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The Snerk Report, Vol. 7

dive 177

Busy day, but Joe is going diving and has space for me. I am actually on time even though it is Friday afternoon; that is when I realize "hey... I need to bring air" I am stuck in the gridblock and wondering if Joe will wait. I am weaseling around old ladies and thinking, "Those guys have lots of octopus rigs and infinite air." I make a U turn and know that lady luck is on my side when there is someone still at Dan's at 4:30, and better yet, they actually unlock the door and let me in. There is nothing like trying to rush to make things go wrong. The tank room is dark (real dark), traffic has not gotten any lighter as I weave from one slow lane to another. I think of Richard underwater and regain perspective. If they have left, so be it. I turn off the clock on my dash, turn up the soothing music, ignore the truck that has just had a nervous break down in my lane and get there just as Joe and Thomas get back from their emergency run of forgotten parts. Perfect dive buddies I'd say! The boat is loaded and prepped, I simply step on board and we are off to the Kewalo pipe. Joe finds the spot and we toss the anchor. I head over to check the anchor, it needs untangling, but the uku patiently wait. One big guy and one baby... guess who comes closer? They give me three distant passes and start to drift off. I turn, and they follow me to a better location where we do the same thing again. They stay out of range, but it is still light; I leave. I will work on them later. I meet Joe and Thomas at the end of the pipe. They seem to be cruising along fine. I head off to about 70' and come across a really great octopus nest - hey, there is a really great octopus in it! 5 minutes, 700 pounds and about 200 hickies later, I am left holding an open empty bag, surrounded by uku (it is hard to tell how many with all the ink), and a gun somewhere nearby. I manage to get the gun and go for a medium size guy. It is a total gut shot and a dying bleeding fish swims off into the depths. I try to convince myself that whether I eat the fish or not probably does not matter to the fish, but I feel wasteful and defeated as I head into shallower water. I play with a beautiful and friendly nabeta in the sand and think about photography. I head over to the inside islands and find Joe and Thomas cruising around. Joe tells me of uku just around the corner... well he probably means those three big guys that are following him. Forget photography, I drop into the sand, but they are cagey and don't come close until I have Naomi sprinkles and sand everywhere. I briefly wonder if I am being watched as I usually put on this show only for fish. I laugh at the thought, the smile of course fills my mask as the uku move in. I hit the big guy right behind the head but above the spine. In hind sight I should have let go of my gun and cleared my mask. The end result was that another seriously wounded fish did not end up in my bag. I do not take great pleasure in hitting the fish, the pleasure comes from putting the fish in the bag. It is like trolling, I have never believed in lighter line and longer fights, I like my fish in the boat. I am low on air, the sun is setting, time to head up. I decompress and reflect on the events: the most fun I have had all week, ruthless buffalo hunter, needless slaughter, no tako poke, I really wanted tako poke, I wonder if those hickies all over my face still show? I have eaten more fish than I have killed, does that mean I am ahead in some odd moral game? Are uku somehow superior to say mosquitoes just because they are smarter than I am? And what about mu? I obviously need more deco time to properly consider these matters... hope to dive tomorrow. I surface to find the others had a more successful dive. Joe pulls anchor and we head home, the sunset colors and growing moon hog the sky. It is hard to be too depressed when I feel like one of the luckiest people on earth.

dive 178

Saturday, lets see... build a railing or go diving?? Joe, Richard and Thomas are taking the TV guy (Calvin) out to make the "Joe Dituri Show" as well as finish off the official training of Thomas as a rebreather diver. I show up early and spend some time scrubbing the hulls... feel free to read the line again: I show up early and spend some time scrubbing the hulls. The others are all on time and we are soon off for a beautiful day at sea. The topics of conversation flash between the existence of God, mutual hero worship, and why it is definitely not Richards fault that he cannot do a simple thing like make cornbread from a box mix for breakfast. AKU BIRDS! There is of course the terrible heating of the gas oven, Rich throws out concepts like radiant vs. convective heat in hopes baffling the unwary and to explain why it makes perfect sense to ignore package directions when using a gas stove. There is also the problem of expiration dates, he of course thought it had only been in the cupboard a short while, I guess Lisa has not been clearly labeling items with purchase dates as she puts the groceries away. AKU BIRDS! I am stuck on a boat with blind ass deep divers who wouldn't see a bird pile if they were knee deep in guano. We tank up with gas and food (some one else pays), and head for the ships. The talk becomes more high tech, with the occasional baby music class comparisons, and I trying to get Rich to give me his soul (I almost have it, but there needs to be some clearer and more definitive guidelines... I am working on it). Calvin thinks we are all slightly nuts... nothing new. We tie off and jump in. The water is clear with no current. I see three kawa kawa circling around the sub as it passes by. I would dearly love to shoot one, but they are just Tchaikovsky playing as background music. I head directly into the kagami spot not going along the ledge, but across the barren sand. There is an eel swimming along but he stops, coils and if he could hiss at me, he would. How very snake like, guess it comes with the shape. The junk pile turns up a tight ball of taape, some lemon butterflies pretending to lay eggs on the bottom instead of broadcast spawning (know anything about this, anyone?) and six really cute and friendly papio. I hope they still like me as well when they are older. I head along the ledge to the spirals, weke everywhere, but not much else. I vaguely wonder what two fifths of 1300 pounds is, then try to times it by three. O. K. time to head back to the ships. I am low on bottom time and cruise to the pyramids about 15 feet off the bottom. The tourist transport boat arrives along side the sub. As the boat gets closer, and louder, I cannot help but get down between the pyramids. My belly is touching the sand by the time I actually see the three boats on the surface over my head. Well, I did swim off the bottom for some time, and I was brave up until the last bit. I see no need to do it again for awhile. (I am such a benthic, wall seeking field shrew, I swear.) I am back at the ships just when my meter clicks over, perfect, hey, those rules really work!

There is a wall of bubbles from bow to stern of the outside ship. It looks as if she has either just sunk, or is about to lift off the bottom. The bubbles belong to strangers... we couldn't ever muster a bubble wall of any strength without some intensive training. I find my bubble impaired group near the surface and I sneak in as if I had been there all the time. Thomas comes up, a fully qualified rebreather guy... he is happy (except the part about back to work in Seattle tomorrow). He just recently took up diving because his wife thought he should be doing some less dangerous sports (Who is more foolish? The ice climber who gave it up for something safe like diving with the black box of death, or the one who married him and wants him doing safe things now that he is a family man? When this guy takes up needlework, it will be using special poison needles that you can only get from Bolivia.)

We do a second dive (after surface time and snacks), at the kewalo islands. I swim over to yesterdays tako hole to see if the snerk slayer is back in his same house, there is a large eel in residence. I guess the place just wasn't the same after he got broken into (probably a good thing, it could be embarrassing to repeatedly get beat up by the same octopus... "Here she comes again, could you excuse me for a moment while I rip the regulator out of that woman's mouth? I'll be back in a flash, watch for the ink bit... ") The pipe is alive with little guys, the nabeta is still in the sand hole, but not nearly as trusting at mid day compared with yesterday evening. I see nothing in the way of game and head up empty. Calvin is chasing a blue tang around with his camera, most pleased with the exotic footage. (I take it back, Calvin is now using Richard's camera, there is the slight leak in Cal's housing.) We are all happy divers as Cal pulls anchor and Captain Joe heads us home. There is talk of getting teacher Joe on film during classes and arrangements are made. Calvin will have to make a Jennifer show if he wants to go diving again. He does have a pretty good scam going... of course viewers are going to wonder when he just goes out with the same people and calls it a whole new plot!

