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The Snerk Report, Vol. 5

dive 101

Friday afternoon gang meets at the Mo'o. Roger, Mac, Brian, Gordon and myself. Gordon is three weeks away from his new life as boat owner, and he is excited. He has his new GPS system and is pretty much in the "Christmas morning" state. He not only can tell us where we are, (the ala wai), after a few special calibrations, he can even tell us where the sun is! Since sunset is not until 6:53, (the thing has paid for itself already) we figure we have time to make Joe's Barge. The ride around Diamond Head is wet and rough, but we make it with plenty of daylight. Circle around discussing marks, but it is rough enough that we are not going to waste too much time. We find it and send down Gordon with the anchor. The rest of us soon are in the water, it is clear and the boat is right over the barge. There are a bunch of concrete z's outside and a large school of opelu kala are circling below me. I sound to the bottom, drawing them in and looking for uku coming out of the sand. The opelu kala come right in as does Roger, who shoots one right away, but soon looses it. I hope uku might come in on the blood, but it is just clear blue. There is a nice MK (this abbreviation is new to me, (got it from Mark Lidell) but it makes sense as no one actually knows its name, it could be moana kea, moana kali, moana ki etc. ) and I think about how good they taste, but I am too slow. Then it turns around and comes back, I take a shot, hit it in the tail and manage to capture it before it comes off my spear. I am showing off for Brian, (She-ra killer of her own dinner, master of the universe.) Of course I am then totally incapable of reloading my gun, it is a tangle, and when I finally get it set, I see the 'ole string around the rubber error. I now have to redo the whole thing again. (Snerk-ra; can't swim and breathe at the same time!) We take off for the pile of concrete on the ledge. The water is clear and I can see Gordon calling on the first point, Roger is spaced a polite distance away, and there is no room for me. I continue on to see Mac, swimming high along the Diamond Head side. I do not see the hordes of Mu, nor any uku. Brian and I head in towards the tire reef. There are some small weke ula around but not real friendly. We do a quick re-con trip and it looks like not much action. I am not familiar enough to do the short cut back to the barge, and we go back the way we came. I am happy to see everyone still at the barge, although Roger is waiting as he needs to clear the Mo'o anchor. He and Mac are empty handed. Gordon has a full bag of fish, with a nice weke ula and a big uku. The only big uku anyone has got in a long time. He is happy. Brian recovers Joe's line that was used to mark the barge and we head up, the Mo'o anchor is moving, making for an interesting but short deco as we cover ground. Brian is trying some mini bottles out (they are for escaping out of your sinking helicopter). He does get some breaths out of it, but not a real long time, I am sure James Bond could have made it out of the shark tank, under the ship and over to the secret enemy sub. We are just surfacing when another barge comes into view. I hope we can get the anchor up! The next barge seems to be in between Joe's barge and the deep barge. It is 90'. Future adventure!

Gordon and Brian manhandle the anchor before it hooks on the barge and we head in. Roger did not like fighting the anchor and making a quick ascent and wants to do a shallow stop. We anchor in 30', Kahala seaweed sand and cruise around. I use up the rest of my tank, Roger does his normal decompression, Brian plays James Bond and Gordon throws fish guts on us from above. It is now getting dark and the downwind trip home is alive with star gazing, and city lights reflected on white caps. We are rinsing gear when the fireworks in celebration of Gordon's uku go off, quite a show. I got a another good adventure and dinner to boot. Joe's barge: good spot - home of my first MK.

dive 102

Saturday, just like old times, Roger, Devlin, Kline, and Price. I am invited guest (some one has to do the work for the old guys). Kline is visiting for a week of diving, he has been on the big island for most of the week and is leaving town on Monday. We head out after lobsters. There is a bit of a swell, our reef runway channel is almost closed out and we have an exciting wake up call when we find the boat in the middle of the set of the day. I guess we are back to the regular channel for awhile. We anchor at ancient islands off reef runway, we haven't been there for a while, and it is not easy to find. The water is murky. Kline and Price are over the side. Roger and Gerry decide to go after potters angels and take a net. I am on my own and am the last one in. The anchor is sitting right next to an island, but the boat is over a giant sand plateau. It is murky murky murky, the water is full of phytoplankton and sand from the first summer swell. I am lonely, but am instantly joined by a thousand white weke. They are in an excited state and add to the general feeling of unease. It is bad enough when the rocks are just dark shapes in front of you, but to have panicking fish darting by as if they have just escaped from Armageddon which lies just around the next dark shape is unnerving. There are tons of heniochus and opelu kala as well. After passing the potters team, the fish calm down and so do I. I guess some residual sheep genes are still in my blood. Just think, I am actually influenced by fish peer pressure, I am going to have to work on character development. There are a lot of big fat eels in every crevice, and I pick up some cute hermit crabs for my tank. I circumnavigate the island that I have found, and then try to find another one. As I cross the great nabeta plain, I know that I am going to loose all sense of direction. I scare the weke who are escorting me, and follow them back to the anchor. I make another short venture but find nothing, except what looks like a bed of sea grass... hmmm. My bottom time is up, and I head back to the boat. I am not sure if there is anyone on the line and it isn't til I am at 15 feet that I can see the surface! I sure like that anchor line, a nice solid thing it is, real friendly too. Diving alone is better than not diving, but it is a lot more fun with two! I surface to find that Kline and Price spent the dive swimming around in the sand, never found the anchor and had to surface twice to get back to the boat. (UDT Ha!) They are ready for another dive and Roger is going to run the boat while we do a drift. I stall around to get the most surface time and volunteer to tow the line. They only did an 11 minute dive to 80 and are in good shape. (I was at 107'.) I figure I am going to be decompressing alone again, but you never know what you will run into. Roger drives around, telling us to stay inside the ledge, what to look for... the total dive master. I am waiting for him to tell us what a lobster looks like. He then drops us in the middle of the great Gobi dessert. We did see one rock (about the size of a loaf of bread), and Price dutifully goes over and turns it over. It promptly breaks apart!! We get our exercise and I am not sure how much ground we covered as there was nothing for reference, we probably just swam in circles. Roger feels appropriately badly and I am tempted to drop him and Gerry in the same area. But selfish wench that I am, I figure my chances are better for lobster if I drop them on the ledge and let them keep the reference point in sight as they cover ground. They manage to come up with one lobster and I greedily take it for myself. We are out of air and head back to shore, Roger invites Kline to join us in the morning for a dive with the heavies. The ocean is calmer, the winds have died and the surf is rising... (you should be here Mike). Another nice morning on the water, still beats washing the car! I can easily keep my lobster alive in a sandwich bag for the trip up to my classroom. He is pretty cute.

dive 103

Sunday morning and the Mo'o is bustling with people, ten including myself. The ocean still has the early morning glisten as Amy takes us toward Diamond Head. The rising sun catches on the surf making rolling mirrors that are enveloped in a white salt mist. We plan on a drift dive going from barge to barge, Roger has graciously offered to drive the boat. We check the current, using top modern technique (throw Joe in and watch which way he goes). It is going toward Portlock, so we drop in at the barge that is on the turtle cave and plan to drift to Joe's barge. We enter the water as two crews, first up is Joe, Amy, Brian and Dave. They have become remarkably well trained and are all over the side as soon as Roger hits neutral. Next is Kline, Price, John Chang M.D., (visiting for a week), Gordon and me. Roger takes the boat back and drops us at the turtle barge. The water is clear and drifting down current is the ultimate luxury. We follow the ledge, Alan and Jim on the inside, John and I on the top and Gordon out in the sand. As we near the concrete z's (which is not far) I see the uku all out with Gordon. Good big uku, lots and lots... good big smart uku. They are not having much to do with us. There are the big mu too and I lay low, but my disguise is somewhat like a bubbling Las Vegas sign. We move on, Kline and Price have gone off towards the tires and surfaced. I watch the Mo'o head over to retrieve them, there is a school of opelu overhead just as the Mo'o comes along. I am surprised at how little reaction there is to the passing boat. My attention turns back to the uku scene, Joe's barge is in sight and Gordon has gone around the outside, leaving John and I. The uku are heading behind the barge, perhaps over to Gordon, but more likely out to the second pile of z's. There is a glimmer that instantly turns into a kagami, small and pretty as it too heads around the corner and out of sight. John and I wander in the direction the fish have gone and I am happily surprised to see the kagami waiting for me. It is wondering about us, and I quickly hand off the float line to John and tell him to wait behind me. The kagami is on approach, then suddenly bolts out to sea. I turn to see what John was up to and found that Gordon had come to my rescue and was collecting the float from John. Three people was more than the gentle beauty wanted to deal with. Gordon and John head on down current and I trail behind. We have left most of the fish and as we approach the pipes there seems to be mostly butterflies. My meter beeps it's 'take me home' cry and we leave the bottom. John collects a tunicate for decompression games. The water is clear which always makes the hanging out more fun. I tell Gordon about my kagami, he thought I was after the uku, which were very wary. We surface and are soon picked up by our limo for the quick ride home. The other guys drifted to the inside, cruising the tire reef, they also saw fish, but none were shot at. I am happy to have seen some larger uku. If the ocean stays calm, I will be back there in the little boat. The fish get more snuggly near bed time.

dive 104

Wednesday afternoon, the day is cool, cloudy and foreboding. John Chang and Gordon want to dive. I go down to the Mo'o early to retrieve the keys to the Mo'o iki before Roger takes off on a fishing field trip. I help launch the excursion with students having high hopes of adventure. John and Gordon show up and we take off around 5:30. Gordon is captain and is pushing for kahala. "Do you want to be whimpy and stay where it is comfortable, or do you want big juicy succulent uku?" One of those questions that seem so simple, you don't stop to think. We pass the fishing Mo'o, they have one fish so far. Close to the buoy, the weather is not as calm as it was. Whipping wind and cold splashes. I go for the Brian technique of staying out of it by standing on the bench and being about a foot taller. I am a lot drier than the other two, but whimpy comfortable is sounding better and better. John points out it is not Minnesota cold, and Gordon is talking about succulent uku. I am thinking Minnesota is probably pretty cozy, the wood stove is going, there are blankets laying around on the chairs and heat comes out of the wall, floor or ceiling of every room you go into. We make it to Kahala just when the water and wind have zapped all remaining cheeriness. Fortunately Gordon cheers us all up with the old "I thought you knew the line ups" routine. It is Abbot and Costello in Siberia. Once again, Gordon to the rescue with his brand new GPS. He is a little fussy and doesn't want it to get wet, (Ha!) which means we have to move at a speed less than the wind / current. We move along backwards while Gordon tells us useful facts like "we need to go a tenth of a mile 305." He is frustrated and wants his new boat (exercises like this will help him appreciate it more). The sun (which has been hiding all day) is trying to sneak away so we are under some pressure. We are forced to resorting to the head in the water trick (just to get really cold). All and all there is very little good mood floating around as we opt for the deep barge and throw the anchor. The current is moving us Diamond Head, but the water is clear and feels warm when we get in. Gordon travels down the anchor line, but John is down current and going nowhere, I can see it isn't that deep and we drop down and rockclimb on the bottom. The small pieces of coral that manage to exist on the desert are easy to rip up and I change from a rock climber to a snake, keeping my belly on the bottom and avoiding all rocks. We make our way and as we get to the anchor, I can see a large pile of z's on the bottom. They are brand spanking new, just have the slimy low tide algae growing, no little fish to speak of. They put some down on the week of March 30, this must be them. I can see two large mu. Also some fish that are big, succulent and unfortunately, they are uku. They are not coming close. I hide John (who by the way, due to current, is nice and close to the bottom) behind a couple of zs and we call. The uku tease us mercilessly. Gordon reappears, he has been at the deep barge, which is 100' up current of the anchor, there was nothing there, and he joins us in salivating at the unattainable. Gordon heads up and I send John up, with hopes that with them away, the uku will come right over and be my friend now. Ha, they will have nothing to do with me and I am forced to head up as well. We are a cold empty handed threesome that gets back in the boat. John is still maintaining that it is better than Minnesota, but it is hard to understand him through the chattering teeth. The trip home is down wind and we are guided by an ice moon. Roger is putting away the Mo'o, the marine biology students caught a papio, some reef fish and had a dry whimpy comfortable time in Waikiki. We heroes, are a sad cold bunch by comparison. Fortunately Mo'o engine room sauna warms us up, and brainwashes our memories. We are all eager to go diving again on Friday. Half way home, I even realize that my car has a heater and I am soon singing along to the radio and feeling like Lord Perry himself.

