the second dive on Lahiana Divers’ Lanai drift dive.

Scuba Diving Lighthouse

Whitemouth Moray Eel

Check out my website for more underwater photographs on Scuba Diving Lanai and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

The pool is open…

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Ahhh… Hawaii.  Back on the island of Maui and looking forward to some great diving.

Scuba Diving Lanai

Light From Above

The day began with a short ride over to the island of Lanai for our first dive at First Cathedrals.

I am diving with Lahaina Divers, my favorite dive operator on the island.  I have been diving with them for almost 10 years and they are a great choice for scuba diving Lanai.

First Cathedrals is a lava tube that rises to the surface of the ocean.  As the name implies there is a large underwater dome inside the lava tube with a number of openings where light shines down into the “cathedral area”.

This is one of the most popular sites for scuba diving Lanai and even though I have been on the site dozens of times, I still thoroughly enjoy the dive.

The entrance into the lava tube looks small and dark, but the interior is quite large.  The “cathedral” measures approximately 60 feet in length and the height varies from 10 feet to 40 feet.

Scuba Diving Lanai: Inside the Lava Tube

Scuba Diving Lanai First Cathedrals

Scuba Diving Lanai

If you have ever been to a church or cathedral with stained glass windows, you probably noticed the light shining through the glass as you entered the chapel or sanctuary. This dive site gets its name from a similar effect caused by the light shining in through the holes in the lava tube, e.g, the stain glass windows.

Another interesting feature of this dive site is the exit from the lava tube. It is fondly know as the “shotgun”, because when you exit, the surge may “shoot” you out of the cathedral as you surf the pressure wave. If the wave action is strong, it reminds me of what it must feel like to be “flushed”.  But don’t worry; the exit is wide and I go through it with my camera with no problems.

First Cathedrals Into the Light

Into the Light

If you are concerned about exiting this way, just let your dive master know and you can exit via the way you came in and just circle around the pinnacle to meet up with your group.  This site also has several other interesting lava formations off the main lava tube and a variety of marine life.

First Cathedrals has been the site for numerous underwater weddings and proposals and it is a great place for underwater photography.  To get the best photographs, it is important that everyone going into the “cathedral” is careful not to stir up the bottom or you will get a lot of backscatter in your photos.

In order to get the best lighting effects, I check the forecast to see when it is going to be sunny and then compare that to the Lahaina Divers’ schedule.  You can get the best photos when it is sunny and you can see rays of light coming through the holes in the lava tube and shining down inside.

Inside First Cathedrals

Scuba Diving Lanai First Cathedrals

You can frequently see turtles, dolphin, eagle rays, sharks and wide variety of fish, eels and coral on this dive site.  Please check out some of my other photos of First Cathedrals and underwater photography of Hawaii on my website.

The pool is open….

Content Protection by DMCA.com

It just goes to show you sometimes “mother nature” can be very funny and somewhat unpredictable.

I was on my second dive at Molokini Crater in Maui, Hawaii and exploring a number of the hard coral searching for octopus or other interesting marine life to get that one interesting shot.  I was swimming a bit away from a small group of fellow divers and my ever trusty dive model when I spotted a Hairy Crabs in amongst the hard corals in the crater (sorry I have a soft spot for these somewhat under appreciated crustaceans).  These crabs get their name from the “hair” on their claws.  Well they were well hidden within the corals and I just could not seem to get the correct angle to get a good photo, so I decided to continue my search for other interesting “prey”.  As I looked up to scan other marine life close by I had a very close encounter with what I can only describe as a somewhat amorous Scrawled Filefish.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Scrawled Filefish. Aluterus scriptusEvidently as I was trying to get my shot at the crabs, the Scrawled Filefish may have seen its image reflecting off of my dome port.  The file fish approached and looked like it was preparing for a kiss or at least a hungry embrace, only to bounce off of my dome port.  I just had time to get a shot of the shocked look of a wounded and shunned lover.

I was rolling underwater.

The pool is open…..

Content Protection by DMCA.com
« Previous Entries
Next Entries »