dive 179

Long windy week, I have not been diving and I am ready. Unfortunately, waiting for the wind to drop has not proved helpful. Gordon and Lyle are planning to go and I invite myself along. We meet, given the weather, we figure the hole is a good safe bet. Lyle's friend Paul is coming in empty handed, Dave and two other skindivers are coming in empty handed. The call of the wild seems to turn Gordon's boat down toward ewa beach. We are heading to the tiger shark spot. This makes me happy because we can pass the four-masted training ship. It is the Nippon Maru, just full of upper class young sailors in need of training. There is a beautiful rainbow framing the ship with Diamond Head in the background. I try to ignore the fact that the rainbow seems to end at the 100' hole. The shore is pretty rainy and finding our marks is tricky. We toss the anchor and Lyle goes down to set it. Gordon and I are not far behind. I see Gordon break a rubber as he loads his gun. He drifts off doing repairs. The bottom is strewn with large boulders, an obvious terminal moraine from the Pearl Glacier, or certain evidence of Cataclysmic Flooding. There is also the possibility that we are close to the dredge mountain and there will be lobsters everywhere. The anchor is in the mist of a reef patch with several hundred manini schooling up. There are also lots of tiny opelu kala charging around doing evening antics. There is no sign of a ledge anywhere. Gordon arrives and as none of us know where we are, we split up and venture off. I head west into oblivion. There are less and less patches and soon it is a field of algae with an occasional coral head. I realize that it will be real easy to get lost, especially after sunset. I head back, retracing my finsweeps and am glad to see a familiar group of fish. Like returning on a hike, as soon as you see something familiar you think you are almost back to the car. Hmmm, I forgot about these bits... I manage to eventually get to the anchor at about the same time as Lyle, he is also empty handed. I figure that with such good anchor finding skill, I might as well take off on another exploration and I head off toward Diamond Head. The boulders seem to dwindle down as I head from rock to rock. My path is the obvious one of connect the dots, yet when I turn to go back there seem to be dots in several directions. Rather than picking and choosing with odds of losing my way at every boulder, I figure to just head in the direction that I think the boat is. I am cruising in a vast algae field, there is an occasional pocillapora head and occasional large brown humus hanging off the bottom. There are two big humus feeding on the bottom... wait those are papio shapes! I stop and whistle and sure enough they both come a running happy to see anything different. I shoot one and while untangling the wrapped and twisted fish tied to a stick, the tiny opelu kala all show up, no doubt in response to my antics. They soon depart and I am once again alone in the middle of the Sahara, wondering where the large flock of geese went to. My brain picks a direction and I head out. I come across a large side boat window, fully intact and not long down. Hmmm, must have been exciting when someone lost this. I debate dragging it along as it would cost money to buy one, but then I would end up having to build a whole boat to go around it. I turn it over and once again am surrounded by opelu kala. These little guys are TV deprived and show unbridled enthusiasm for absolutely anything! This time I am ready and follow them back to familiar ground, I recognize the same bits from my first venture and can retrace my original return path to the anchor. There is no sign of anyone, and cold and dark, I head up. Gordon passes beneath me, empty handed, he debates asking me a question. I thought he was going to ask something complicated like where have you been and what have you seen. I was all prepared to answer with the number seven, but he thinks better of it and continues to the anchor. I decompress watching the boat above me pitch. The ocean is full of white caps and it looks to be a long ride home. I surface to find Lyle empty handed, he did see an uku which he missed... thinks he must need to change the slings. Gordon surfaces, said he got lost and surfaced and was on the surface for several minutes unable to see the boat. He came across a bunch of bombs strewn on the bottom, I guess that rules out the glacier theory. We bounce our way home, frolicking right and left through the froth. I have managed to out spear everyone and am pretty full of myself. Bright, bouncy and cheerful. I am so lucky to go diving that even the refreshing unexpected cold shower back at the dock does not dampen my spirits.

dive 180

My days in Hawaii are numbered, Nils and I are planning a dive. Gordon and Lyle are also going so we join them on Gordon's boat and head for the 100' hole. Lyle is over with the anchor and the rest of us follow. The water is clear, there is no current (very slight ewa) the opelu are hanging on the Diamond Head side. I drift down slowly, Gordon heads off Diamond head. Lyle is posted on the ewa side. Nils heads to the anchor which is directly shore ward. He is swimming with a frog kick. It looks pretty silly. He is dragging the inside corners of his fins and using them to control his speed exactly like I do it. We must look really silly when I am in the lead cruising across the bottom. That's my bear cub! I give Nils some Naomi sprinkles to keep him busy and head to the Diamond Head side. The white weke are there in mass and I happen to see 4 or 5 of them come down beside me and sleep. I marvel and the way they absolutely do not move in the surge and can hold their position with just the tips of their barbles. The group of sleepers is slowly growing as fish descend from the school and fit them selves around the starting 5. I want to join them but have trouble laying so still. I find that if you really lay on the bottom, I mean with your ears in the sand, it is easier to stay still. Ground effect of ocean swells. I get into the idea (you might have gathered there is no sign of game) and press myself into the bottom and am slowly surrounded by weke. I am rather pleased at how close they get and am renaming myself "woman who sleeps with fish", I glance upward, side eye as my ear is on the bottom...(interesting noises by the way)... and see a tiny uku overhead. I glance back and see Lyle looking at me from distance, the weke and I move on at about the same time. Lyle starts to head up. I have not used any air and decide to head out to the ewa cable crossing. NIls suddenly comes racing around the corner and hides behind a large rock, with his gun ready. I can't figure out what he is doing, but he seems to be involved in some fish behavior experiment. I leave him and move on. There is no sign of fish anywhere and it is a lonely trip. On my return I pass over the same big humu / eel hole that I always pass over. Wait a minute, there are rocks blocking the entrance. Sure enough, I see the ever changing eye of and octopus checking me out. Well, I have just enough bottom time to prove that the last war with an octopus was just a fluke loss. I remember Roger's adage "octopus are like women, they always do the opposite of what they think you want them to do" I convince this one that I really want her to stay in the hole and sure enough she comes right out. I am handling her really well with one hand and I get my bag out and go to put her in the bag. I am just full of how much of a master I am. The whole thing, smooth, expert, simple. Well I forgot to pretend that I did not want her to get in the bag and I am soon covered with octopus, tentacles across my mask, in my regulator etc. She is perched on the back of my neck. I have one finger firmly under her mantle as I head up with my gun and bag in the other hand. I am thinking this will be a little embarrassing when I join the others. Lyle heads into the boat never figuring out why I am swimming with my hand over my head. Nils is just coming up the line and Gordon is approaching from ewa. I swim over to Gordon for help. He is now looking right into the sun and as I approach, with tentacles all across my face, he answers question that he imagines I might be asking. Like shaking his head no he got nothing, then pointing to Nils coming up the line. I know the exact second that he actually sees the problem as he bursts out laughing. He wants me to head to the anchor line so he can help there, but I know him well enough to know that is the safely margin he needs to really have fun with it. (he has obviously had a boring dive). I tell him just to hurry up, he gives a good yank, and I feel all the hickies that I will have to explain instantly form, little circles across my neck. We both then peel her off and put her in the bag (at least half way in). Nils comes along and tells us of his escapades with parrot fish. He would put out sprinkles and run and hide and then there would be choke parrot fish, big ones. Either that or he choked when it came time to shoot the bird wrasse. Perhaps he was strangling birds with Naomi sprinkles. Our underwater conversations are getting better, Gordon just had to look at my face to burst out laughing again.... see if he gets any tako poke!! We surface and Lyle wonders what I was doing swimming around the bottom with my hands around my head, but as soon as he sees my face, there is no need to tell him. He has words of wisdom about playing with octopus. We pull anchor and head home. Another great after dive feeling. I am not sure if I will get out again before leaving town, please send dive reports, so I can be jealous of all of you out enjoying the marvels of the sea.

dive 181

The howling gale did not abate as I patiently waited for my tenacious German cold to improve. Days pass. Tribble heeds no storm warnings and his boat is always ready to prance into any thunder that the seas throw his way. I met him at 5:30 for a trip to the hole. Lyle showed up with fishing pole and came along as a boat babe. There was one other guy we dragged along against his will and better judgment, some old dive buddy of Gordon's. It was great to be in a boat again, enjoying the ribbing, catching up on adventures and exchanging lies. We decide on the pyramids as there is a good chance for a current at the hole...the full moon is just about to rise over Diamond head. I have on my brand new super thick wetsuit and an extra 3 pounds to make sure I sink. ( I could have used two). The water is sweet beyond sugar and I swim down glad to be truly home again. We all hit the bottom at about the same time, there is no game to be seen except a large school of really small uku. Gordon sets the anchor and we all go our separate ways. My dive is mostly wandering around in a happy daze, noting all the little sea slugs, playing with the fish. I never see anything big enough to shoot as I cover the Kagami spot, the pyramids, and the spirals. The end of my dive has my eyebrow expanding as I surface one foot at a time it is a long decompression as I slowly equalize. My wetsuit is warm and I savor every second of my return to serenity. No big fish were seen except one large Kahala, the only thing caught was one taape by the boat babe. The moon is up and there is an orange ball sunset. Glad to be home and ready to go diving again.