dive 105

May Day in Hawaii, the ocean is rough and windy. I am down at the Mo'o looking for dive buddies and roust up Gordon, John and Roger. We are at the critical mass point, stuck between Mo'o and Mo'o iki. The big boat will be hard to anchor, but it will be dry! We hem and haw and go for simplicity. Gordon making some feeble attempts at luring us out of Waikiki. We aim for the kagami spot and anchor at the exact spot. Gordon is down with the anchor while the rest get ready. John and I are next, the current is easy and I check that John is going to make the line and take off for the bottom. The water is murky and things look good. There are opelu kala, and white weke everywhere, I figure Gordon is out on the pyramids and figure to head to the ships. I leave Roger and John at the anchor and go my own way. I soon see another diver which turns out to be Gordon. He asks where the pyramids are, hmmm, guess he hasn't checked them out yet... I graciously volunteer to guide him there myself. Close to the ledge are the uku, good size. I drop behind a pillar, with my gun resting like a cannon I take aim. The uku are approaching my fort and I am ready. I know Gordon is right behind me, and I am waiting to hear his shot. The uku are checking us out and coming closer. Two passes, three, I am feeling like I will get a shot. I check to see how Gordon is doing and see Roger and John approaching. Not good. Roger sees us in point and they also lay at the top of the ledge. The uku are a little more spooky and I feel it is time to just leave the party for the uku masters. I leap the wall of my fort and head out to the pyramids. I soon hear a shot. There is a large moana kea right in front of me, but I don't see it until it is about to take off. Soon the pyramids come into view and I realized that Gordon has opted to leave the uku as well. It was not him that took a shot, he is still empty handed. We get there and find nothing but large file fish! Gordon is outside and I figure he will do better without me and I head up the ledge towards the ships. At uku point, I see the school out in the sand. I am totally exposed and they steer clear. I think that if I go out into the sand after them, they will naturally head to the pyramids and Gordon's waiting gun. It will be impossible to convince him that it is really my fish he shot, but he might share anyway. My plan works wonders and the uku lead me to the pyramids. They beat me there and I hope Gordon takes advantage. I am daydreaming along when I realize that there is an MK and the circling uku right in front of me (must remember: when hunting, look for fish!) They catch me off guard and steer clear. Gordon appears and we team work the school. Dr. uku takes a shot and misses, I feel better. The uku swim around a pyramid and perform a magic trick allowing them to transmogriphy into a kahala gang. YUK! They chase away fish quick as a novice diver!! Time to leave again. I leave Gordon to catch those fish and I head back toward the anchor. Roger and John are fishing for opelu kala and seem to be enjoying the time. I am looking hungrily at small weke ula and the one tiny but friendly mu. Desperate times... alas, even the baby fish are smarter than yours truly and I use up my bottom time without taking a shot. The surface finds us all cold, Roger had shot and lost one uku, before going after the opelu kala. Gordon missed twice, John missed an opelu kala attempt. I am just happy to have a towel over my head as we head for home.

dive 106

Long dry week, not even a swim, very happy when Friday afternoon rolls around. Mike is in town along with a whole crew of Seattleites. We meet at the Mo'o. Roger shows up even though he is on deaths doorstep... one last dive before completely succumbing to a disfiguring death of zoster. He does look pretty bad and we give him the appropriate sympathy. On board are Carl and John of 100' hole current fame, Lara, Mike, and boat babe Deb. John Chang shows up for his last dive before returning to Minnesota. We take off and decide on Fantasy Reef as a good break in spot. (50', Carl and John are bound to be able to find the bottom.) The Mo'o plows around Diamond Head while Mike regales us with just about anything. He is an enthusiastic tour guide pointing out everything in sight from nuclear submarines to Gilligan's Island film sights. Roger takes us right to the spot and we send Mike down with the anchor. Carl and John are soon over. Lara and I are next, leaving Roger and John Chang to be the clean up crew. Lara hasn't had many ocean dives and Mike wants me to pay close attention. She is a little seal pup and an eager and natural water creature. We head down the anchor line and watch Mike on the bottom below us, he is passing his time looking for artifacts. It looks like he is a little kid building a fort were he can shoot fish from. The water is clear and we can see John and Carl cruise off along the ledge. Mike reports no fish and we head out and watch the mu in their usual cryongetit? suspension. Lara and I roust up a sleepy turtle and check out some little candy cane shrimp. Not much to shoot. We see Roger and John approach, Roger has seen two papio (could be dolphin) but nothing else. There are bubbles all around us so we head off toward Portlock to check out my other favorite spots. Cruise along, enjoy the scenery, the humus and butterflies fill our skies and our grass seems to be made of sea urchin spines. As we cross the big channel, I see two very distant papio and try to get them interested, no luck. Lara uses no air and so we can leisurely cruise playing with sea life (bothering eels, scaring sharks, and trying to catch a puffer fish) no uku anywhere. Well, no fish for me, we head back to the gang, cross under the boat and circle back to the anchor line. Roger and John show up, Roger has a small weke ula, John is empty handed. On board Mike has a nice papio and takes the hero award. I brought ice and beer earning the true hero award, but then Mike yanks up that Mo'o anchor regaining all titles. John, Roger and Mike got into some big (4') barracuda and both Roger and John took shots but missed. Carl and John were much more excited about diving in Hawaii, and Deb was not in the least sick so we did not feel too bad about leaving her to guard the boat while the sun set over Diamond Head. We head home listening to the gentle roar of Mike regaling us with tales from the past and future while the quiet murmur of the engines lets us know we are still under way. Put away gear, Rog is feeling poorly and takes off leaving his fish (tsk tsk... guess I'll just have to keep it) while the rest of us stay for fireworks. Boy is it good to be back in the water again.

dive 107

Tuesday afternoon, meet at Mo'o. Gordon, Roger, Mike, John and Carl and myself. Carl and John are up for finding the 100' hole as it has been elusive. We head out discussing the plight of Micronesia, and the arrival of Gordon's boat. Roger puts us on the spot and Mike and Gordon are off to set the anchor. John and Carl are the next guys in, they easily make the anchor line but there seems to be a bit of an ewa current. I'm next, followed by Roger. The water is full of plankton and surge from the current swell. I drift down and hit bottom outside the hole. There is not a fish in sight... not a good thing. Where has everybody gone? As I look at the sand I can see that every indentation on the sand is filled with goatfish trying to find some backwater. I guess there is some current. I will head up current of the hole to find fish, I can see the opelu kala as I approach, they are thick. I see the Seattle bubbles up ahead. Carl is aiming at fish that are between us, fortunately I am out of range as he shoots an opelu kala. He leaves it for Mike as he is low on air. Mike that rascal already has a white ulua in his bag. He makes a point of making sure I don't mistake it for a papio. Bragging always gets you in trouble, he is mercilessly spined by the opelu kala. I leave the scene heading up wind in search of more fish. They are there, a tornado of opelu kala out over the ledge. I search for papio, but see not a one. Continuing on toward my uku spot sure is taking a long time, the world is stretched beneath me making each rock a lot further than it looks. I get past the opelu kala and see nary a fish. I think I will swim up and drift back into the tornado. My plan works perfectly, except my drift is more of a zoom. The fish generously let me in as I am driving them back toward the hole. I realize that I am probably being used for protection and they are planning to offer me up to John as a super sign stimuli. I drop down to the bottom. Roger is the only guy at the hole, he has shot an opelu kala and also shoots a large parrot fish. There is plenty of blood and excitement. I figure I should get something and then I remember that weirdo nenue, he is laying low and out of sight. Roger wants to head up and we reset the anchor, I am not sure if Gordon is up or down, so I offer to wait around and hope. The anchor soon breaks free, and I set it on a nub, I check my air and realize that I am in decompression time. Hey, wasn't there supposed to be some sort of beep. Funny how quick I become dependent, it must have gone off when the anchor broke. I hope that Gordon is up, and that the boat holds while I decompress. Roger is the only guy on the line, and the wind storm and surf keeps our chatter to a minimum.

Roger: "I felt the anchor go."
Me: "Yeah, I set it on a nub of nothing."
Roger: "Good."
Me: " How are your festering wounds doing? Think you will ever get your wetsuit off without ripping all the healing scabs?"
Roger: "Yeah; I am cold too. Let's go up."

On the surface, the sun has just set behind the Waianae's and there is a fire in the sky as I hand up my gear. Gordon razzes my empty bag, but must use Mike's fish to brag with. Mike's hand is turning into a kala spine balloon. Gordon and Carl do Mo'o anchor honors (he reads these reports and must know that the anchor puller always gets credit!). Mike's injury doesn't seem to have affected his speech and I learn that there were two white ulua, he does have the "white ulua" of the year award, the perfect shot, but his hand is so injured, can I clean his fish? Carl gives me his first trophy (good shot as well) and I get another meal. (greedy greedy greedy!!)

dive 108

Thursday, check with Roger, he says there are no tanks and he is going to work on the Prince William as Fred is chartering the boat tomorrow. Well working on a boat is always fun. I am late as I leave the cave, and neglect to load my dive gear... hmmm, I could go back and get it, nah, what are the chances? We finish about 5:30, Roger forgets to stop at West Marine (must be a good song on his Radio). I know he is going to the Ala Wai to check on Mike, so I get the stuff he needs. We get to the Ala Wai at the same time (long song too). Mike, John and Carl are there looking at two half tanks and one full one and flipping coins. Carl just finished his talk at UH so timing is perfect. Roger is not a diver, but provides tanks and loans me his pack, and gun. Mac's absence provides me with a regulator and mask. The spare baby fins in the forward cabin give me something to cover my feet with. 6:15 or so and we head out. The water has glassed off and the rolling surf quiets us as the Mo'o iki climbs up and over the successive mountains. Mike is captain and takes us right to the Hole. He jumps in to set the anchor. The three of us follow and head down the line as a group. The surf has filled the ocean with the beach and it is a surreal feeling as I swim down using the line at my left as my only reference. There is a current, but it is overpowered whenever a set comes through, taking away that sense of direction. The sun is hiding behind a cloud filled sky and offers no assistance. I would get lost finding the bottom if it weren't for the line and the jokers on both sides of me. Mike is on the bottom and the anchor would normally be right next to the hole, but today you can just make out a looming dark shape ahead. The fish are as tight as they could be without getting coral cuts in the surge. They can't really swim away without getting lost and the four of us don't seem to affect them. Palani, opelu kala, weke, butterflies, how many fish can fit in this Volkswagen? I am afraid to hang around too much as Carl and John are sharing a gun and I could be out of sight and still in range! I manage to load Roger's gun (his slings are old) I feel like a kid wearing my dad's fire. I can shoot giants now!! I have the brilliant idea that the out side rocks will be the hot spot, that sand wallow probably is a perfect current shelter and there are no doubt uku filling every inch of it. I venture out there only to find a few little weke that could not find the hole and are making due with a smaller rock. OK, back to the hole, Mike asks if I have seen anything. HA! I will just as soon hear a fish as see it!! They are empty handed and seem to be swimming around with the opelu kala. I did so well finding the sand wallow, I leave the safety and comfort of home base and move up current with the Diamond Head uku spot in mind. Follow the ledge... good, good... make it to the cable... no sweat, piece of cake, master navigator, true field mouse... OK, now I am at my look out spot, well actually I am outside my look out spot, no doubt scaring off anything I am supposed to look out at. The problem with a "look out" spot is, well, hmmm, OK, can't see. Time to head back. Down current, surge... cross cable... good... hmmm, now where am I? I know this bottom, I am outside the hole along the ledge, just head inside up and cross current... hmmm. I know this rock, I am off of the Ewa side ledge... still calm enough to call for uku (this is one cool cookie). Nothing. Head straight up current... no hole. OK, stay calm, all good shrews retrace til they are on the familiar path. I will go back and try again. Hmmm, where is the ledge? Here it is. Now what part am I on? Hey, look a dark shape. I know these rocks, I am way way inside and ewa. I can follow the ledge out, turn in at the spot nearest the hairy red lobster rock, and from there find the hole. Great plan, it gives a false sense of hope. Where the f--- am I? I don't like this, why oh why did I ever leave home? I love the hole, I really love Mike, Carl and John. We could all be swimming around the hole in a fun game of ring around the rosies. I really hate the idea of decompressing with nothing but a depth gauge, not knowing if I am swimming closer or further from the boat and or the shore. This was sooo stupid, how could I be soooo stupid? I find a dive weight , it is bright blue on the side that is not covered with algae. I turn it over to mark the spot I give up at. (I know I am close to the hole.) I leave the bottom with a thousand pounds, I have no watch, but I will just head up slowly in order to minimize the swim to the boat. I know I am still upcurrent of the boat. I linger in sight of the bottom to see if it is possible to stay in one place, no way, the surge is too irregular. I linger in sight of the bottom because I am basically a wall-seeking benthic rodent who doesn't like to be in the middle of the room. I do not like this, these are junk little fins. Well at least the gear isn't mine. Still visually clinging to the bottom, got to leave it soon. Oh happy day, those are fish! My opelu kala friends and look! A big dark spooky mass of rock. I am instantly down close, (I want to find the anchor line), I attempt to hug the opelu kala, but they must not recognize me in the murk. Float over to the anchor singing and free it as I dance my way up. What a great dive, what a beautiful anchor line, all soft and fuzzy. This is the most cuddly anchor line I have ever seen. My hands never leave it for a second as it might miss my gentle stroking. I am sooo happy. Play in the surge as I kick like a newborn whale with my mini fins. Surface to a bunch of equally happy divers. We marvel at the breath giving sunset and skim over the sea as we head in trying to capture it all.