dive 182

Friday evening, Brian and I show up on Gordon's boat in time for the start of the sailing races. The ocean is a little calmer and Brian wants to go someplace with fish. Gordon opts for Ewa, and we make our way through the starting gates of the race with out getting hit or sworn at. I am just happy to be going along as the scientists discuss USGS and UH relations. Gordon puts the boat precisely where he wants it (at the Japanese anchor, one minutes boat ride Diamond Head of Marnie's rock) I am off to set the anchor. The water is as clear as it gets and the slight DH current keeps the boat right over the anchor. I straighten out the chain, but am side tracked by the uku all around me. The biggest guy is on final approach when I hear the anchor break loose, I would have ignored it, but I was unfortunately laying on the chain at the time, having chain slide under you is one thing but being hit by the anchor prevented me from taking the shot. I square things up and follow the uku off the ledge and into the sand. I get another chance and take a shot which I thought was good, but the uku must have ducked, the shaft whizzed over his head. I load my gun, hear a shot, and turn to see Brian fighting a nice size uku. I am down current and I hope the smell of blood will bring the fish my way, but they remain in the distance. I see Gordon approach and figure to head off toward Marnie's rock. Brian calls me over and takes me toward the rock that has the big sponge crab on it. Sure enough, the crab is still there, and Brian wants to know how they taste. Underwater is no place to tell him that I have taken them home twice and both times managed to leave the things in my car for two days until the overwhelming bad smell reminds me of their existence. OK, so it was back in the days of 4 bottles, deep diving, etc. Never the less, they always bring to mind a particularly bad smell. I debate telling Brian that they stink, but just give him the " I have no idea" sign. I do know some one who breaks off just the claws and claims they are quite good. I head off along the inside ledge, there are some unusual encrusting montipora corals growing and I have soon lost the art of spearfishing as I get sucked into the wonders of the living ground beneath me. I come across a small snowflake eel out in the open and just right for an aquarium. I stroke his head with the end of my spear and he reacts just like a pet. I wonder at the touchy feeliness of eels. I have always assumed them to behave as fish... not particularly snuggly. Most fish seem to be able to swim real close and not actually touch each other, they have even perfected non-contact sex. Very not mammal. I had not thought about eels. I repeatedly stroked the little eel, and realized how much contact they must always have against their bodies, I wondered about eel sex...as well as the nerve receptors in their bodies. The corner of my vision picked up the large papio, he was right there, what had I been doing? I turned my gun and shot. It was a prize fish and a perfect shot. He trembled and fell to the bottom. The spear shaft wedged itself in between the ledge and some rocks the fish came back to life and tore itself off in one move and it swam away to die. In less than a breath I had gone from the great underwater nature scientist to Jack the ripper. I hoped that I would perhaps come across the carcass the way a child might look for a toy left at the beach days ago. Knowing there is no chance, yet unable to not look. I made it up to Marnie's rock and found myself swarmed by lots of kala. There were small weke ula as well as small uku but it was difficult to make them out through the ball of kala I seemed to be in the middle of. I chased the enclosing cloud and their reactions served to attract all the remaining kala that had been keeping their distance. The group circled around me becoming more and more excited. I began a coughing attack as a reminder of my German cold, that at least caused the cloud to move off of me. There seemed to be no evidence of big uku and I headed back down towards the anchor. Brian and Gordon were in the exact same place and I wondered if my dive had been some sort of time warp. Neither guy had seen much and I continued past them in search of action. The water was so clear, that sight distance was great, but the fish were getting hard to see because of lack of light. I could still see the distant bubbles of the other divers but had trouble making out the papio in front of my gun. The papio was so friendly that I could not bear to kill it (Jack the ripper still playing on my brain), I tested the touching theory and it darted off in the direction of Gordon. I soon heard the gun and knew that Gordon would have a dinner. It was time to call the dive because of darkness, even though I could still easily make out the rocks below as I decompressed. Brian arrived, happy with his catch and wanting to make small talk with me, destroyer of all things beautiful. I remained in my melancholy state as Gordon arrived with the papio. I began to snap out of it when I surfaced to a sunset streaked sky, there is more beauty in this world than I could ever hope to waste. Brian and I pull anchor and it is a joyful crew that heads back to port. I regale any listeners with exploits of my travels and note the stars are well into spring. The days are getting longer, the wind is dropping and diving opportunities look good.

dive 183

Wednesday morning and I can't believe my eyes; the wind has stopped. My heartfelt thanks goes out to whoever it was that left town. You should travel more often. I spent the day pulling nails and watching the surf lines on the silky smooth sea. I need to collect sponges for class and am planning a dive. Gordon is back from Kwaj. and is planning a dive, I tag along. We are leaving the harbor and run into a friend of Gordon's who has just brought his powercat over to haul out at the AlaWai. He is up for a dive and we head for Kahala. We anchor at Joe's Barge and I get my collecting bucket, speargun and enter the ocean. Closing your eyes when you are really tired, cold water on a hot day, laying in a hammock with a diet coke, actually nothing compares with being in the sea. We are right over the barge and opelu kala are everywhere, there are fish everywhere but I concentrate on sponges and rock turning. I catch glimpses weke of varying sorts sauntering in and out of range. I am picking up sponges and other interesting invertebrates as I slowly head for the opelu kala swarm. A uku comes into view.... I am concentrating on rocks... O.K. if you are going to be a pest.... by the time I pick up my gun and drop my bucket he has wandered off, he passes by Gordon's friend and he nails him and bags him. I pick up my gun and stand ready.... sure enough there is grampa uku playing shy. It takes three passes to get him in range then I send the spear high over his head.... phooey, the worst part is that I know that I was watched, you know tripping when walking is only bad is someone is looking. I load my gun and go back to rocks. A small kahala cruises by, then suddenly, fish all start diving for the bottom. I await the giant shark. It turns out to be Gordon with a large ulua in his grasp. He signals that I should get the anchor and heads up. Everyone has fish but me. Harumph. There is still time, but judging from Gordon's instructions, I had better at least check the anchor, he could have tied the chain in a bowline around the barge. Sure enough, the anchor takes a bit of maneuvering. The ukukiller heads up. I have the whole ocean bottom to myself. My beeper goes off but I have plenty of air and I am feeling like sponges are not pray to be proud of. The mu start arriving in droves, the show is about to begin. Where do they come from? There is a funny nenue thing in with them. I am sizing them up, small enough to be safe, large enough to be impressive, they are all around me, not just in one direction so it makes it difficult. They slowly move away as I spin around with my gun out like a trapped soldier. Smooth move, I have forgotten how to fish. My deco time is building up and reality is pulling me up the line. I pet Gordon's ulua as we decompress. It is a beautiful fish, not the biggest nor the smallest of the many that were at the deep barge. He seems to just head over there and pick them up one by one. This one is in the 45-55lb range, I am sure we will hear the accurate weight soon. If we hear nothing, assume it is around 40. I have a bucket of sponge. I feel very left out and hope that the anchor will catch on the barge and I will have to go free it. Gordon does a perfect anchor pulling job and the boat is soon gliding back to port. The good news is the seas are calm and I have a couple of full tanks waiting. The not so good news is that I am scrubbing the hulls and moving Roger's powercat from behind the Mo'o and into the dry dock at the Ala Wai for some needed repairs. All of you who are still in town should set aside a couple of hours this weekend, call Roger for info., I of course am exempt as I can poison bottom paint with my looks alone!

dive 184

Friday afternoon and I am ready for a dive. I invite Robert for a dive and we plan to meet at the Ala Wai. Gordon and Brian are planning a dive and I see if I can tag along. Wonder of wonders, we are invited to all head out on the Mo'o. We head for the hole just after the Friday afternoon crowds have left the harbor. I am going to set the anchor and Brian and I head over when the boat hits neutral. The water is clear, and free of currents. I set the anchor and look around. The visibility is great, but I cannot see any game. It is a good day to wander about as the conditions are perfect. I check on Brian, make sure Robert is OK, and head out the peninsula. Three weke ula swim by, but since I still have one in the freezer, I don't get too excited. I head out and see Gordon drifting down on the cave, he checks it and then comes over to where I am. With a master spearfisherman about, I feel compelled to let him pass and head back toward the hole. I hear his gun fire so I turn to see what I missed. The papio has wrapped him up completely before taking off into the depths. I let him untangle himself and avoid the 130' mark he must be at. I head back and see Roger is leaving the deep cave, he chases three weke ula back my way, they are looking sweeter, but they keep their distance this time. I check my air knowing there will be plenty since their is no current. I find I am into deco time, I guess those beeps I thought were from heading up too fast when I left Gordon were really the start of deco time. I head to the hole to check on Robert, he is fine and has seen some weke. I tell him I am going up and head for the anchor, I hear his gun go off. Once again missing all the action! He has shot a small MK right through the eye and has it well in control. I still have 1200 lbs. of air and suddenly five minutes of deco is looking like nothing. I look for the hairy red lobster at the inside ewa rocks, and study the sky as opelu zoom over head. Nothing to shoot anywhere. Ten minutes to decompress, I decide to swim mid water and tour the area, getting in my deco time and being ready to drop into action at a moments notice. I cover the area until it looks unfamiliar and wander back through the opelu. It is really clear, I can see everyone's bubbles at the same time. Back at the line Roger and Brian both show up with weke ula in their bags. We surface to a vibrant orange sunset. Brian can't get over how beautiful the hole was, he swam out to the cave first and shot his weke ula in front, only to have 30 yellow spots swim out of the cave while he was busy. The school then regrouped out in the sand where Gordon ran into them. It is good to know that all the fish are not gone yet!

dive 185

Sunday brings so much sunshine the ocean has turned a beckoning peacock blue. I spend most of the day doing odd jobs and end up changing leg oil down at the boat yard. There is a strong contingent of beer drinkers, but I manage to get two other divers and we head for the Mo'o iki. The engine runs poorly, sounds like high speed jets on the corroborators.... the additional boat problems upsets the boat owner as he faces his never ending stream of maintenance. The Pursuit, Kamasugi's boat is anchored at the ships with several skin divers working the area. We anchor at the pyramids, the water is clear, calm and currentless. I am the first one down and the uku follow me for the last 30 feet. I miss and load just as four large Kahala cruise by and chase everybody away. My tank is filled to 2500, I had better go deep to use some of the air. We all have the same idea and the hunter squadron hits the airplanes in a unsuspecting attack. We each hit a wing tip and circle around to the next plane, nothing but clear water and small fish. The engines are full of menpachi and would make nice pictures. There is a large group of opelu kala cruising, they are no papio even though Mac keeps hoping. I am out of bottom time just as we get back to the pyramids, it has only been fifteen minutes!! This is like those deep divers! I head inside to the Kagami area and spot a fourth diver off in the distance. Deco is building up, I figure to move higher in the water column and "off gas" for awhile. I will drop down on the returning uku at the end of the dive and pick one off. I swim over to the ships. There is nothing but swarms of mating butterflies. I head back and find I am in the clear, 50 minutes at 50 feet. I drop down and see lots of weke ula and uku in the dwindling light. In less time than I can hold my breath my bottom time runs out, the uku are larger but farther away. I head up the line and join the rest of the gang. The wind has fallen away and the moon shines down on us from above. Warm calm summer is coming. No one has any fish but we are all glad to have gotten wet and are happy to get the light to work and the engine to flounder us safely back to port.

dive 186

Tuesday and the weather is looking good. Roger wants me to check out the Power Cat; what better way than take it for a dive? I invite Marvin for a check out dive (see if he can actually swim or not) I plan to take him to the Kewalo pipe. The boat runs fine and the gas problem is on its way to being solved. We toss anchor and I put Marvin in his first ever Hawaiian pack, (Snerk special) he is comfortable and his buoyancy worries seem to be for naught. We tour along the pipe and find it particularly devoid of fish. The bottom ten feet are murky making seeing distant uku impossible. The dive is uneventful except the joy of being in the water again. Marvin pulls anchor, (another good trait) and we head home with still plenty of daylight. The rest of my day does not go as well and I am feeling very broke and figure the only thing to do is to go diving. Lyle is planning a dive, but I miss connecting and plan on taking the Mo'oiki out even though I have not gone through the carbs yet and I doubt Roger has either. I hit the Ala Wai around 5:45 and am happy to see Lyle still in the harbor....I should have known better, he is installing his new fish finder and transducer. Sunset comes and I find myself settling for an evening swim. The water is warm and soothing, my hair is wet and all problems get put in perspective.

dive 187

Saturday and with reason to celebrate (Nils is going to Harvey Mudd next year) Nils and I plan a dive. Lyle graciously offers to take us out to the hole. Nils is a little apprehensive since he got lost the last time there. We plan a recon dive where we learn the area. (I lead him away, he leads me back) Lyle is just up for killing some fish. We anchor (or so we think) and all head down the line. The main anchor is right on the hole, but his small secondary anchor actually was not attached to the anchor line (an oversight) and is off somewhere. Nils and I head out looking for it and soon find it. I hear Lyle's gun go off, I swim the secondary anchor back and see Lyle putting a weke ula in his bag. I am not sure what to do with the anchor so I tie the line in an obvious bow tie so that he will be sure to see it. Nils and I then take off on our scouting expedition first to the diamond head cable I show him the cross bar, and where the ledge is in relation to the hole and he leads us right back. There is little current and there are lots of opelu kala around, the water is medium murky making for good conditions. I hear Lyle's gun, but he is not in sight. We head to the ewa ledge and see a giant lone weke ula in line to get cleaned but he stays right next to the rock but leaves as we approach. He still want his cleaning and does not want to loose his place in line... he circles back a few times but remains shy. We head off the ledge and look at the rocks Nils has a good idea where the hole is and leads us back. Off we go to the die hard battery and out the peninsula we see uku but they take off and don't come back. Nils and I spot a nice pole spear and make the road kill. We swim back along the outside ledge and come across the big school of weke ula. There are several grampa size guys in the distance, they are shy and I soon see why as Lyle comes and takes another one. Nils heads back to the hole and finally shoots a big parrot fish.... unfortunately the shot was long and the barb did not enter the fish. He was very proud of his three scales. We still have plenty of air (aluminum tanks), but our time is up and we head up. I notice that the secondary anchor has been untied and wonder what Lyle has planned. He is too busy using the newly found pole spear to help him get the tako and not the eel. As Nils and I watch him from above we wonder if he isn't after the eel as well! I know he will be low on air. He has his gun, a bag of fish, the pole spear, the heavy tako on the end of the pole spear... and what about that other anchor? As I see him finally coming up, I worry about his air/bottom time. He declines air from me but I think it is the mold on my mouthpiece that dissuades him. I notice he does not have that other anchor and since I still have 1500 I try and ask him if he had time to take care of it. He shakes head in disgust at my pestering and gives me the I am dizzy signal. We all surface and proceed to get in the boat. I ask about his health and find that when I think he is dizzy and near death, it really means "you are driving me crazy". I again ask about the anchor while I am still in the water with fins on. He says he took care of it and not to be tying bow ties on the line. As we pull the anchor into the boat, it suddenly becomes apparent to him that the second anchor was not actually attached! Some people can shoot all the fish, get tako, make mega mistakes and still find it in their hearts to be in a bad mood and mad at me! Well I still had air, so I re-rigged my tank and got back in the water. It was a perfect drop and I was right on the hole. I load my gun but find only a congregation of parrot fish. I look for the one with the head ache, but they all look fine. The anchor is right where Lyle left it, all folded up and ready to be pulled into the boat, funny how the line floats off toward Diamond Head, seems obvious to me. I dawdle a little just because it is nice to have the world to myself. The fish are thick in the evening light, but I see no game. I slowly ascend through a ball of opelu feeding all around me. I can watch the boat streak the ocean over my head as they await my return. It is as if they are trying to mark the spot but their lines are erased as quick as they are drawn. I think of children trying to write their names in the sand before the waves come. The ocean has a way of making memories out of everything we do. I surface to find a thankful and contrite captain. The sun is setting as we blast in, Nils is worried about making his date on time, Lyle is worried about looking like a fool in a dive report and I am listening to the Lomi Lomi hour on the radio and drinking in Waikiki.

dive 188

Wednesday afternoon, the winds are turning southerly and the swell is coming up. Gordon, Stan, Richard, and I are divers. Stan is visiting from Kwajalein. and brought friend Tommy along to be a boat babe. Tommy thinks a lady with a spear is like a dog riding a bicycle, so incongruous that it is funny. Now I really want to spear a fish. Richard has not been diving in a month and is just looking forward to getting wet. Stan has never actually been to the 100' hole (too much tropical fish diving, not enough spearing). I go down to set the anchor. The water is perfectly murky and full of fish, as I pass 60' there is a coldacline and the water turns clear. The anchor is just Diamond Head of the rock with nothing between it and the cable. I manage to maneuver it over to a small nub of rock. There is a small diamond head current. Small fish fill the cave, but most are high above me. I swim up current toward the ewa ledge and see nothing. I pick up a fork that somebody dropped and wonder what kinds of fish attracting noises I can make. I glance up and back lit above me is the poster chart of spearable fish. A rainbow runner heading Makai, three ulua heading ewa, a bunch of big uku and weke ula straight over head, there are also a couple of small papio just to round out the picture. All the fish are in the murky warm water about 30' above me. I figure there are so many fish that somebody will still be there when I make it up there. Nope, the water turns warm at 60-50' deep and it also turns murky and I see only uku in the distance. I drop the fork and they ignore it. I dive down and sand roll and this brings them down. They come down ewa of the ledge, out in the sand and one by one show me how to properly roll in the sand then each one heads back up to warmer water. What brats!! Now I am on the bottom in the clear water again and I can see the weke ula. I head back up and they move down not far from the hole. I drop in on them thinking to take a shot, two small perfect size kahala join the weke as possible targets. I find my self thinking kahala, or weke? Is there still some of that oyster sauce in the door of the fridge? What vegetables do I have? Kahala or weke? There are both in range and I am missing my moment. I shoot, but I am not sure at what. Well, there is a big discussion amongst the fish as to who was being shot at, what type of spear I have and how the barb works. The kahala think the barb looks quite edible and the weke like the sand it stirred up. I finally get my gun loaded and find my self alone and cold. I go back to the warm water and I guess all the talk about Sacred Falls and death has really affected me because there seems to be a dead body around the other side of the hole, I can see what look like human legs awash in the lee of the current. Wait, those are human legs! I am trying to think what to do when I realize, "Oh, it is just Richard". the no bubble thing is really tricky. I wonder if he could have swum right into the uku... probably. I head back upcurrent and glimpse a big tight school of opelu kala up near the ewa cable. I swim toward them but never see them again. The rest of my dive is spent close to the clear water. I spot Gordon, he is also empty handed, shucks I figured him for getting two of those big uku. Gordon heads up and I soon follow, it is still plenty light and Richard gives it a few more minutes before joining the gang on the surface. There is a lot of boat talk (Richard has a dock sitting empty!), Stan is on his first power cat and is full of questions. Gordon pulls the anchor and we head back to the Ala Wai while it is still light! No fish on board, but everyone is glad to have had the chance to visit. The surf is coming up, but so far it is onshore. Perhaps dawn will bring glassy conditions and our first summer swell.