dive 109

Friday afternoon, Roger and I are awaiting Gordon and solving the world's problems. Gordon arrives and the world is saved. We stop for gas and head out sometime after six. The ocean is cold, the sky overcast. Roger is recovering, but is not sure about diving, I volunteer to watch over him (after yesterday, I am shadowing someone.) Glacier Bay Dave is circling the hole, so we head to the kagami spot. Gordon is first, followed by Roger and I. Someone has changed the background button, the water is clear, slight Diamond Head current, fish are spawning and feeding almost to the surface. A feeling of ease and comfort floats around my body. Near the anchor, there are a lot of little uku. I am a dog with curious kittens that bound over to play, the fish are too friendly and cute. There is also a sleeping school of weke ula on the bottom, but they too are small. I hear a gun and both Roger and I turn to see Gordon fighting a fish. We go over for leftovers, but the uku have vanished and the only thing is Gordon and his uku in the middle of a ball of excited butterflies. Roger and I head off. We head out to the ledge and Roger turns toward the spirals. We are on a trek, the only fish in sight are two inch sand perch. We get to the spirals, Rog is low on air, and turn to head back. Never got the chance to look around. I am following Dr. Oldandsick and having a heck of a time keeping up as he powers along. I check out a little potter cave and find six or seven lobsters... the sassy buggers might as well have had a calendar hanging outside their home. Oh-oh, better catch up with my never look back partner! We get back to the anchor in no time (down current) and he slows down and begins to stalk fish. Gordon is outside, he has a large MK to add to his trophy list. He takes a long shot and misses. As he heads in, letting his spear drag behind him, the big uku follow the spear laughing to themselves (until Roger takes one out). I have headed past the anchor looking for larger fish, as all I see are little uku, baby mu and sleeping weke ula. We all head up. Gordon cleans fish decompressing, while Roger gives me a long complicated tale about how Gordon's spear lured the fish to him. Gordon gives me just the facts about where the fish were shot and by then it is time to head up to catch the sun set. What timing, the orange ball is slipping behind the Waianae range. We all get in on the sunny side of the boat in hopes of warmth. I pull anchor and we zip home. Three fish bagged, three divers on board... greedy girl graciously accepts generous gift from Gordon. (Sashimi!!) Roger thinks it is his first big uku of the year... good times around the bend.

dive 110

Sunday morning, off to be boat captain, wonder if I should bring a book to read for a four hour decompression. Remember Roger just bought a new GPS for me to play with... plenty to do. Get there early enough to install a new bilge pump switch. (Cut myself but quickly manage to seal the wound with Marine Sealant 101 White.) Rich arrives a little late, having taken both H3 and Likelike. He picked up Joe and they have their usual truck load of tanks. Richard only having forgotten one important piece; fortunately, he had forgotten it on the boat the week before. Actually he could have been planning ahead. Rich wants to head for Koko head, but by the time we pass Diamond Head (I stop and mark every buoy on the GPS), we figure somewhere off of Fantasy will be fine. We will just try to find a nice looking drop in the 250-300' range. The water is clear but the ocean is rough and finding them after 25 minutes is going to be tough (the main reason we got the new GPS). There are all kinds of plans made. They will deploy large sausage number one; I will circle same; they will deploy sausage number two; I will send down another tank for Joe to decompress with; they will decompress for another couple of hours. Joe gears up while Rich marks the spot. They are over the side and I hit the man overboard button just to work on my rescue skills. The yellow turtle and the black box sink into the wild blue yonder. I play with my line ups and find they work well. Find I have a clock in the GPS so I can be real exact about dive times. It takes me a long time to idle upwind and I figure that the current is going Diamond Head and down wind... good deal, an easier pick up. Just looking around, I know I will be lucky to see the floats and regret that they aren't pulling a line. My cuts on my hand really sting and I realize that the boat is grounded as I am getting voltage off of every piece of metal that I touch (like the wheel!). 20 minutes... I figure a half mile away is a good guess (won't it be cool if I am right on their heads?)... 30 minutes... OK, the floats are up, keep looking. Like the little mouse that I am, I keep returning to where I last saw them. It is hard for me to leave ground zero and I keep going back and forth. I briefly think about heading to what I am sure is up current, give it one quick pass and go back to my same search pattern. OK, 1 hour, time to take out Joe's cellular and call for help, fuck the wives, Roger and Gordon are bringing out the Mo'o. Joe's phone turns out to be a pager! OK, out comes the VHF, so it hasn't been used since Roger put the boat in the water, we got it to work then. "Hello hello, is anybody out there?" "Loud and clear ma'am, this is the US Coast Guard in Honolulu." We run through the endless list of unrelated questions and I convince them in a very short time that I am an absolute idiot.

USCG: "It has been 1 hour 10 minutes since start of dive; diver should be out of air. Correct? Over."
Dumb broad: "Oh I think just their floats will be on the surface, they probably have another 2-3 hours of air"... "oh... OVER"

I did not bother to mount the radio (couldn't find the knobs) so I have to hold the radio, the mike, the electric wheel, look for sausages, and answer questions like "what is the weather in the area?" "Well, it is sunny and breezy here, how is it over there at sand island?" (I didn't actually act sassy at all, just thought it.)

Soon I did manage to get the marine police out of Keehi, the fire rescue guys, and the Coast Guard wouldn't actually get here til afternoon, but were on their way from the other side of the island. A large trawler, the Lady Alice, full of haole fishermen from California came into view and I was able to get them to actively help me search. The Coast Guard gave me proper search instructions to keep me busy, while my mind tried to come up with best and worse case scenarios.

The marine police said they had floats in sight and I was one happy girl. The Lady Alice had the marine police in sight and soon I could see the boat too. The radio reported that two divers were safe but still owed decompression time and they would stand by till I got there. That's my Richard, never get on their boat if you can help it!!! I love that guy. In fact I love all the guys on the Lady Alice, the pilot of the Sea Plane, the helicopter guys that were getting ready, and I especially love the gang on the Marine Police Boat. I blew kisses to everyone as I threw a deco tank to Joe. (They were happy too, but I don't think he heard me yell "I love you.") I joined them 2.5 miles and 2 hours 10 minutes down the pike. They had two hammer heads to keep them company, that is almost the same as having two hulls circling you. They finished their decompression. Their drift direction changed to straight out to sea as we got to the DH Buoy. Richard got in the boat ranting about new species of fish, beautiful ledges, all the money he could make there. Rich was at 380'. The guys spent time discussing the main problem of not taking enough stuff (it always comes back to this), next time they drag a float (might need John Earl for that), they need two buckets (for bleeding the air out of the fish they are going to catch) and Rich needs hand nets. Joe of course wants hand nets too, but like all the net guys out there, we just want bucket carriers. There is lots of explaining why Joe cannot have nets. He just has to carry a bucket. I try not to laugh as I hear words like finesse and 'not spook'. Joe also needs to carry his deco tank with him, as 'getting passed down to you' may not be the most reliable method. I am just pleased to hear the pitter patter of little feet on deck again and I am ready to do a dive. I hate it when I loose stuff, but am extremely happy to get it back again.

MY DIVE: Richard ANCHORS at the pipe off of Kewalo in hopes of midday fish. The water is clear and I am on one of the islands and cross some sand toward the pipe. I am still elated (Joe bought me a diet coke at the fuel dock) and I am singing along looking for papio. The little uku that are there are plenty big for me and come right over. I happily miss and they equally happily hang out and watch me reload my gun. They frolic over the pipe and are never seen again. I try to act like a ray, think I am doing a great imitation when the real thing comes along, and I realize he is feeding with out stirring up any sand at all. He is a cute guy but suddenly sees me (5 feet away) and darts off. I bother a free swimming conger eel, pick up a shell, try to get cleaner wrasse to clean me. Time to head back to the boat. I swim by Brian's uku spot and stop and call, try to kill a fish for him in absentia, but alas only small white weke. We pull up and head home, the fire men make a parade for us (funeral or retirement party) on our return, and Rich debates running through the sprinklers with the power cat, but we figure we have had enough excitement for one day. No need to be greedy.

dive 111

Windy and cold, I really need to go diving... waiting around for Gordon and or Roger. Decide to go at six regardless. They both show up grumpy as if their silly problems even compare. Roger is going off about the calls Debbie got from the marine police regarding some lost divers, and who was the lady on the boat? Roger denies any knowledge and cleverly passes the ball to Rich. Roger is pleased with what I have been able to do with his new GPS, what nice little icons the map has! Although it did not put us in the right slip. We bring it along to mark more spots. We head for the kagami spot. The water is clear and as I slowly sink loading my gun, I can see Gordon gliding along the bottom below me. He is heading out toward the ledge, I guess there is nothing inside. I think I will head in anyway to check the anchor. I dive for the bottom and spin around in search of game. Some small uku head right over. Knowing how delicious they are I have no mercy and shoot. Well maybe it is some sort of subconscious mercy, they don't seem to mind and investigate my spear shaft thoroughly. The spring rubber at the end of my line breaks on both sides making reloading a bit of a complication. String when left to its own devices... I do manage to pull it off, but I have to keep the string in place and I wonder how my next shot will be. Roger shows up and wants to explore a little, so we head down the trench toward the ledge. The ledge point is usually a good uku calling spot. Sure enough they come around. Roger has headed off down the ledge, the uku don't come close enough and I drift over to the pyramids where Roger and I search for game. Nothing shows up and I head back along the junk trail toward the anchor. Roger is Diamond Head of me and pretty far back. I stop at the first pillar just because it is such a good fort. I am watching all the opelu kala floating in the light. All the fish start swimming toward me and down... something is behind them. I can see silver flashing in the distance 3-5 big fish really far away tracing a circle around us. I signal to Roger, but we never see the distant ghosts again. The opelu kala return to normal. I figure that they were kahala or barracuda just as a guess. They were too far to see. We head back to the anchor where I come across the same smart little uku. I miss again and try the spear dragging technique towards Roger. Roger has turned away from me and is moving away. I figure I will drag the spear by him as a joke and turn to find a flock of fish (weke and uku) trailing along behind me!! Wow, it really works! Roger heads up the anchor and I follow loading my gun which has somehow managed to entwine the string in endless knots around the slings. Gordon joins us briefly and goes off in search of ono. Both Roger and Gordon roam around while decompressing, Gordon tells me of 4 kagami he saw and I realize why the fish I saw were so silvery. He didn't get a shot off but is excited never the less. We all get into the boat in significantly better states of mind even though not a fish was shot. I pull anchor while Gordon tells of omilu he saw at the ship, and the beautiful kagami passing by one after another. Roger and I saw nothing but small uku and Roger saw a single kahala while out at the pyramids. We all agree that there were fish there, and it was worth a shot. (I took two.)

We will reconvene at our earliest convenience. Tomorrow the Witchcraft officially is sold, she has been a good friend, served faithfully, brought us home many a day when we didn't deserve it, everything from water ski parties, circumnavigating Molokai, blasting over to Lanai, to limping out to Kahala carrying six divers even though she barely had the strength to get home. She has had more species of fish on board than any boat I know. Mahi mahi, Ahi, Ono, Sharks and Yellow tangs. She has been an abalone boat, a deep sea fishing boat, a family boat, a bottom fisher, a water ski boat, a commercial dive boat, tropical fish boat, and has raised and trained more divers than I can count. I can't think of a motorized vehicle that I have spent more time with, and most have been good times. I feel we should have a memorial dive in her honor, or at least a wake!

dive 112

Friday at the Mo'o, Roger, Mac, Nils, Tomas and myself head out on the Mo'o. There is a funeral procession to scatter ashes of Bob, the guy who headed up the Hawaii Yacht Club, and ran the Friday races every Friday for the last 20 years. This is the first Friday with out a race. All the boats are under power, but there is no staggered start as they wait for the bell. We hook up the VHF so we can listen to eulogy. Well, the whole procession takes longer than anticipated, and we decide out of ultimate respect and honor to perform the missing man maneuver as we gallantly pull out and head for the Kagami spot. I go down with the anchor and await Nils. I have fixed my gun, and put new thick slings on and I am not sure if I can load it. It takes my all, I am glad nobody is here to see these antics. Now I feel like my gun can shoot through steel and I am looking for a BIG thick fish. Unfortunately, the only thing around me seem to be taape. They are chowing down on the eggs of some poor dascyllus. He is actually biting the taape, but he is so out numbered that he will have to work long and hard to bite them all. Tomas comes down the line, as does Mac. They both head out toward the pyramids. I circle the inside junk pile and am momentarily fooled by the oceanic file fish hanging with the opelu kala. There are some small weke ula, but no uku anywhere. Roger and Nils finally come down the line. I was worried that Nils might have had equipment failure (I worked on his regulator), but it was Roger who held them up. He had broken the switch on his computer. Nils and I circle around the junk again while Roger heads out. NIls is interested in the same file fish, but since I am not paying any attention, he leaves them be. We are swimming along surrounded by taape. I pretend they are pigeons in the piazza again and roust them into a panic. We leave the fish to recover and follow the path to the pyramids. Tomas is heading up empty handed as we join the rest of the gang. Two big kahala swim by over head but still no sign of uku. My meter tells me my time is up, but Nils still has plenty of air, so I buddy him up with Roger as we all swim back toward the anchor. Tomas is still hanging on the line, but isn't too social and I get the same huh? expression as I get topside. Mac is also empty handed, and it turns out he is hard of hearing underwater as well. Decompression is not chit-chatty at all. They head up just as the other two come up the line. Roger and Nils don't have fish either, at least it is not just me. We discuss what it is like to load my gun. We surface in time for the sunset and Tomas hauls up the anchor for our journey home. We wash up and head down to rock pile beach as I need to collect some "living ecosystems" for school tomorrow. (Working on Saturdays - yuk.) We are splashing around in knee deep water when Nils discovers bioluminescent plankton. The fireworks that are going on right over our heads are impossible to ignore. We stop and watch, while a sneaky sea cucumber attacks Nils. His foot is covered with sticky glue! The show ends at about the same time as we have enough specimens, we are homeward bound at last.