dive 189

Rainy, cloudy Thursday evening, the surf is about 3 feet and the ocean looks murky. Michael calls and is up for a dive. I hem and haw and he says he is going anyway we plan to meet at the Mo'o at 5:30. Mike, John, Lyle, Doc and I take the Mo'o from her slip and head out onto what turns out to be a glassy sea. The conversation centers around Mike's party, boats and the fish I saw yesterday. Captain Mike takes us to the hole and I drop anchor. There is little wind and the slight Diamond head current is the only thing pulling the boat. The old guy and I are the last ones in the water and the murk is thick enough that I keep him in sight. The anchor is right on the hole and it is surrounded by divers. We head off up current with out seeing anything, I keep Doc in sight just for safety reasons and he leads me right out the peninsula, down the cable and over to the deep cave. (so much for worrying about my elders!) He is seeing something outside, but I cannot make it out. We head back and part company near the sand hole just outside of the hole. The big school of weke ula arrive and I take a good shot. The shaft is just in front of the eyes, and it tears off before I have a chance. The school hangs around and I reload and try to find the same big one. I don't want to wound two. No luck, I wound two. They are hanging back and out of my range. I head back to the anchor where Lyle is hanging around empty handed. Hey, he has a giant gun with THREE rubber slings, and an extra wrap of line. I give him my gun and swaggered off with his. Ready for bear and nothing but butterflies. I can hear some tank banging and since I owe a couple of minutes decompression I head back to the anchor. That old guy had just gotten a 15 pound white ulua that had been sleeping in the hole the whole time!! I head up to find Lyle with my spear. There is a large uhu at the end of the shaft and I quickly wonder how I can phrase it in my dive report. " Once again, my spear brings fish back to the boat" I have lots of decompression to pay. The top 15' is clear and the murk below appears like a cloud bank I am flying over. The sun finally peaks out as gets to the dry side of the world, the sudden evening glimmer brings magic to my lonely decompression. I surface to find the hero fish stories flying. Lyle points out how straight and accurate my gun is. "Well at least we know whose fault it is when I miss fish!" Lyle and the hero pull the anchor while I cheer them on. The Mo'o glides us back and we catch the wave of the day as we come in the channel. Another good day after all, funny how a dive can change everything.

dive 189

Rainy, cloudy Thursday evening, the surf is about 3 feet and the ocean looks murky. Michael calls and is up for a dive. I hem and haw and he says he is going anyway we plan to meet at the Mo'o at 5:30. Mike, John, Lyle, Doc and I take the Mo'o from her slip and head out onto what turns out to be a glassy sea. The conversation centers around Mike's party, boats and the fish I saw yesterday. Captain Mike takes us to the hole and I drop anchor. There is little wind and the slight Diamond head current is the only thing pulling the boat. The old guy and I are the last ones in the water and the murk is thick enough that I keep him in sight. The anchor is right on the hole and it is surrounded by divers. We head off up current with out seeing anything, I keep Doc in sight just for safety reasons and he leads me right out the peninsula, down the cable and over to the deep cave. (so much for worrying about my elders!) He is seeing something outside, but I cannot make it out. We head back and part company near the sand hole just outside of the hole. The big school of weke ula arrive and I take a good shot. The shaft is just in front of the eyes, and it tears off before I have a chance. The school hangs around and I reload and try to find the same big one. I don't want to wound two. No luck, I wound two. They are hanging back and out of my range. I head back to the anchor where Lyle is hanging around empty handed. Hey, he has a giant gun with THREE rubber slings, and an extra wrap of line. I give him my gun and swaggered off with his. Ready for bear and nothing but butterflies. I can hear some tank banging and since I owe a couple of minutes decompression I head back to the anchor. That old guy had just gotten a 15 pound white ulua that had been sleeping in the hole the whole time!! I head up to find Lyle with my spear. There is a large uhu at the end of the shaft and I quickly wonder how I can phrase it in my dive report. " Once again, my spear brings fish back to the boat" I have lots of decompression to pay. The top 15' is clear and the murk below appears like a cloud bank I am flying over. The sun finally peaks out as gets to the dry side of the world, the sudden evening glimmer brings magic to my lonely decompression. I surface to find the hero fish stories flying. Lyle points out how straight and accurate my gun is. "Well at least we know whose fault it is when I miss fish!" Lyle and the hero pull the anchor while I cheer them on. The Mo'o glides us back and we catch the wave of the day as we come in the channel. Another good day after all, funny how a dive can change everything.

dive 190

Friday afternoon, Gordon is a diver and Marvin and I tag along. We get there early to miss the Friday madness. The ocean is calm and there is plenty of light, we head for Marnie's Rock. There is still plenty of light when we toss the anchor. Marvin is still waiting to fix his regulator and as a result, using my regulator with no BCD inflator hose so he is also using a Snerk pack again. This time he has his own aluminum tank so his weight is off. I am of the more weight will keep you out of trouble and not scaring the fish theory, which is good when you are not at Marnie's Rock and the bottom is covered with sea urchins and eels. We head down the anchor line and into the murk. The surf has kicked up a surge which has the fish rushing about nervously. The good news is there are a lot of fish, we are surrounded by opelu on our way down, then palani encircle us as the bottom comes into view. It is murky, I am keeping a close eye on Marvin. A large school of yellow spot papio zoom by, fast and out of reach. Gordon appears and I tell him about the fish. He no sooner heads for the rock when I hear his gun go off. I head over to see if the fish are still around, there is nothing but the master putting a good size papio in the bag. There is a big turtle cruising along and I head over to pester it. It wants nothing to do with us and heads out to the depths. We head back toward the ledge and I look up to see three large mu over head. They don't give me a chance, but I know I could work on them on a day like today. We start to head ewa and run smack into Gordon's buddy, the sandbar shark. Marvin does not see it and thinks my shark sign means "let's swim", I am impressed by how nonchalant he is. Since Gordon has a bloody fish, I think I had better tell him about the shark, but he has left the area. The fish are really active, palani and opelu kala everywhere. I see a couple of MK move out of sight and hear Gordon's gun go again. That rat.... I keep looking high to see if the mu will pass again and am lucky to glance up just as the large hammerhead passes over. Nils just started his senior singing, and I get to see my first big shark of the year, the season is upon us. Marvin misses all the action as he tries to keep from sinking. I am thankful that he has no more than a single sea urchin spine and has managed to avoid all eels. The surge and the murk has taken its toll on Marvin's air and we wander back toward the rock. We pass Gordon who now has a mu added to his cashe, I tell him about the sharks and I give him my empty bag to fill as we head up with the fish. Feeding opelu swarm us as we decompress and provide the entertainment. The surface is in serene sunset mode belying the turbid turmoil going on beneath us. The only clues are the birds that stop to dive into the action as well as the opelu occasionally touching the surface. Ten minutes brings the bubbles of the hero up the anchor line, he has another good size papio and tales of ono passing overhead. I have to put up with endless harassment about not getting anything and as soon as I try to blame taking care of Marvin, he chimes in with how he was helping me lure the fish! No mercy! At least Gordon feels sorry enough for me to offer me one of the papio....hmmm fresh fish any way I can get it. Marvin pulls anchor and we head back, pointing out the various channels and orienting Marvin to Hawaii by sea instead of air.

dive 191

Sunday's ocean is glass smooth. Nils had been in charge of making Poisson crue out of the uhu that Lyle had shot (very delicious) but his hands were now sore from squeezing so many limes. His request for the day was to get a citrus juicer. Now it just so happens that the last time I dove David's spot (near Marnie's rock), I came across a great juicer. It was made of glass and would clean right up. I carried it around for awhile, but it seemed like it would be one more piece of clutter in my kitchen cupboard. Three years and I have not needed one yet. I remember seeing and shooting a papio, leaving the juicer where it could be found again. (some where halfway between Marnie's rock and David's spot along the inside ledge). Marvin has just bought the Grasshopper from the Pfeffers and is dying to go anywhere. He actually believes that taking off from Hawaii Kai to go to Marnie's rock seems like a good idea! (new boat or what?) He agrees to be captain and Nils and I are on our way. The lineups are sketchy and lucky someone noticed that the fathometer was on simulator mode before we jumped in at 400'. We anchor just exactly where I think the juicer is, and as Nils and I descend, I have visions of myself just coming back up to the boat in one minute mission successful. (really impressing the hell out of Marvin) Well, the moments when I don't look a fool are few and far between, and none were forthcoming. I can't for the life of me remember where I set it down. Well no use crying over not being able to make lemonade. We head over to Marnie's rock to check the action. The palani are there, as well as waha nui, but nothing else and we leave it to go back to the original mission. One in five coral heads when you squint and look at just the right angle from just the right distance, could pass as a lemon squeezer. Nils and I find all kinds of not juicer items, shells, lines, old pieces of who knows what. Alas, we must return to the anchor unsuccessful. Oh, the shame of it. The opelu come and visit and we watch Marvin snorkeling overhead as we decompress. He chastises me for leading him on a wild goose chase but still has too much new boat owner euphoria to be taken the least bit seriously. Nils pulls anchor (complaining about his sore hands) and we blast back to the Ala Wai for fuel, then another 20 minutes back to Hawaii Kai. The ocean is mirror smooth, except for the pelting rain which keeps us from becoming too spoiled.

dive 192

Marvin is hot to dive off of the Grasshopper, we head out for a midday visit to Fantasy reef. I manage to find it with out marks other than the usual "I think that lines up on something", probably because I have a fathometer and the water is clear. We head down to check it out. I have little hope of shooting anything, but am looking around anyway. There are friendly turtles everywhere, and Marvin is enjoying watching them. He is much more comfortable now that we have visibility of more than 5 feet. I leave him exploring caves and chasing reptiles and head down to my favorite spot. There are a lot of fish and with daylight, the bright red sponges stand out to make the area very photogenic. There are no uku, I do a semi check on Marvin, thank goodness for open circuits... he is still breathing and the silver bubbles are easy to spot. A small papio darts away as I approach. I double around the other way, with hopes of catching him on the rebound. I glimpse Marvin's silver bubbles out of the corner of my eye and wonder how he moved so far so fast to wreck my plan... I figure to join him and focus on the shinny silver bubbles, which are, oddly enough, in the shape of a shimmering Kagami. Oh, I need to pay more attention in the future. I have been in the presence of a great fish and ignoring her. I call and get her to turn, a slim silver fun house mirror, she bends and shimmers, turns and approaches my funny noises. The water is clear and I have no hiding place. I try to act nonchalant, looking at sand, not paying attention etc. but she can see me fine from where she is and close enough for her is not close enough for me. My heart yearns after her as she looses interest in me and leaves my life forever. I get over it and head back to join my buddy. He is cruising around and still has air. (or so he says) We swim around one of the arches and I check out the throng of mempachi swarming in the crack, a good spot for a pole spear. I hark back to my lost glory and wonder if the kagami is down at the next channel, she could be just waiting for me. I head off in that direction and loose Marvin along the way. I figure he has headed back to the boat. Murky water has moved in an I have great hopes for the fish. Alas murky water has moved in and I can't see a thing. I hope Marvin has found the anchor. There is no major current and the seas are calm so I am not too worried. He is not on the line when I return, (he is above me heading back for the boat) and I leave the anchor and do a short search for him. No luck, I hang with the black humus at 15' as the visibility continues to decrease. We had perfect timing on the dive and I am happy to find Marvin in the boat when I surface. We take advantage of our situation, blast back to the marina drop off tanks (air in Hawaii Kai, place by Longs, has $1.10 a fill special going on.) Kimo fills our tanks while we eat and get ready for an evening return. Sunset gives a chance to anchor again, only to find the Diamond Head express full throttle. I know it is going to be a miserable experience, but the sun will not allow us to wait out the ripping current. The water is super clear and inviting, we can clearly see the bottom at 90'. We hem and haw, and just when I decide not to go diving, Marvin heads over. Boy those BC's can really fly when conditions are right. Thank goodness for heroes lines. There is some debate if it counts as a dive, but I maintain it is not worth logging unless you actually get down, no matter how long it takes and how much air gets used.

dive 193

Wednesday afternoon, I join Gordon and Lyle for a dive trip in Waikiki. There is plenty of daylight left and we debate following in the wake of Navatek and sneaking around Diamond Head. Lyle says the hole was happening on Monday as he had gotten an eight pound yellow spot and there were plenty more. Well, that sounds good, we drop in at the 100' hole. Lyle is down with the anchor. The water is clear as I enter and I can see the rocks below me, along with the white bag that indicates Lyle already has fish. There is a slight Diamond Head Current, almost the perfect amount. Gordon is using a half tank and I know I will be the last one up so I head in to check on the anchor while Gordon drops down on the action. I can see lots of fish hanging up current and I wander off the Ewa ledge and lay in the sand among the ewa rocks in 95' of water. There are weke ula everywhere. They are busy courting and do not pay much attention to me. There is one good size guy, but he energetically tickling the back of a vixen of a weke's neck with his barbels. I am way too anthropomorphic not to be touched. It seems like evolution should encourage neck tickles over watching for predators and today it does, at least with me. I have heard two shots taken as I lay in the sand. The heniochus are like evenly scattered clouds in the sky over my head and I peacefully play in the sand following a miter trail and finding the beautiful shell burried at the end of it. The weke join me and I can actually count three between my mask and the end of my spear.... now that is getting them close. They suddenly move off as three large Kahala appear, once again I can only think of hoodlums as the homey G's come cruising by. I see both Lyle and Gordon pass by with fish each going separate ways and it occurs to me that I should probably move some where. I check my air to find that I have been down ten minutes and apparently have not been breathing. With this much air I stay at the bottom of the ledge and move out towards the cable crossing. I see no game, except some smaller weke that pass me twice. It seems really silly to shoot the smaller ones after playing with the big ones. Now it actually makes sense not to shoot these either! I circle back to the hole and still have lots of air. My sand patch seems like the most fun as it was out of the current and I head back out towards ewa. Gordon is coming back out along the ledge and he is bringing the gangster Kahala with him. I roll in the sand as the kahala pass by, I get one interested and he comes by to dare me to take a shot. My decompression meter has beeped.... well I will wait at least until I have 1500 pounds before heading up. I see the others are heading up the line and I wander back toward the anchor. Gordon has a large weke ula and a large mu in his bag. Lyle is getting ready to powerhead an eel (no doubt to impress me HA!) but the shell goes off when he fires the gun, not on impact and the eel is left seemingly better off than the rest of us who still have residual ringing in our ears. I hold Gordon's fish while he unties his spear. The weke either put up a good fight, or was an expert in macrame. There is lots of neat plankton drifting by and decompression is full of interesting visitors. I really like diving.... I need to do this more often. I have no remorse at all for not having taken a shot. I surface to find the boys discussing their fish, Lyle has a mu and weke ula as well (the smaller version of Gordon's catch), they cannot believe I did not see the many dumb mu that were there, and Gordon does a David imitation mocking my lack of fish. I bemoan the fact that I really did need a fish to give to Reid at Hose Service Inc. who jury rigged a fuel pick up line for me to for the Prince William. He did it after his boss said it couldn't be done, and he did not charge me for it. I thought a fish would be a good thank you. Well Gordon does work with those guys, and generously offered me his weke ula to claim as my own and pay the debt. I don't know if I will pull off the lie, but at least I will help to encourage good deeds. The world can always use more neck tickling and jury rigging.

dive 194

Thursday morning.... Marvin has not used his boat for a whole day and is ready for a dive. He invites me along although he does mention that my dive reports don't always show him in the best light and that I always seem to be the hero. He says he will let it slide, not steal my thunder, and could I show him where Fantasy reef is again? Seems he couldn't find it as easily as he thought. I sealed my invitation by telling him there is a whole lot of nothing. The weather is rougher than the last time out, but it is a down wind run. It takes me awhile to find the spot and we bounce around, putting the boat to the test while I try to remember the marks. We anchor and head over. There is no current and the water is clear, perfect conditions underwater. The dive is a nature walk through a set up park. We find three small octopus, three pairs of helmet shells, five barracuda, bright sponges and long spined sea urchins dot the landscape. A large turtle comes up behind us and pesters Marvin until he gets some attention. He leaves me for reptile (what's new) and I go see if the little mu have any big brothers. There is no game and we spend our time petting lemon butterflies (as they raid a damsel fish nest), and chasing puffers. With no current our air lasts for the better part of an hour and we mosey up. I pull anchor and we take the slow up hill ride home, 15 minutes and we drop off tanks on our way in. Not a bad way to start the day... now off to fix the Prince William, deliver fish (I don't pretend that I shot it.... ), and wait for my next dive.