dive 113

Sunday mornings are always good for adventures. Despite the sunshine I am particularly grumpy partially because my neck started spazzing at around 3 am and hurts, but mostly because I am old and out of shape and should not climb up the face of waterfalls just to pretend otherwise. Never the less, Nils and I meet up with Brian down at the Mo'o iki. They let me choose the site and we head for the hole. There is a Diamond Head current and I suggest we use the anchor line. Brian opts for putting on his gear on the bottom as it is a little heavy (he and his tanks can't be on the same side of the boat). He heads over pretty much like a goat tied to the bumper of a truck. Nils and I are a little slower as his tank doesn't want to stay in his pack and he is too pig headed to take the time to adjust it. (At this point he has had it with grumpy me telling him what to do and how to do it). We get in and I feel better, water has a soothing nature to it. The current isn't too bad and there are fish all around the hole. I am a lot better at loading my gun today and we approach carefully. There is nothing but a nice large kumu right in front of Nils, he seems oblivious. I point it out and figure I should go retrieve Brian who probably isn't too familiar with the terrain that is shallower than 100'. Nils and I have a long conversation about where I am going. He thinks there are three uku not three divers and when I persist, he thinks I mean uhu not uku. He finally nods his head in perfect understanding and I head off. It is delightful when you have an excuse to bolt down current. The water is clear and I pass under the boat and continue about an anchor lines distance... no sign of Brian. We were so much later entering, he would have gotten this far by now no problem. I figure there is nothing to be done about young bucks and know he will head upcurrent and no matter what, should hit the cable. The water is clear so I head back to the hole. Nils has shot and lost the goat fish (I missed all the excitement). I can see bubbles of Mr. Open Circuit up current and I am relieved. He isn't sure if he has seen any good fish or not. We head out to the ewa ledge and call for uku. Four little guys come bounding over, see me, turn tail and bound away, no looking back. Well once again it is time for me to get that spotted nenue thing that is in the hole. I look all around and can't find him anywhere. He knows when I am looking for him! Nils' gun goes off and I come out to see him fighting an opelu kala. It is on his spear, but he is scared of a Michael type slice. I help him bag the fish and leave him to reload. I turn to see an even larger opelu kala with a hole through his head. It was a perfect shot and I wonder how Nils lost it. Perhaps he already has a Michael type slice. This fish is not doing well, just swimming in place and I go get Nils who has the bag and we open the bag and encourage the fish to swim in. The fish swims backwards into me, then darts into the bag. Two dinners bagged, my meter has gone off, we are on our way up. Nils swaggers over to the anchor with the string from his gun still floating around waiting to tie him in a knot. Decompressing, Nils tells me it was one exciting shot that got both fish. Hero of the day! Well the hero manages to swagger his tank out of his back pack and postures to me to fix it. I have very little sympathy and slide the tank up until it hits the back of his head and clamp it down. Nils doesn't even get it, and thinks I am my usual uncoordinated self. But I look at Brian and he has a look of total horror at my obvious child abuse and I know he won't be asking me to fix his gear!! I feel badly and Nils is still oblivious. We are entertained while decompressing with the arrival of a dive charter boat which assumes we are tied up to the buoy. They put a guy in the water who quickly sees that he isn't on the hole. It is so nice of them to provide entertainment for us. Brian pulls anchor while tourists are being sent down into the current. We are told to use the buoy. (So that is why there is no coral around the hole!!) We mumble sassy remarks to ourselves while giving them the O.K.! It is a sunny ride home, not bad going out before sunset. We discuss future diving as well as more mundane tasks (Brian will be fixing his water wings, which are not doing a very good job at floating his tanks). Nils cleans our dinner, which turns out to be so delicious, that he thinks he might have to specialize specifically on opelu kala!

dive 114

Roger phones on Memorial Day; he is planning to catch tropical fish. Meet at the Prince William at 10. I get there to find Gerry has brought baby Devlin along. Greg is back from college and is soon bound for a summer in Germany. Roger arrives with the news that no one wants fish today. We cut back and load two tanks apiece, I of course am sans gun; as is Roger. We head out with no real purpose except to have fun. Roger works up to being mad and decides that it is my fault... he just gives gives gives and I just use use use. (It is comforting to know some things never change.) He finally gets me to agree to help sand the hulls before an impending haul out. He wants to paint hulls, change leg oil, and new zincs before he takes off on a trip to NY. We fiddle endlessly with the GPS unit, both agree it is not as user friendly as we would like. The ocean is rough and we anchor near the Hole-in-the-wall. We take our nets because to go empty handed seems too much. You never know. The water is cold and clear, we are anchored inside on the flat nothing and have to follow the ledge out. The first sign of getting close is distant opelu kala, like clouds marking an island, the voyagers have found their destination. I have been picking up goodies and up grading and trading starfish for shells and am now carrying a living penn shell around. Are they bivalves or not? I have never really thought about them before as they usually hang out in places I don't. I am still making cushion star shrimp observations and have not figured out their color system. Today I answered my questions that are now so obvious that I feel stupid. The shrimp on a dark starfish I know will be dark red, today the shrimp was clear and I realized that they hatch out clear and later develop the pigment to match. How come I never see solutions until they hit me in the face, probably because I am breathing regular air. I play with a large school of redtails, they must know I am not serious as they behave perfectly! Roger is worried about not getting back to the boat and we head back along a bee line which brings us from rock to rock; there is a large eel, a beautiful shell and a cute shrimp all sharing the same hole. I leave them alone. We compare meters as we ascend. I give back my latest treasure and we get in empty handed.

The second dive is half way back to Keehi on the coral reef area at about 40'. We take no gear except a bucket and just have fun wandering around, the water is murky and the ground is never ending coral making it impossible to find our way around. The four of us stick together, turning over rocks, harassing fish, poking urchins and counting coup on butterfly fish. Roger and I finally make our guesses as to where the boat is and start our ascent. Lo and behold it is actually fairly close, we still have air and we save it for Sand island beach, where others are water skiing, we scrub the hulls in primary preparation. I finish "my fair share" and think about going to sunbathe on the beach as a joke, but realize they will probably leave me to walk home as an even better joke. I continue scrubbing till my skin is blue. Wow, home early, can finish school work and everything!! All weekends should be three days long!

dive 115

Saturday, Mo'o needs gas for tomorrow's professional dive... might as well give the engines a shake down. Gordon, Roger, Mac, Nils and I have all been working on boats and are ready for any underwater experience we can find. We head for the 100' hole, so we can add it to our GPS marks. Gordon has a new gun to go with all his new stuff and it looks pretty cool.

We anchor and Gordon is over the side in hopes of great fish. We check the current (slight DH) and head down. The surf is up again and the water is a little murky; actually, the visibility is perfect for spearing. Nils is at the hole, Roger and Mac are cruising outside and no sign of Gordon. I head inside and work toward the rocks inside and Ewa. Nothing to spear as I notice that the surf has kicked up a lot of heart urchin tests, the sand must be full of them. There is an octopus watching me and I see she has a nest of rocks that might be carved. As I go rummaging around her house she is quite huffy. She jets water on my hands and flashes color from her cave. I think about getting Nils so I can watch another war, but I have grown too attached to her and I spend some time teasing her instead. There are no carved rocks, but they are perfect size. I use one to call for fish and finally see a distant shape working toward me, too bad there seemed to be a lot of bubbles with it. It turns out to be Roger coming back toward the hole after a venture out into the sand. He reports that he has not seen any fish and watches my octopus antics for a while. We have a conversation that neither of us understood, he moseyed off as Mac came from inside. He also had seen nothing but some large uhu. I figure to check on Nils and I head back toward the anchor. Nils has not seen anything but the distant uhu. He still has lots of air, he is next to the anchor and is reticent about coming up the line, but my meter doesn't care that we have half a tank... time to head home. The boat is full of empty handed but happy divers. Gordon is pleased with his gun. Though still a virgin, she reloads easy and shoots hard and straight. Mac has a collection of shells as he came across a hermit crab convention. The sun has sunk behind the Waianaes as Gordon pulls anchor and we head for home. The surf seems to be dropping and we hope to dive again tomorrow (ever hopeful!).

dive 116

Mo'o, Sunday morning. Joe, Brian, and new guy Paul are waiting for me to arrive and open the gate. Roger and Richard arrive and we go over all plans; which is fun because these guys are about to do some fly in the face of God stuff, and each one that talks to me seems to have a slightly different plan. (Hmmm, and they aren't breathing anything weird yet.) I pick the plan that I like the best and go with that one. There are floats to be deployed, tanks to pick up and people to drop. Richard fusses about all the butts and elbows and admits to doing a sleek simple dive yesterday in Kona where by the way he did pick up a new species of butterfly. Joe is bummed at Rich going without him, but Rich points out that he didn't want to do it, but it was a split second financial decision as his airline coupons were about to expire.

Everyone is assigned a task, my job is to guard a bucket with string in it. It takes dedication to duty as a bucket with string in it apparently is some sort of diver magnet. That combined with the well known innate perversity of the string itself makes it a task for masters only. The weather is significantly better than two weeks ago and a current test shows only a slight current going in the perfect direction. Roger takes the heroes to the spot and Richard and Joe are deployed. Having a float on them makes for an easy time for us and Brian gets ready to join them on their return to 300'. The lift bag is deployed and it is a welcome mat for Brian as well as evidence of there actually being people at the other end of the line. One by one, the boat is emptied as Paul begins to saddle up. He is actually using pretty normal looking stuff, and he seems pretty nice, I wonder how he knows those guys?

Sure enough, the red sausage is deployed. The well oiled machine is ticking away in perfect sync. We pick up the original float (it was tied to the sausage) and send down Paul. His job is tank delivery as well as shark bait to keep them off of Joe. He is soon back with some empty tanks and a fish net, no sharks in sight. Everyone is alive and well and back down he goes. Brian is the next up, he is back early and now the well oiled thing is losing some of its shine. Seems Brian got to 290, met the gang and shared his "air" with Joe who used a lot playing tug-a-war with the float and later the lift bag which pulled straight up on the sagging float line almost bringing the divers with it. Paul is back wanting more air for Joe and stories of more decompression. I can see that if I want to get wet, I had better do my dive... and now comes the actual dive report:

Entering clear blue water with the bottom visible 131' away. There are opelu feeding near by and some rebreather guys hanging on a line, there are two orange buckets hanging at the bottom of the line and Brian has said there were fish in them. I am eager to check them out and make that the first stop. Three fish in one bucket, these are the butterfly as described by Rich. Yep, they are pretty. Rich takes advantage of a show off opportunity with me there and takes one out and decompresses it. Wow, way cool!!! That is one good looking fish definitely not from Hawaii... His other bucket has the same buggers in it too! These guys are a down right dime a dozen variety. Rich tells me of the over hang they were in, the six were in a four foot area and they never had to go far once they got to the ledge. I only see five so I figure he saw six and caught five. (He actually has six, but one hid.) I ask if it was the same place and he either said that it was the same general area, or that there was a helicopter down there. I move on to conversation with Joe, he is not into fencing with net handles, and is nauseous. I don't know if he is sea sick or some deep dive related thing, he doesn't know either. He is also cold, having given his hood to Richard. The neck of his dry suit is choking him (it has been several hours). I suggest swimming instead of hanging to help with sea sickness as well as cold, but he is not into it. He and Richard are having lots of conversation about "how much longer" at each depth as well as trying to stop trickling bubbles coming from Richards turtle. They could talk in numbers all day long and being of so little brain I ignore it entirely and play with really cool plankton. No wonder we are surrounded by opelu, there is lots of cool stuff to eat in the water. I head up and find 15-20 baby baby papio (thumbnail size) right in the white cap zone. They are really cute and bravely swim right up to the Snerk monster. The Mo'o doesn't like me floating around on the surface, and I get back on board. Well the dive was short, I haven't finished my first third yet!! Brian is the next guy to get in again on some sort of hood exchange in an effort to keep Joey warm. They still have another hour and the sunny day has turned to dark clouds and rain. We huddle in the cabin (glad to have a roof) and periodically send out Brian and Paul to set and retrieve the parachute. The weather improves and Joe comes to the surface. He is anxious to get out of his dry suit (I think it is going on the top shelf of the dive closet). He peels it back to reveal skin that looks like an angry octopus minus the spikes. Brian calls it "skin marbling" but Joey is hesitant to agree. (Hey, maybe he always looks like that... you know those fair skinned types flush easily.) He is still not feeling well and kicks back with nausea, a "slightly" sore elbow (not worth mentioning) and octopus skin. I am happy to have him back on board, but am watching like a hawk. I don't understand enough about this sort of diving to even think I might know the right thing to do and I do not like it. Joe and Brian go over their dive thinking of things to do different and scaring Roger who already is in charge of worrying. Fortunately Roger is distracted by the fact that we are now in the shipping lanes and Richard is about to be run over by a tug and barge... well if not the tug, then the barge. He has the foresight to get the radio hooked up and warn the tug. I am glad for having him along, being female, I would have towed poor Richard politely out of the way. Rich finishes his dive and comes up cold but happy. The fish are the last ones in... (well if you don't count Brian goofing around and jumping off the boat when there is work to be done). There are six of them and they all look healthy and fit. Rich is elated and does not take his eyes off of them while the world moves around him. Phone calls are made and homes are found for all the fish, wow, that was easy. He should be in charge of child welfare services with ability like that. We are safely on our way home. Roger scolds Richard for promising him that he would be back by noon (Roger was hoping to dive all afternoon for the less common types of fish). The very idea makes me laugh soooo hard. I just keep hearing Roger and a smile comes to my face all over again. The best part was that Roger meant it!! I am very glad that Roger came along as I told him he was nuts to try to do both. We had offered to take the Mo'o out without him, in which case I would not have gotten my dive in, Richard would have been snapped to death by a barge cable and I would have had to do a lot more than keep an eye on some string... which by the way I am still watching.