dive 195

Friday and the sun rises... seems like a good reason to go diving. Marvin is up for exploration and we anchor at a Kahala junk pile that looks good on the depth recorder. The water is clear and the current slight. The anchor is on an older pile of zees that I am not familiar with. It is swarming with opelu kala and lots of reef fish. There is another pile of newer pieces of concrete nearby and we swim over to see if the grass is any greener. I see a helmet shell upside down and find it full of anenome hermit crabs. The shell is dead, but the congregation of crabs suggest there could still be a stench problem. I pick it up and begin to lug it around.... just what I need, another stinky project... oh well there is always the freezer potential (heaven help me(and the neighbors) if the power ever goes out at my house) I look back to check on Marvin and see him being followed by uku, they are almost in range, but it could be tricky to miss Marvin. He gets down and behind me, but I can not get the uku close. They come straight as if talking to me. "Hey, we liked following that other guy. Why are you so mean to him? Do you really think we can't see that spear of yours as clear as day?" I give up and we head back to the anchor and go explore a layer of tires that lie on the other side of the first pile of concrete zees. The tires are laying in a single layer and are stacked tightly together. The method seems to be planned, but it attracts very little fish life. The other end of the layer brings us to the start of familiar tire area and I fit another piece into the kahala dump map. Marvin is getting low on air, and we zip back down current and find ourselves at the anchor with some play time. I hand Marvin the gun and he wanders around in search of something to shoot. He teases me that he is going to shoot the dacillus, and I have visions of the spear right through the tire that is laying behind the fish! (shades of Mike!) My face must have looked good as he decides to unload the gun instead of taking the shot. (all those mom years pays off!) We head up the line, what a way to start the morning.

The rest of day seems to deteriorate before my eyes, and when I get a chance to go out with Gordon late in the evening I jump at it. Mike and his Dad come along and we take off in search of adventure. Gordon points out that he has tons of fish and it makes no difference where we dive. We all pay homage to the master (and Captain) and Mike picks Marnie's rock as his choice. There is plenty of light and we head down there discussing world and family politics. Both seems tinder box ready for explosions, with no easy solutions. The ocean is clear and calm as we throw over the anchor. Mike and I drop down and find ourselves lifting the coiled anchor line off the bottom. Mike heads out to the rock, and I head along the inside aiming to come back along the ewa ledge. I find a large wana party. Every urchin who is any urchin is at the event. I guess that there is an evening spawning planned. (either that or a couple of them are getting married.) I feel that my legs will be safer as the surrounding area must be urchin clear. I glance up as I approach the ulua hole and see a papio tail vanishing off across the flats. Shucks, should have been paying attention instead of using my gun to rearrange the seating chart. I am too impatient to hang around to check if there is a urchin hierarchy and I leave the confused souls and head up to uku corner. There is one small rat uku pretending to be a ping pong ball between Gordon and I. Gordon had not seen any fish. I next come upon the other master diver and he is bored enough to take time to give me the full report. I amazed both his ridiculous choice of hand signals as well as the fact that I actually seem to understand it: "I have not seen anything much, have you seen any uku? Only one small one? Oh, yeah, I saw two tuna, could have been ahi, but I think they are big aku. They still might be around, keep you eyes open. Maybe when it gets darker, the weke will come in." either that or he is taking a trip for two to Las Vegas and planing to walk all over the town. I leave the chatter box and head down toward David's favorite area. I am gliding along the ledge and just for old times sake (and maybe the fact that someone thought I need to work out more (Ha!; more implies a base line!), I decide to really swim like I was on final approach with more than four Nasos heading toward the net. Wow! I am really flying.... this is so pointless....I glance off the ledge and see team uku pacing along my side. I am afraid to suddenly change anything and I blaze along until I come to the first mushroom rock, I zoom along the inside side and come to a -there is a police car on the other side of the yellowlight-type of stop and get ready to fire. Sure as termites on a streetlight, those uku come over the top at point blank range. My trigger sticks and they are gone. I manage to get the gun to fire and load it and fire again... must have been from not rinsing it this morning, salt crystals in the trigger. Opelu suddenly dart by in a mad panic and I am ready for tuna.... nothing but panicked opelu. I head back towards the boat thinking about going to look for that blasted lemon squeezer. Some one probably stole it, that's what happens when you leave things in plain sight, you can't trust people anymore. I look up and see a big otaru aku staring me in the face. I am carrying my gun around mid way along the body, and there is no time to get ready before he is gone. Back to the anchor, Mike and Gordon are hanging on the line, Mike has something. I head out to the rock and find an excited hand signal king going off about tuna. He really wants one and heads off in search. I look up to see five rainbow runner passing by. I never get close to those guys but I manage to swim along side about ten feet off the bottom and take a long shot and the closest one. Well now they are friendly! All five come over and count coo on my spear shaft!! AAAhhh!!! Sassy fish!!! I am out of air and surface to find Mike had gotten a nice size uku and gets the hero award for that as well as pulling the anchor. We head toward Honolulu in the evening light with the full moon above Diamond head sending a glimmering road for us to follow. The long ride back is filled with our recounting our dives, heroes all, in our own eyes. My problems seem to be in better perspective. We are greeted at the harbor with the Friday night fireworks.... not bad.

Saturday morning, time to meet Joe at the Mo'o. I haven't seen the guy for awhile, his gear still seems like slight over kill. There is a couple from Houston along, the guy, Phi, has a gray box of death and is just as technical as the rest of that gang. His wife Melanie is coming along as boat babe and team photographer. The boat owner shows up and we head out for the little hole. I am supposedly captain, but with the owner looking over my shoulder, it is a good chance to catch up on my lessons. The winds are on shore and the ride is bouncy and wet. Joe gets up on the bow and plays ride um cowboy. It is good to see that guy again, one tends to forget just how far childish enthusiasm can go. I hope he doesn't fall off.... I finally get to the spot and Joe throws the anchor. I put on my gear and head off to set the anchor. The anchor is a little off the ledge, but it is in plain sight. The current is fairly slack and I head out in search of game. I follow Mike's transect line and find it has at long last broken up. The float still marks the end and there is a good size pocillapora head growing on the float. I think about making it more secure so it can last the 15 year life span of the coral head. It would be fun to have a giant coral head that floats in space. While I am wondering how much mass the float will float, a group of weke ula swim by. I pick the biggest and my trigger sticks again.... second time, and I know it was rinsed. I am worried about my gun and I load and shoot it just to make sure, it works fine. Fifteen minutes have gone by, so I return to the anchor to check on the others. There is no one about and I swim out toward the ledge past the cable. I come across The boat owner and he asks if I have seen the others. We cruise the ledge in sight of each other. The current is picking up toward Diamond Head, but we have a down current return to the boat so it isn't bad, he get low on air and we head back looking for the two who don't have bubbles. They have another half hour of planed bottom time so I am not too worried. The chief of worry is along with us and by the time I get to the surface (deco cut short by frantic waves), he has the perfect scenario for disaster all worked out. "What if that Phi guy had some sort of sinus problem, and they couldn't actually get down and got caught in the current?" The current is now pretty good, but it was slack when they started. We debate the possible disasters back and forth as we tie the anchor line off to a float. Melanie is slowly getting alarmed by are preparations to search along with our coast guard alert. I keep thinking of solutions that would avert the problems. "Surely Joe would make the bottom and he has that batman belt. Phi seemed fairly prepared as well, (he even carries prophylactics.... (you never know!) ) they both have marker sausages etc..." Melanie is selected to settle the problem of how worried we should be. Worried guy: "Melanie, how good of a diver is Phi?" Dutiful wife: "Oh, he is a very good diver." Worried guy: "Does he have any experience?" Dutiful wife: "Yes, he is C.I.D. and R.S.V. P. class two" The engines are started and panic resumed. I try to straighten out the obvious miscommunication, ( Melanie should have known just by looking at our gear), I ask her "Phi has spent lots of time in the water hasn't he?" Dutiful wife: "Oh yes, why he even has his instructors P.D.Q." We are off to the Diamond Head buoy! We flag down a fishing boat and get them involved. The coast guard boat that blasted by us does not respond, it seems like our radio receives but does not send. We see no sign of the divers, but their expected bottom time is just about to finish. With my suggestion, we go check the anchor and sure enough they are coming up the line. We tie up and wait for them to surface. Melanie is very happy and relieved and looks to the instigator of this whole thing as her hero for somehow saving her husband. (who didn't even know he had been saved!) They surface 15 feet from the boat and give the OK sign, unfortunately, they have let go of the anchor line and are caught in the current. The turtles are swimming backwards away from the boat and we have move the boat over to them. The fishermen come and check with us and are happy we found our missing guys. The divers had a great dive, played with fish and saw a shark, (that was really good, you should have seen Joe nonchalantly talking about it; "It's not the sharks, but the sea urchins that get you"). They were none the wiser for our antics. It could all have been a ploy to prevent having to sit around and wait for divers while the winds were onshore and the Mo'o was wallowing stern into the waves. Everyone was elated and glad to head home alive.