Sunday, driving in circles for hours... stuffy nose... ready to dive! Leave Brian in charge as he was done with his dive. Blue blue water with only one point of interest: two non moving men hanging on a line with an enticing fish bucket on the bottom. Down to 80' to check out the fish - two more of those dime a dozen butterflies and two flame wrasse on steroids. Time to blow my nose, make lots of snot fish, bug the sleepy divers. I turn and notice that Paul is back in the water, must be his sixth dive of the day... hope he doesn't over do... better get topside and drive the boat some more.

Monday, baby dive with Janetta, Nils, Gerry Devlin and son Greg... went to Brian's uku spot, lots of neat fish, nothing to spear. Saw eagle ray, stone fish, sassy spiny lobsters, everyone is checked out, and Janetta is ready for Fiji!!

So long guys... thanks for all the fish.

dive 117

A particularly bad Tues. but am out of last worthless meeting in time for an evening dive. Figure to "borrow" the Mo'o iki and head out. It is close to six, Roger shows at the same time and says he is going out with Glacier Bay Dave, so we wait and sure enough, along comes our chariot and we hop on and head for the Kahala slabs. The ocean is calming down and the trip is quick. The area is close to Gordon's rock, but not as far down. I take mental notes as I toss the anchor. The water is clear and the current nonexistent. I spend most of my descent trying to load my gun, I can't wait to actually shoot something with these new slings. I feel like I am carrying around a twelve gauge with a hair trigger. The area is beautiful with big kala and palani surrounding me whenever I stop moving. There are overhangs and arches, I saw some uku following some small opelu kala over to investigate me, but they turned tail and skidaddled as soon as they caught a whiff of me. It seems like there are giant kala wherever I go, but actually they are in a ball around me. It could be the kim chee sandwich, more likely I need to rinse my wetsuit better. They make fine company as I cover ground. I stop at what looks like a good uku call spot, there is a pocillapora head that is four or five feet across and full of yellow tangs. A spectacular head of coral. The uku once again take a quick look at me, but never come into range. Well, there is always time for exploration. I start following ledges and wander over a huge area. I see no game fish, but am always surrounded by reef fish, which makes it fun. Well, down to 1200 psi and not a clue where I am. Since the chances of me finding my way back are slim, might as well retrace my steps 50 yds. inside. The view is better, I do manage to find a few distant uku, but they are quick to depart. I see bubbles and come across Roger laying in wait. He says he hasn't seen any fish, but he has a dead uku under his belt, it is gift size and he offers it to me. Hmmmm. Beggars can't fuss. I figure I must be close to the boat (Roger was there), and I still have lots of air, so I head off in the other direction, see nothing but distant mu. There is a trap full of fish, but nothing "good". The world of relief finally disappears and I have hit the Kahala dessert. I have no idea where the boat is but I know it is calm and I should have no trouble spotting the boat when I surface. Sure enough the boat isn't too far and I manage to get to it. The guys are on board, Dave is empty handed, and Roger gives me the perfect size uku. Dave has a cooler with ice, beer and soda (great concept) and I pull anchor and we hele on home. The ocean is even calmer, and I stay outside the cabin for the return (I can't actually see out of his front window). I can reflect on how one simple dive can put everything in its proper place. I feel elated from the lifted weight and the promise of dives ahead.

dive 118

Friday at long last and a long lasting one at that. Show up at Mo'o just in time to catch Tomas and Mat about to take off on the Mo'o iki. I inform them that there is plenty of light and we wait for Roger. Roger is not a starter as he is leaving at 5 a.m. for N.Y., and has way too much to do. So we drop him and his moving sidewalk off at Ala Moana Bowls for a quick wave or two. We continue on toward the pyramids. My line ups are perfect and we drop anchor. I am soon in the water as there is too much sand around there to waste much time. I can see the anchor straighten out and drag right on to a pyramid while I am descending. I want to load my gun on the way down, but it is too hard to load on the go. The weke have swarmed the anchor path and make for an unusual sight. (Very mathematical looking school of fish, in a perfect rectangle.)

I get my gun loaded (with great difficulty) and along come the little uku... bang, I miss. Now here come all the uku: "look at that spear shaft... would you say it was 7/16ths?" "I can't tell, let me get a closer look... tastes like stainless all right."

Those buggers... I reload, but cannot put the slings on, my hand keeps making painful mistakes and like a car battery, I seem to be less and less charged with each attempt. The uku mill about for a while, but you can only ask for so much... they get bored with my antics and drift off. I finally get the gun cocked, and my hands feel like they have just been hammered. I am only taking sure shots... hmmm, no fish... no divers either. It has been 15 minutes and I have not moved from the anchor and no one else has appeared. The water is murky, but there is no current and they really could not miss the pyramids.

There are no uku around, so I figure to head in to the kagami spot as they are easier to hit. (Ok, so I have missed those as well... details, details.) As I head in, the opelu kala are on the ledge and inside of them a cloud of small weke ula. The false kagami file fish are every where and I find my self looking up as there seems to be so much going on above me. They are spread out and all over, different back lit shapes making up a pattern suitable for aloha wear. I head to the inside chain area and find that the taape school has taken to the skies as well. Sure don't look like bottom feeders to me... they are within 20' of the surface. They are nervous when I first arrive but soon get back to the business at hand, which turns out to be spawning. Cool. Not giving to much attention except to the taape, trying to think of the perfect description of them when the oceanic file fish on my right shoulder turns into two huge kagami ulua swimming off. They are big and I am by myself, but I have the new rubbers... they are very fat, and their eyes and fins are dark like black ulua, but I think they are just really big kagamis, not sure. Not sure if I will shoot... well if they never come back, I guess I won't shoot. I call, wait, check my air. I have 1200 left... rule of thirds you know. Hey whose idea is that rule of thirds thing anyway? Joey? Mister 400'? HA! At least I can make the surface in one breath... I am staying. I wait around and call, figuring that since I am alone, that gives me an extra third to bargain with. Well they don't reappear and at 1000 I head back out to the pyramids. No divers, they had 80's pumped up to 3400 psi, something must be wrong. Two small uku come bouncing in and I am thinking about having to reload after I miss. My mind is distracted by a large flying gunard laying on the sand. I bonk him on the nose with the flapper on my spear shaft and get to enjoy the full circle wing deployment, I forget the uku and harass pretty boy for a while. Well, I should shoot this spear at something as it was such an ordeal to load it. No sooner had the though hit my brain when a perfect size kahala appears wagging his tail. Dinner! The shaft went right through the gill plates and he fell to the bottom. Well my healing touch sure brought him back to life and the fight was on. Well let me tell you, you think uku blood and opelu kala blood excites uku, you should see the uku. Apparently uku believe that the only good kahala is a dead kahala and there is a large ritual involving village elders. The oldest and largest uku come in and swim in an enclosing circle around the kahala and sing "Ding dong the witch is dead the witch is dead the wicked old witch is dead" I hope to get the uku as well, but am being pulled all over hell and gone by a kahala with my hand in his gills. These are very strong fish, glad I didn't shoot the ulua. Getting the fish off the spear is an exercise in patience as the gill area doesn't seem to be made of anything very flexible. My meter tells me to head up. There is tons of blood in the water, no other divers and the chances of me being able to reload and shoot one of these 20 or so large uku is nil. I figure the guys are hopefully in the boat and I reset the anchor for easy pulling. I bundle up my fighting fish, spear gun and bag and head up. At twenty feet I at least have something to do and I manage to get my gun back together as well as get the fish in a bag. I am relieved to see a figure looking over the front of the boat, they are alive and well.

Back on board I learn that Matt cracked his mask (a few weeks back, he threw it up on rocks trying to get out of the ocean where he had been skindiving), and neglected to replace it. (Doesn't leak on the surface.) He got to ten feet. Tomas went down (alone) shot a parrot fish right away, was uncomfortable swimming alone with blood everywhere and went back up with a lot of air still in his tank.

I am raving about fish all around me, being too weak for my weapon (school's out in a few days and I can get strong again) and why didn't Matt use my extra mask in my bag?? Mat pulls the anchor and we glide home with two fish on board. We discuss fish recipes and cooking techniques. I have that happy feeling you get when your hands are covered with scrapes from fighting a great fighter.

dive 119

Passing through town, should be able to find some divers... Nils, Wilkinson, and myself are honored to have the Pacific Rim Rummy Champion break away from his busy schedule of appearances and join us for a trip to the hole. We catch up on each other's lives as we dodge splashes and mount swells. The Champ is the captain and we toss the anchor straight outside the hole on the 90' ledge. Nils and I are the last ones in the water. I easily (sort of) load my gun and imagine that all this clean hard living has made me stronger. There is slight Diamond Head current yet the tight ball of opelu kala are hanging on the down current side of the hole. Nils is checking out the hole, the others are checking out the opelu kala. I use the fish as my guide and head down current to the uku spot. Lost in my own thoughts, I drift outside, and find myself having to swim in, defeating any hope of hiding behind the rock and looking outside for uku. There is however a small uku playing around with a school of very small weke ula. No uku is too small to taste good and I invite him over to play with me. He is cagey and coy and doesn't come over until he has found two of his brothers. Together the mob mentality gets them to the edge of my range. A good size (larger than the uku) MK joins the group. I figure to put these super slings to the test and plan to try a long shot on the next guy to turn. The four of them come as a group, turn and I miss a small uku. The commotion is too much for the MK, he bolts. The uku however get all excited, the big uku appear, pick up their silly little brothers and disappear. I attempt to reload, it turns out that diving makes you weak, and I give my hand a good snap as I attempt to reload. There are no fish watching, but I am still embarrassed at my antics. O.K., ready to go... uku shadows turn into uku dreams as I work them closer. Suddenly we have uku fact and grandpa uku gives me my chance at Christmas card photos and to put card playing in proper perspective. My fortune remains true and the shaft clears his head by a good 6 inches. I again reload, (not easily) who am I going to send Christmas cards to anyway? I have left over pizza that needs eating, the real fun is the chase, precision and accuracy are both overrated. I would be an awesome spearfisherwoman if I could only aim. The true magic is can I get grandpa to come back again? We do the dance and even though grandpa hangs back, I finally land a nice size uku. You would think I would improve at getting the shaft out of gill entanglements but I flounder around with string, blood, and fish creating clouds of interested fish. I will try to convince myself that they have come for the blood, not to enjoy the snerk reload show. I debate attempting another shot, but I now am down to 1200 pounds, Nils must be getting low, and I am not sure if he can find the anchor without me. I head back towards the hole, I am inside of the hole when I realize the uku are still with me... maybe one more shot.

We all drop 10' back to the bottom, then my meter goes off and I think better of it. I find Nils hanging on the buoy line. Good boy, glad he can think. He has a good size fish in his bag. I signal at a distance for him to follow me and make my way to the anchor. With the anchor in sight I look back to see that Nils has not followed. Brain damaged kid, I head back to the hole, now I have decomp time. I join Nils on the float line, he has a good sized MK in his bag, he is happy and proud. His first big fish, and a choice one at that. He didn't follow me as he thought I meant for him to come back down and he didn't have air. We leave the float line together and attempt to find the anchor line from 20'. I get us close and send Nils up just as I see the line. No one else saw much. Two borderline Kahala and small papio. Wilkinson has not been diving for six months, so he is happy just to be at the hole again. He pulls the anchor, and we head for home. The sun is still up and the water feels warm, summer is nice. My uku spits up a weke ula and we debate the possibility of me claiming supreme marksmanship getting both in one shot. It is a happy group that unloads the boat, until of course Jerry Wilkinson kills the fun by splaying his toes on the gunwale of the Mo'o iki and dropping a tank on them. The little piggy that had none, gets completely mangled broken and bloody, I am making a motion that we do not let him unload the boats anymore, he has suffered enough.

We spend the rest of the evening drinking beer, eating ahi sashimi, fresh corn, uku, (delicious if I do say so myself), and reminiscing.

dive 120

Friday afternoon, Mo'o, cast of thousands. Big reunion all the way around as everyone shares travel and fish stories. We head for the Kagami spot and most of the armada gets ready for the underwater assault. I am happy to be in the ocean and descend in a slow motion spin. Wait... those are ahi with those opelu, little yellow fins glistening as I try to load, rubbers are easy (all that rowing has made me stronger), but my gun is longer... hey this is Roger's gun... surface, Roger is about to go in with Mac's gun... and confusion reigns. Get my gun and continue on my dive. There is no current, and the water is clear. I go down and see Mike empty handed, I head out to my uku corner... the murk is better, but alas no fish. The pyramids are my next stop, I am supposed to be hunting, but I am just happy to be in the water and seeing familiar sights. The top half of one of the pyramids has been submarined off. There are a couple of larger mu and I manage to call one over. I hope he won't bite, as I take a shot. I hit it right in the head, but the spear does not go through the fish. It falls out and the mu swims off. I reload and follow a group of fish feeding in hopes of finding my mu. They are working on a broken sea urchin, shucks. The fish are excited and a white tip shark comes onto the scene. He can find my mu... I will just follow him. He heads out to the depths and I fall back to the safety of the familiar area. Roger comes along and I tell him the story. He has no fish and is heading back toward the anchor. I head wide to Diamond Head and call for uku again. There are two baby ones that are too cute. Back at the anchor there are small weke, but no big fish. Another small uku comes over and gives me the perfect chance. He is big enough to taste good, but small enough that I would feel bad about killing him. He is sooo trusting... I let him be, and my meter sends me up. Brian, just home from the rest of the world, has a small weke with him which turns into the fish of the day as the gang has all come back without any fish. The sunset and gentle lapping sea makes up for my lost fish (not completely) and we head back to Honolulu still catching up and re-bonding with teammates. Even with bread for dinner, it is good to be back.

dive 121

9 p.m. phone call from Tomas:

"Hi, just want to let some one know... um... there is no anchor on Doc's boat; we kinda lost it."
"O.K., no problem, were you able to tie it off on a float?"
"You know I thought of that, but there was no float on the boat, I coiled it up with Mat's weight belt and let it go."
"What happened to the life jackets?"
"O.K., no problem. Where were you diving?"
"That's another thing... um... we were sort of lost."
"Around where were you diving?"
"We thought we were on the ships but there was nothing, inside I think. It was 69 feet. I will go look for it in the morning, and buy a new one if I have to. I just wanted to let some one know."
"Well I was planning to do charity work on the Mo'o iki in the morning, but I would much rather be in on the recovery fiasco. What time were you going to head out?"
"Great! I didn't want to go by myself. I need air, but would like to go early."
"I got Roger's tanks, how about 7:30? What do you have for anchor line and anchor?"
"I hadn't thought about that... um... I got some rope... 150' about."
"Good, I will swing by Roger's and find some sort of anchor."

Roger's garage in the morning is a delight. An ocean man's midden. Why does he have this? This anchor will hold the QE2... oh yeah, I remember recovering that... great fun... big adventure... we were going to sell it for thousands I think. Lots of assorted chains... hey this brings back memories... ok ok, check yard... ah, perfect, the old aluminum danforth, easy to pull, not worth beans. I am on my way.

Tomas is on time and we are off, he took careful marks and they lead us to the middle of the submarine zone. Hmmm, how far can you anchor from an alpha flag? We are about 250' feet away. Hope for the best. We toss the anchor and plan our attack. The winds are light and the current non existent, perfect. Tomas leaves his gun as he plans on mostly a search across the great plains. We descend down the line to find our anchors about 25' away from each other. I bring the danforth over to the pile of rope and figure, hey might as well do a dive now. Tomas is going to see me load this gun. Hope I can do it. Nope, whack my hand two times before managing. Shucks, I hate it when reality leaks out of my shining armor. I know just where we are, about half way between the ships and the kagami spot. Might as well take Tomas to the ship so he can see how close he was. The ships are fish free, no sign of game. Pretty turtles play and lemon butterflies act as a decorative line of pennants. Tomas still has 1300, we should make the kagami spot. We head over, I know I am awing him with my keen sense of direction. What he doesn't know is that I have been lost in this area so many times that I now know every eel and humu. I will let him be awed. The kagami spot has some small uku and I call them in, they are lureable, but I don't know what Tomas is up to behind me. I will take the long shot and hope for the best... nope... clean miss. Tomas is low on air, so I zip us straight to the anchor (armor gleaming and intact). He takes my gun while I monkey with the coil of line. It is one huge knot which keeps my assent slow. We get back in the boat and are untangling the second half of the line. With two anchors down the white bubbles start fountaining all around our boat. Tomas is thinking that the giant whirlpool of death has started while I am yelling to pull in line and visualizing the crumpling of the conning tower under the weight of the Mo'o iki. Small boats are zooming over to get in on the action. We manage to pull the boat forward enough, and the sub moves along another 50' before surfacing. The Atlantis guys are nice as I explain that we were recovering lost gear. They give me a song and dance about the sub cutting through our anchor line and ripping it to shreds (Their props are completely enclosed, I have seen them. More like; the sub gets hopelessly tangled and can't move.) Tomas is whispering under his breath for me to explain that is why we cleverly had two anchors out! We manage to avoid disaster and make it back in time for me to spend the hot part of the day paying dues. Glad I got to dive.

dive 122

Monday afternoon. The good thing about diving is that you can go diving either as a celebration, meditation/stress relief, or just the general lifesaver when you begin to think your life is in the toilet. Well give me five minutes, and my creative brain can put me in the toilet and in desperate need of a dive.

6 o'clock at the Mo'o iki, the sun is still high and the afternoon winds have died down. It is a dry ride as I try to decide on the site. Big uku at the hole, or kagami and small uku. I opt for the small uku, just to be safe. The pyramids have their usual mystic drawing power as all the booze cruises are circling around. There is a large canoe race (one and six manned) coming through and I feel like I am trying to park my car sideways on H-1. The racers are friendly and chatty (must have been a long race). I toss the anchor on the ledge inside of the pyramid and hope the Star of Honolulu diverts her course for the sake of the paddlers as well as mine.

The water is solid blue and visibility is perfect for spearing fish. About 20' off of the bottom I can see the anchor is fine and I load my gun. I am really concentrating on not letting my hand get whacked by those stupid steel bits as I am still bruised from my last dive. Success! The uku are waiting, lots of small ones close and lots of big ones a little further away. I will probably shoot one and head back up with only 200 pounds of air used. I am out in the middle of nothing and it takes a while to get the big ones close (Why would I want these little guys that are all around me?) I take my shot and miss (surprised?), well now they are all close, there are lots and lots of uku keeping me company. I get the fight to get the first rubber on and look up. There is a big kahala about 6 inches from my spear and uku all around, several as close as 3 feet away. They don't mind that I am standing in the middle of nowhere with a gun in my hand, they just want to see me load the second rubber. Ouch! Bent the steel bit again and the heal of my hand feels broken. I hope it is not broken, my doctor is super cute and all (he dives too), but doctors always make you feel like it was your own fault and pretty much just tell you how lucky you are as it could have been worse ("this much to the left and you would have been dead").

The uku are moving off from boredom as I manage to get the gun loaded. I move along toward some of the artifacts so I will have something to hide behind. "Oh boy she is doing something" seems to echo between the fish as the opelu kala and uku come over and swarm around me. It is hard to get a bead on an uku coming in as there are tons of opelu kala swimming between us. I am scared to miss and don't take the shot. I swim over to the first concrete pillar and have tons of shots at small uku... nope, greedy girl wants the big ones over there... the small weke ula come around soon followed by the taape. Why are all these fish bugging me? Even the smallish mu (who is growing by the way) is hanging close. The uku are all mixed in and I can't seem to do anything. The big uku are now grouped around some old boiler tank and they are all swimming in and out like it was a playground toy. They are coming by me at mid water, not bothering to drop down to the bottom like they are supposed to. They are completely without fear, just curiosity. I guess as far as sharks go, I am just a baby white tip that no one really bothers about; I should dive alone more often. The mood changes as the oceanic file fish start some sort of war that involves charging each other from a distance, there are four fish involved in the dispute (ever seen more that two fish fight?) and they get everyone darting about; the uku vanish. I decide to actually swim somewhere as I am getting cold and the taape mob needs to be ditched. I swim up toward the chain pile but never get there as once the little fish are gone, I am once again surrounded by uku in the middle of nowhere. Drop and call, don't shoot those little guys, wait for the bigger ones and miss again. The worst part is having to reload, this will be my last time. I mangle my hand some more, (can't wait to have some oars in these hands for hours at a stretch.) All but the little guys are gone and I don't want those little ones. Even if I get a big uku, I can only hold it up to tour boats to show off. Never the less, the easy shots are not taken. My meter beeps and I head back to the anchor, I am alone at last, wow what a dive. In the old days I chided and berated all for not having tons of fish in their bags while decompressing. I surface to a quarter moon overhead and a quiet lapping of calm water against the side of the boat. The sunset colors are fading as I get in and find myself alone in Waikiki. There is one sail boat back lit against the sky. Not a bad day at all, there is a sense of bonding with the ocean as I glide back toward the hustle and bustle of real life. By the time my gear is rinsed and put away, the tranquility is gone as my brain busily tries to figure out how to redo the gun so misses won't hurt so much. 8 p.m... I guess it is Taco Bell tonight.

dive 123

New boat, very snazzy, careful not to ding anything. It is windy, rough, and most people would stay out of Kahala. We head for Joe's Barge. The boat rides "bitchin" and we get to Kahala still dry... only because the windows are closed. Neither of us has good marks and we drive around til we find something at 80-90' and toss the anchor. There is a Kahala-type current heading towards Diamond Head so wandering around is limited. We anchored in the middle of nowhere, with a trail of scattered pipes to follow up current. There are a school of mu, I head in until I find some pipes that I have been to before. Gordon hung at the last batch of pipes and is working the mu. I come into uku and have a shot where I could shoot a mu or an uku, I choose the uku (mu can be mean) and shoot a shade too late (just after the turn), I miss what would have been a bad shot and think that I won't reload as my hands are worked over and I need them to oar the river. I will only reload if the uku hang around... ok, ok, I reload, and they drift off, still in sight, but I have only 2 min bottom time left, 1200 pounds and a long (granted down current) and not real clear way back to the boat. I meet up with Gordon at the anchor, he has a large mu, so even though we were nowhere, there are fish (the hole was probably going off!!).

There were two schools of birds off DH actively working along the murk line. Something else to think about.
The weather has not been the best for rock recovery...might wait until after I get back. 17th July.
Gordon wants to go out again on Thurs. Don't recommend Kahala.

Personal stuff: We did not 'initiate the boat' in any way. I am pretty pathetic, begged him to leave his wife of 11 years and marry me (great show of strength, and so clever too!). Help!

dive 130

For those of you sweet souls who have inquired in regards to the lack of dive reports, thank you so much... yes I am alive, still diving and I am very happy that I was missed. I seem to have 6, 7 or 8 house guests and quiet time, or any sort of free time for that matter, seems to be unavailable. I assume you have all been enjoying summer reruns and rereading my old dive reports. Any of the ones where I caught a big fish are especially worth memorizing.

Nothing too unusual in the last bunch of dives, couple of guys bent, only one small fish caught... Oh yeah! I actually dove with David Shidler, and he pulled the anchor! There I go again... improving mankind one man at a time... who will be next?

Well no more goofing off, back to the grind:
Thursday midday, assemble all guests for a shallow Mo'o expedition. Nils, Kai, Malte, Janetta, Noel, Camie, Maurice, Pierre, Roger and myself set off for the shallow islands off of Kewalo. Maurice and Pierre have been enjoying the night life of Waikiki and stumble aboard in a daze.

Everyone got in the water and down the anchor line. We cruised around the first island, lemon butterflies feasting on eggs, starfish, sea urchins, and corals abound. It is fun to have some new divers as you can put a simple starfish in their hands and enjoy the wonder all over again. It is so easy to forget. Probably a good case for children, they make us see the things we take for granted, and do things we have stopped doing simply because we have done them before. I speared nothing, captured nothing, conquered nothing, and had a great dive. A slow walk in a backyard that I have been passing through.

dive 131,

Friday night and some rebreathers show up for an evening dive at the hole. Dave and Athleen are also there, giving it all a party atmosphere. They even brought drinks and cookies thus insuring return invitations. Gordon sinks with the anchor. I am in next, Richard mostly wanting me underwater before my sassy mouth opens again. There is a slight Diamond Head current and the water is full of plankton... good conditions for seeing game. I hear Gordon banging on rocks telling me his quick descent did not pay off with fish. He probably sees nothing or he would not be banging so loud had he seen anything, so I will head up current til I find the opelu kala and look for papio. Gordon is on the same track from the other side, he has seen nothing. I head out along the ewa ledge, cross at the cable, the only sign of fish is overhead where lai and opelu are feasting in two different schools. The patterns they make are different and I roll over and observe for awhile. They suddenly dart out of sight and I expect another diver has entered the water. The current is swimmable and I dash down current to look for uku at the uku spot. There is a little guy waiting for me and while I work on getting a bead on him, a larger papio cruises across the path and takes my attention. He doesn't give me the time of day and heads off to the hole where I am sure he will meet with a worse fate than a miss from me.

There are little opelu kala all around me and some damsels nipping at my prone body. I can make out larger uku in the murk, they are interested but only approach at my side when I am distracted by papio. Five almost take a shots when a boat passes overhead and I am transported to a parallel dimension where the only fish left are biting my arm. I head back to the hole where I see Roger with a bag of fish, Dave, Brooks, and Athleen are mixed with the wealth of fish surrounding the hole. I head ewa again and find some little uku out in the sand. My meter calls time out but my air says 1500 psi. I debate heading up when I remember those rebreather cats are still out there. The last thing I heard Rich say was "I'll try to keep our decompression to a minimum." I figure the boat isn't going anywhere and spend some time trying to attract little uku who have no doubt been harassed already. No luck, I see the lai reappear on the surface and figure it will probably be more fun to head up and decompress with company. Everyone (OC)* is back, and only Roger has caught anything. I surface at the instant that the bottom of the sun touches the water. We all enjoy the sunset, eat snacks and await Rich... hmm... no light on the line and they are using top camouflage black turtles. We give the anchor line a test pull and manage to get them to appear. They miss the sunset, but we all catch the fireworks as we rinse gear and head home. I am actually buying fish now!!

*open circuit (think I am ready for govt. work?)

dive 132

Wow, less than a week of school and I am exhausted. All I can think of is I need to go diving... the surf is coming up and I am thinking it might be just me surging around in the murk. Roger calls and reassures me (he is thinking the same thing and he has only been in school two days!). I show up at the Mo'o. Lo and behold the gang is all here. Dave, Athleen, Joe and Brian are experienced with bad conditions and probably like the practice. Brooks has been helping his mother unpack dishes and a murky wash around sounds pretty good. We are all happy to see Gordon as now we have our #1 anchor rider and we all feel good as we head over the swells going out the channel. Castles is breaking and threes looks prime. Glacier Bay Dave has his boat anchored there and must be a surfer instead of a diver. (Well someone had to get some of the brains.)

We head for the pyramids since it is the deepest place we can anchor. The murk plume seems a little less as we near the spot. Gordon is off with the anchor and hooks the boat. Joe (who by the way has a super slick new black box. It has gone the way of the automobile. Instead of the big square model A, he has a '99 streamline new car. They are probably trying to increase the mileage... the price of fuel must have made a jump.) breaks a fin strap and is looking for his spares as I head over. The water is indeed stirred up, but not as bad as it could be, I can see the pyramids from 50' away, the fish are in a tight ball above them. I can see uku high in the water column along with the opelu kala. I manage to load and dive for the sand, the uku all come over, but alas I miss. I watch Gordon from below as he parts the opelu kala and aims for one of two papio and hits it. It is a beautiful thing to watch all back lit against the milky water. I am distracted by the grace and beauty of the surrounding fish, the flash of the fighting fish and the familiar human form in the center of the scene. Well the other papio makes a mad dash out of the school and down to me... guess I should have finished reloading! He is safely away and the uku seem to be more distant. I call them back and manage to get one! Dinner! By the time I reload the fish are gone. Oh, no wonder, there is Roger fighting an uku on my right with Brooks practicing somersaults behind him. On my left are the serious high tech guys. One of them had decided the water is not murky enough and is diving without his mask on. (I know they are trying to streamline things but it seems excessive.) I briefly note that the other guy seems to be fiddling with his rebreather, perhaps there is a problem, his buddy sure isn't going to notice. As I get closer I see that he is just stroking his new James Bond Black Bubble. He does have two fins on. The spare parts king strikes again. Too many people around me, I head off to the ledge, the surge doesn't seem bad at all and I soon find the uku. They are there in droves and papio and MK, (huge ones that I missed at point blank range) fish everywhere, to make a long story short I took six shots and managed one more uku. There were two easy perfect shots but the fish managed to have solid walls behind them. I wonder what happens when the shaft goes through the fish and into solid cement... I pass on those shots out of fear. I figure every one else should have five fish apiece! My last shot was timed with the beeping of my meter. Time to head up, where am I? I seem to have drifted into the flat... I work my way back and swim over the anchor at 60'. Hmmm, anchor is still hooked, I am probably last. I have just enough air to go down and free it. It is really stuck and it takes both hands and a swell slacking the line for me to pull it out. Then the anchor takes off into the sand I grab my gun and chase down the boat, I sure hope everyone is up... I had passed over the area and saw no one. I reach the gang on the line and everyone is on board or on the line. I have five minutes and not too much air left. Athleen and Dave are keeping me company. I am trying to remember the "official" signal for low on air. (I still might make it.) I think it might be a clenched fist across my chest, hmm, Athleen and Dave wave at me... Athleen catches on, she is low too, she is still wondering what the clenched fist deal is. I must have got the signal wrong. So much for trying to speak French to the French! Use English, it works better. They head up, I only have two minutes, still might make it. Air is getting a little difficult and one more minute. I am not really worried about my health, I just know that my stupid meter will be beeping and drawing attention to me, Roger will get in a panic. I am just wondering if I should either just wait without air, or tie off my tank and leave it, when my angel of mercy comes along (funny the shape that angels come in, you never would have guessed). Joe is so happy about not having to free the anchor he is willing to share some of his precious air. I surface to the quarter moon rising against a lavender sky in the east and the sun setting in the west. The sunset is one of those you drew when you were 5, all the rays are coming out of the orange sun. I have two fish to add to the three uku and papio that are already on board, I seem to have actually done well even with all the failures... just think what I could do if my shaft was straight and I could load my own gun without injury. We surf the boat in the channel with everyone cheering the Mo'o on. Happy divers all.

dive 133

Sunday morning, just late enough so we have a full crew. On the deep run we have Dave, Joe, Gordon and another guy named John who came walking up the street wearing three dive tanks (a dead give away as to what group he belongs to). Dave has brought the new gizmo of the day... it could be for gathering dirt samples, or a high tech leaf picking up device... basically, it looks like a sea urchin on a stick. Turns out to be the "NOAA approved" shark defender. It is nicely made and there is a look of envy in Joe's eye (not saying much, Joe has some magpie tendencies when it comes to shiny new toys). They are doing a deep dive while Nils, Roger, Brooks and I are going to do something more sane. We do the usual "toss-a-snerk" current test and decide that there is a slight ewa current and drop them on the 150-200 ledge outside the hole. Gordon is soon back and when I check him decompressing, he has plenty of air, 5 minutes of decompression, and never took a shot. The other three come up later with a more exciting story. John shot an ulua with a three prong but chose to risk loosing the gun rather than loose the fish! Well he lost the gun as the fish refused to die in the allotted space and time (they can be so sneaky those fish).

We are ready to do a dive and figure since we have a crew we will drift as well. We start diamond head of the hole and follow the 80' ledge. The water is clear and my new rubbers work like a dream (should have done it long ago). We descend and from 15' can see the two helmet shells mating on the bottom. We dive down and check them out. I hand Brooks the float as he has no gun. There are no fish in sight (let the presence of helmet shells be your guide as to the environment) clear water, a small ledge with little fish, and big eels. We glide along, each discovering our own life forms and exploring our own rocks. Everything gets a close look and every small rock is pretending to be the 100' hole, the big frog in a small pond idea. I turn to check on Nils and Brooks and can just see their fins in a cloud of ink... distraction!! Roger and I add to the chaos and the octopus is in the bag. We continue on our journey chasing small opelu kala ahead of us. Roger is running low on air and heads up. Brooks is going to be the next man out and he hands me the float line. Now our dilly dallying has come to an end, the float line is mine, they have to swim... we cover ground building up a ball of fish in front of us along the ledge. Brooks is going to go up, and Nils and I join him. As I am leaving the bottom, it begins to look familiar... I have been lost here before, I look up at Roger, but he has not recognized the area around the hole yet, I am proud of myself for knowing where I am. It sure helps when it is clear. I bee line for the hole, leaving the contour line and baffling my groupies (having the float does have its advantages). Roger knows where I am going too, and soon everyone knows as we come on the hole, a dark spot in the distance, covered with the shimmer of fish. Truly an Oasis. The all too familiar shape of two sharks swimming around the bottom discourages me from going back down. We stay above the hole for the next few minutes, watching a barracuda hover over the top of the rock. The opelu are actually feeding on the surface between run overs from the Mo'o. We surface with the sun still high in the sky, the clear blue water ever inviting us back.

Brooks, Nils and I just stuffed ourselves with tako poke and are ready to return.

NOTE FOR DAVE AND ATHLEEN : about dive reports... hmmm, I am often the hero. Don't be surprised if I report the true facts not exactly as your biased memory remembers it. You are free to comment (which gives away where your jugular is) at any time.

Who's who:
Gordon and Joe, you guys have to get up on your cartoon watching... I don't even have a TV!! When you talk WB, here is the program:

Road Runner- has more fun than all of us, gets away with anything and no one can catch him............Roger

Daffy Duck- mostly mouth; appears in any cartoon for no apparent reason; no one knows what he does; he's supposed to be a duck, but no one ever sees him swim...........Mike

Coyote- uses a lot of very clever equipment, studies physics diligently to come up with new and more innovative gadgets ...........Joey

The Chicken Hawk- Always biting off more than he could possibly chew, but never realizes it, and oddly enough, some how pulls it off.............Rich

Ralph the dog- Big, strong, does his job, a-political, no one dislikes him, but very few can get by him...........BrianOCC

Tweety Bird- Plays to all the world a whittle sweet ting, but when no one is looking, he is pretty much a brat......... Brian P

Foghorn- a good hound with a definite job to do; but he is easily sucked into antics and shenanigans............... Gordon

The Sheep dog who guards the sheep- wise, quiet, and rarely seen.......... Jeff

Elmer Fudd-a softy; who tries desperately to follow the rules, but is stuck in the middle of a group of hopelessly irreverent characters who don't know the meaning of hunting season..... Dave P

Marvin- he is actually from outer space, yet no one takes him at all seriously ....... Brooks

Now for myself, I would love of course to be Bugs, always in a good mood, very clever and never phased.... HOWEVER, I will admit that is probably not the case.

Leghorn came to mind, but he actually enjoys starting lots of trouble ( this hardly counts).

I have come to the conclusion that I am just basically a very simple, gullible, hungry tornado in constant need of love........ The Tasmanian Devil

By the way, Janetta, David, Naomi, Lara, Carl and John - don't feel too smug; you are not really left out, I just need more time... The Taz is a force to be reckoned with.

dive 134

Tues. afternoon, Nils and I both have tons of homework, so we decide to join Roger, Gordon, Brooks, Meg and Noel on a trip out to the ships. The surf is back to nice little waves and it is hard to picture that there ever was anything different. We vote on the ships as neither the girls nor Brooks has been there. Gordon pushes for Kahala, but that is just because he has no homework! He jumps over with the anchor while the rest of us gear up. Brooks and Nils meet me at the anchor which is on the stern deck of the shallow ship. I drop down along the mauka side to find a nice white tip hanging out under the ship. I want Brooks to see it, but he is having fun playing topside and it takes a while to get his attention. After the shark visit, both bear cubs cease to stray and I have one on both of my blind spots as I cruise looking for fish. We cross over to the deeper ship, check out some big turtles and a wheel house full of opelu kala. Roger and the girls appear and I figure that fishing will be slim; I drag the boys back toward the other ship (they want to stay closer to the cute girls... we are hunting different things). I turn around and wait for the bear cubs and I see Nils turn around just as two large aku swim right behind him... he is none the wiser as he turns back. The whole thing taking 15 seconds. I wonder how often it happens to me? We come across Gordon, who has a papio in the bag and lets me know there was a shark involved in the story, I assume it was not the white tip we were playing with earlier. Nils and Brooks both have plenty of air, and I drag them off to the pyramids to look for game. They both would have been happier to remain with the ships instead of crossing the great mohabi, but I like a level area where I am not always worried about bear cubs going up too fast over man made obstacles. Three baby papio swim by showing us the way, they are too small, but promise better things ahead. "Oh mister troll, you don't want to eat me... let me pass and my much larger and fatter brother will come by later." I let the little goats cross without anything but an imaginary shot taken. Uku corner turns up one small uku who is having nothing to do with us. Opelu kala are dark shapes in the distance. The air supply of the boys suggests we head back and soon, I am sending them up the anchor line while I use up the rest of my bottom time playing with goat fish. I wait around the anchor to see if Gordon is going to come by and free it, I decide it will probably come clear; and as he obviously did not check it, but went straight up - I won't feel bad when he pulls it! My bottom time disappears and I slowly leave the bottom. The ships are decorated with fish and are full of tranquil beauty in the dusky light. Not a shot taken, but I am happy to have gone diving and not had to concentrate on school work... there is always plenty of time later!! The gang is all on board, no other fish taken but happy divers all. The kids enjoyed the excitement of "wreck" diving while Dr. Trouble got to get his heart pumping with the papio covered shark that was swaggering around. We slowly head in enjoying the sunset on the water and talking about unrelated happy subjects. There is talk of reconvening soon.

dive 135

Thursday afternoon, Roger can't dive on Friday, so is planning a dive. So is Gordon... I am not sure which boat. The Mo'o is empty and I find action on Gordon's boat. Brian is back from his trip and is ready to dive. Roger and Brooks are also starters. A new record as five divers pile on and we head off to Joe's Barge where the large uku are. Gordon now has precise marks thanks to having drug Brian around until they were right over it. Roger feeds my ego about teaching, helping me get through the week. The boat rides well and we compare it to the new designs and other boats in general. It is agreed that Gordon's boat and the Mo'o are the two finest boats there are. I am soon tossing the anchor. The ocean is a deep purple blue, clear water, slight current, perfect Kahala. Brian is first over, then Brooks, followed by Gordon, myself and Roger. The boat is right over a ledge, but no barge in sight... there are some pipes up by the anchor and I head down there. No game, I head off toward the ledge. Gordon raps and I turn to see if he is going to tell us which way to go... no luck... if he knows where the barge is, he isn't telling. I drop down the ledge and see some fish. There are two big MK, but just out of range. Lots of big mu swimming by not as far away as they usually like to be. They tempt me for a while then I pay some attention to the goat fish. No luck, I know it is deep (115') and I don't really like to dive that deep with out anyone else around. Everyone is probably playing ring around the rosie over at the barge. I head inside to the anchor and cruise along up current and come across Brian. He has no fish, Roger and Brooks are on the other side of him and they are also without fish. I wander around on the desert with no sign of fish for awhile when I realize that a deeper dive with fish might be better. I head back to the ledge and see Roger and Brooks exploring along my old path. I stay abreast at a good distance and watch Roger begin to stalk a fish. I think it must be the same MK as I cannot see any uku. Roger is like a cat, creeping ever so carefully. His total focus on his prey in front. I can see he is at the same spot I was and I know it is deep. I am sure they have no clue. I have 1300 psi, so Roger must be low. He shoots and I watch closely as he bags his fish. He and Brooks should be heading up and I see Roger check his gauge and head in. They will be O.K. I turn my attention back to find myself surrounded by two large white ulua, one on each side, also check to see if Roger would get the fish in the bag. They slip out of range as I try to get my gun around. My meter is beeping, I look up and see two rainbow runner pass overhead. I have plenty of air, but my chance is past. Those are big ulua number 3 and 4 that I somehow missed shooting. I somehow blame Roger as I head up the line. No more worrying about old men who can out shoot me. We talk on the line and he says he never saw the ulua, he is glad I am watching out for him. I was right, he didn't realize how deep he had gone with Brooks. Roger wonders about the others, and I point out that I still have 1000 pounds, Brian has an aluminum 80. We are happy to see Brian coming up. He shot a mu, but he lost it and has come back empty handed. Brian and I are still on the line when Yosemite Sam swims up swearing up a storm. Talk about bad mood body language. I ask if he saw any thing and he does the disgusted head shake. Gordon then proceeds to tell me how he saw seven guns but they were all worthless and he works himself up just telling me this. He stomps off (not easy with fins on), Brian and I just look at each other with raised eyebrows and wonder! I surface to find the bad mood king has temporarily sombered up the crew. I am excited about my fish and chide Roger explaining how he practically owes me his fish. We are all happy to have had a good dive, even though none of us ever saw Joe's Barge. We can't really complain as the captain is a little put out. It turns out he had the barge hidden away and had gone over to it and had taken seven shots, hit four fish and brought back nothing. Brooks provides wonderful entertainment as he innocently asks Gordon how this could be. He has been watching Doc, and never seen him loose a fish. He asks for details as to how one goes about loosing a fish. Couldn't precautions be taken? Would a different type of spear help? Why do the fish come off? Brian and I enjoy this to no end, Roger tries to help Gordon out (empathy for temper tantrums and general big heartedness since he was the hero with the big MK).

Roger even gives me the fish with some story about his wife not liking goat fish. As my new years resolution was to be more greedy, I gladly took it.
I am ready to spear a big ulua, I keep seeing big ulua... it has to come together soon!!!

dive 136

Friday goes better than expected. Students are well behaved, errands and phone work go well (state workers are pleasant). I even manage to get three dates in one afternoon!!! O.K., so there is a little bit of a fisherwoman in me. One guy is a psycho killer Vietnam vet getting government money for being unable to readjust, another is an old flame I haven't seen in 10 years, and the last one is a rich guy who takes me out once a year as a charity thing. But hey, the way I see it I am on a roll. I get down to the Mo'o iki and find there is gas, air, and someone has fixed the depth finder. I take back all those things I said about you Roger. Now I have gone from being late, to early! I head out just ahead of the Cool Cat Tribble Craft heading out with the heavy hitters. I feel like an outcast. I figure I will have to say hello, but give myself some salt spray medicine to get over not being included. It works well, we wish each other luck as they head on by to Kahala in search of real fish. Now they have to worry about me, and someone will no doubt check that the boat gets back, good. I anchor at the pyramids and as soon as I am in the water, the ocean begins her magic. Lucky I forgot my wetsuit... I am much more in touch this way, a regular mermaid. The water is clear and I can see the pyramids below the boat with the anchor dragging along toward the first one. There is a slight Diamond Head current, but considering the moon, nothing. I hit the sand and can see lots of little uku but they hang back. I carry the anchor over to the pyramid and they all come over to help. They seem to sense when the fun is over and pull away as I get back into kill mode. There is not much action and I head toward the kagami spot. The smallest 6 or 7 uku all come bouncing along playing chicken with the spear. When one crosses my mask pretending to be a damsel fish I become certain it is a game. The lemon butterflies are all grazing along the bottom as if they were a school of manini. That is the best thing about diving, it is never the same. There is simply no such thing as the "usual" dive. I am watching the butterflies when along comes a pan size papio with two little MK for company. (Has anyone studied this relationship yet?) More little babies... it figures, they are all over the place. A wee bitty mu comes to visit me. These baby things are too cute. The biggest uku I have seen were right at the anchor, so I head back there. The babies come along with me to keep me company. I am feeling very comfortable and play around out in the sand, find two helmet shells mating again... must be the season for it. I suppose it could be the same pair, they could have made it this far in a week. I briefly wonder about the travel habits of helmet shells and imagine the tagging program. I figure floating tags would be best, so you can still find them even when they are buried. I imagine a barren field of sand with floating tags with names like Sammy written on them. Time lapse photography makes the picture complete. O.K. so there are no big fish. I circle back to the Kagami spot and cruise the ledge were the opelu kala are beginning to pile up. I end up at the pyramids and my beeper goes off just as it is beginning to look good. I am thinking that the "time's up" beep is what causes the fish to congregate. Sort of a nyah nyah nyah thing, I wouldn't put it past them. I see the big papio's familiar shape on the next pyramid. It is trying to be a big opelu kala, but it is too big and as I watch it turn black I sink back into my kill mode. I am lured out pyramid by pyramid while a little bell is going off in my brain reminding me that not only do I still have to clear the anchor... but deco time grows exponentially if you take your eyes off it. Play it SAFE, I head back and clear the anchor. Large mu take stations above each pyramid, medium sized uku swarm in, filling in the empty spaces below me as I head up. One even has the audacity to make an attempt at approaching me, it must come 20' off the bottom!! Well hunting just would not be fun if the prey didn't have a good sense of humor!! Decompression is cold, and noisy as the booze cruises are attracted to dive flags almost as if the Captain can't actually turn the boat around with out a guide post for reference. I surface to find a sunset sky to the west, a beautiful moon shinning over a lavender purple Diamond Head to the east, and a group of waving tourist to the north! Beauty abounds! I get in, warm up and pull the anchor. The swells make a fun ride home and I savor all the feeling I can. A nice place to be, so what if the fish are smarter than I am. As long a they keep inviting me back... I'll show up.

dive 137

Saturday on a three day weekend... definitely time to go diving. I call Mike, who has now moved back to Hawaii for good. He is out, but Lara says they are meeting at the Mo'o at 2 for a dive. I consider this an invite and Nils and I show up; the Mo'o seems pretty full. I graciously offer to bow out as Tribble was going out later, and they felt so bad about shooting so many uku at Joe's barge, they offered to take me along. But Mike, Lara and John are so happy to see me they let me come along (hence if any of the latter seems particularly heroic in the following story...). The goal of the day is lobster and the plan is to drift dive in shifts, thus covering a lot of ground. Shift one is aiming for the shallow ledge off Diamond Head. Lara, Mike, John, Nils and Myself gear up and drop. The current is negligible but the visibility is poor. We bee line for the bottom and Lara quickly abandons the dive in favor of keeping her eardrums. She now has to sit on the boat listening to Roger... one could make an argument here about eardrum health as well. Alas, anyone who agrees to spend the rest of her life with Mike needs the practice. The rest of us continue on, Mike goes after uku but misses the two I see him aim for. Other people miss too, it is just that I don't hear about it. John has left his gun on board which is a good thing, as the visibility is so poor, we are forced to stick close together. Too many loaded guns and not enough fish. We have followed the fish from 65' into 30' and we travel along the fingers that run perpendicular to shore. We are diligently looking in caves, Nils manages to find a sleeping white tip. A nice size kumu swims by and Nils takes a shot and misses. There are some baby uku following along, but don't really give me a chance. In shallow water, our air lasts awhile, and we get to cover some beautiful ground. No lobster are seen, and we come up empty handed. Time for the real guys to get a chance. We drop them on the 80 ledge and circle around. It is rough off of Diamond Head and I let the boat wallow. John is sunning on the back deck and I manage to take on enough waves to get a dirty look. (I soaked him.) Roger comes back up in 15 minutes complaining about having to drag that float and using all his air. He has three slipper lobsters for the cooler. He wallows with us for about 3 minutes before he can think of a good reason to be back down. 1. He needs to watch Noel... which could be true as she is alone with four guys. 2. He didn't decompress enough and needs a full tank so he can do the whole thing again, and do it right! We let him go back down and finish with the gang. They surface without any more lobsters. Roger and David were the only two guns and they never saw any game. We are heading in and I am thinking it is time to head out for an evening dive...

Everyone is washing and rinsing while I try to see if there is a boat going out. Gordon is fueling up for Molokai tomorrow. He and Brian are going to do an evening shake down to Joe's Barge. Boat whore that I am: "Thank you Roger, great time; no need to rinse my stuff... get your own ride home Nils..."

The trip out is listening to how many uku they got yesterday... how they now have perfect marks. The anchor will be ON the barge. I am designated as anchor setter and race it to the bottom. Hmmm, the exact same spot (actually the anchor might be ten feet closer to Portlock) as the last time I never saw the barge. I know that Gordon swam to the barge from here and I wait for the guide to show. The guide shows up and takes the anchor and heads out to the ledge (actually further away from the barge, but I don't know this yet... I am still under the impression that he has all of our best interests in mind.) He sets the anchor (I have now been down at least 10 minutes); here is where there is some confusion as to what happened. Gordon seems to think that he looked at us and clearly signaled we should head up and anchor again. I think he got pissed off and left. I didn't follow as I realized he was trying to get me to leave before he snuck over to where he has hidden the barge. Imagine; being worried about me stealing all the uku! I guess it is a compliment to my spear fishing ability, but it is more like pushing the two year old to the ground at the start of the race. I figure to head out to the deep spot where I saw the two ulua in hopes of seeing something. There are some smart mu and nothing else. My beeper goes off and I wait for all the fish but nothing appears. I head up with some deco time. I have 1300 psi and the water is clear. I will expand my knowledge of this dumping ground. I find the pipes, up wind of the anchor, and I find where the ledge makes an S on the way to Joe's barge. Below me Joe's Barge glistens with silver. I can see uku swimming and playing. I can even get the little uku up to 40'; the big uku stay on the bottom. I wonder about spearing uku mid water. Not easy... I have cleared my meter (I don't know how long ago), and have 1000 psi. My plan is to dive down, have the big uku swim over to investigate, shoot one and head back up. Your basic anchor clearing spike. I hit the bottom and the uku scatter, weke ula run for cover and lemon butterflies come over to investigate. Great plan. I look at my meter and it tells me I have seven minutes of bottom time left at 82 feet. There is something wrong with the way the meter is calibrated... I don't feel the least bit like spending seven minutes. I head back up and decompress as I swim back to the anchor. Gordon is now on the line. He has no fish and never found the barge. He is a wee bit grumpy, especially when I tell him the ledge heads in and leads right to the barge! (Verbatim what he told me last time.) His sense of humor is lacking and I have the feeling it is all my fault! I love diving... no one can really slap you underwater. I tell him there were lots of uku at the barge. (evil evil evil) Lots and lots. Sure enough, we get to the surface and guess how many things I did wrong?? It is lucky we made it back in one piece! They got 5 uku yesterday and were going to Molokai tomorrow, talk about greedy divers. Clear water, no current, full moon, mu and uku were seen. Yet, Joe's Barge glistens gold to the empty handed divers.

My mental map of the Kahala dump is filling in, there are less and less spots on the map marked with giant sharks, deep water squid and pirates. I also took marks on Joe's barge.

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