Sunday morning is a repeat of yesterdays crew. Phi, Joe, the guy in charge of worrying, Melanie, and myself. Melanie is a diver today and we plan on going to the ships. Less current, no anchoring, nice place to dive. We tie up to the buoy and send everyone over. Melanie chooses to stay with Phi and Joe because she is not that confident, hasn't made a dive since way back when, wants to stay safe, is worried about diving with the radical one (me), and opts to stay with the always safer boxes of death. Up until then I would have said she was bright, now I realize beneath that honey sweet exterior, lies pure genius. Phi says "don't worry honey bunny, I'll watch over you", his chest swelling with manly pride. After yesterday, she is not, I say NOT letting her baby out of her sight, period!! The water is clear and you can see the ship laying beneath the boat. There is a dive charter boat going to tie up on our stern and I high tail it before the zoo arrives. Dive class is going on on the deck below us, Joe gives me the O.K. and I head off to look for game. The subs are running and I can hear the ever present whine as they approach. There are a group of mu, too smart for me that disappear off toward the pyramids. I head over to the kagami spot. If they are going to ignore me, well, I will ignore them as well. HA! Well nothing here except fearlessly friendly white weke, they surround me and smother my visibility with curiosity. I head back to the ships, but instead of my usual ground shrew like behavior of following the ledge and returning the way I came, I venture off into the great flat plain and try to make a straight line to the ships. This unshrew like behavior is disconcerting and I keep altering course towards the safe side. End result; I hit the ledge right at uku corner, not far from the pyramids. I probably followed my exact same path about 10 meters to the left! The good news is that there are uku chased off the ships by divers and mu chased off the pyramids by the sub. None of the fish are interested in me, but I plan on cornering the mu and uku between me and the submarine. Now if you had to avoid dangerous monsters in a computer game and the choice down one path was a giant, white, whining, mid water shark capable of swallowing sixty people at a time, or down another path a tiny, quiet, little pigtailed turtle, scared to leave the bottom, so timid it tries to be camouflaged, and uses a stick as its only primitive weapon, which would you choose? Let me tell you, those fish are really stupid, they will never advance to the next level. I circle through the pyramids, wave at the tourists on the submarine, and head back to the ships. There are divers everywhere each in their own world. Photography, videoing, posing, chasing turtles, playing with fish they are all having fun and seem oblivious of each other. The two boxes of death stand out as different, but Joe seems to be putting out bubbles, probably some tricky exercise for experts. Melanie and the Captain are decompressing and we come up together. The captain got a late start (tying up the other dive boat), and he has enough air that he heads back down and checks out the airplanes, he returns with tales of big weke ula and an empty bag as well. The other boat slowly fills up with divers, and is gone before the boxes return. Phi comes back elated at his great and fun dive, Joe has a killer head ache, a broken box and is still in a good mood. Even in weakened state, he volunteers to pull the anchor or in this case cast off the line. We return to the fuel dock, and fuel for tomorrows antics. Phi gets hero award for buying me a cold diet coke. See, there are more ways to get hero award without spearing giant fish and giving them to me!!

dive 196

Sunday afternoon, the underwater artist is in town and we plan a dive with Lyle to the kewalo pipe. Janetta has not been underwater for over a year, but she loves the pack I got her for Christmas (really cool, I am jealous of it myself). There is no current, the water is slightly murky. The anchor is on the pipe and we wander along watching fish mate, they are doing it everywhere!! A too small papio comes to visit and I do a pretend shot, piece of cake. Out at the end of the pipe are five slightly larger papio. Lyle has brought along a "drop gun", to get those sassy fish after a shot. This is not the first time someone has come up with the two gun theory. The little gun as a very small range and I don't know how many dives it will make. I can see there are uku far out in the sand but am unable to draw any interest out of them and we wander back to our little fish observations. We watch Lyle's butter knife performance, which is twice as entertaining with two guns. We watch the antics from a safe distance, no uku appear and we turn to leave... guess what kind of fish are in the row of seats right behind us? There are four uku between my gun and the pipe. I get a promising first pass, and settle in for some uku hunting. A strange whistling sound suddenly begins. I wonder if it is Lyle with some new gadget trying to get a hold of us. Janetta hears it as well. I can not see Lyle. Janetta is beginning to get cold anyway and we head back to the anchor. The whistling stops. Janetta is using my regulator, and I am using some new superduper thing... perhaps it is some sort of 1500 psi warning? Never trust those industrial designers. The sound has stopped, so I can not determine if it was caused by me. We head up playing with the myriads of phytoplankton that fill the sea. Janetta is even more pleased with her pack, and feels ready to start some serious drawing. Lyle surfaces with no fish, some disgust with the "drop gun" idea, and not having heard anything unusual at all. He had spent the better part of the weekend helping friends in drydock, and was very happy to get out diving. The sun is just thinking about setting as we head back to the Ala Wai, we hope to get out diving again soon.

dive 197

Thursday and the sun is shining. Marvin is back in town and Janetta and I take advantage of someone who has not been diving and is desperate to head out. We head for fantasy reef. The surf is flat and the seas are fairly calm. Marvin lets me circle the boat around like a dog looking for a place to settle down. No matter how few the options, it is always nice to circle around. We anchor and head down, there is a slight Diamond Head current and I park Janetta on the back side of an island to do some drawing. I have promised to keep her in sight and Marvin is cruising around the same island as well. I wander off to a more familiar part of the reef (we are on one of the outside islands). A large kahala is tailing me, but he doesn't get very close. There is a small mu, dinner for two, but I have house guests and am a party of four until next week anyway, I don't try for him. I turn around to glance at Janetta's bubbles and lo and behold, she is not in sight. I have wandered further than I thought, then I head back to the wrong island group. I don't want to waste to much time looking for them, although I am certain Marvin and Janetta are fine. I surface to find my upcurrent instinct has moved me an easy flight down to the others. Marvin has seen a large "I don't know what kind" fish.. I assume it is the Kahala, but load my gun again just in case. Janetta is working away with her new superior paper and has not noticed my absence at all. She still has some air and I play with little urchins and shells under rocks until it is time to surface. Marvin is the first to surface and he swims right on board. It is a lot easier to get on a boat, when it is completely awash. I am fairly certain that we are in dire straights, but ever the airplane pilot.... "we're fine, just get on board" The engine starts even though it is half underwater (keep those seals well greased) and we are soon underway and trying to figure out what combination of things could have caused the mishap. It takes the whole way back to the marina to get the boat dry, but then she seems fine and does not take on water. It is always a good day when you get back alive, and even better when you still have all your stuff.

dive 199

Tuesday... I feel like I will not stave off this cold... might as well go diving. Gordon is going, Lyle and the old guy with no voice are starters as well. Lyle is up for Kahala, the ocean is calm and we head that way. I throw the anchor at the baby barge and Lyle heads down to set the anchor. There is a slight current and as I watch Gordon and the old guy sink beneath the boat, I decide to leave my gear bag on the surface, I never spear anything anyway and with the new gun, I will have enough to deal with. The water is clear and the current is not that bad. I get to the bottom and load the new gun. Wow, I can actually load it pretty easily. I see the old man up ahead, he is posed for a shot.... I can imagine I see a smallish uku swimming just out of his range. I plan to head it off at the pass by hiding behind a concrete Zee. I wait a bit and peer out to see three weke ula right in front of me, there is no uku in sight and since I am being watched I choose the largest and shoot it. I have no bag and the nice old guy lets me put the fish in his bag. I head inside toward the baby barge and see some large mu heading off toward the turtle barge. There is nothing in my vicinity, and I check my air and time and head to Joe's barge. I cross the sand and imagine there are hoards of uku following me, I make a large sand trail and spin and hide behind the first object expecting to see uku.... there is one 10 ounce guy eagerly trailing me. The barge seems devoid of life as I swim across the deck. The next pile of Zees has some MK and I head over to check them out. I see some mu and try to get them close, I take a shot and hit him in the cheek.... he shakes the shaft off, I am not sure if it had reached the end of the line, or had hit the bullet proof mu helmet. I am happy with the gun... it hasn't missed yet! I see the mu still hanging about and play hide and go seek around the concrete. I sneak up and find myself face to face with not only the mu I was planning on shooting, but two or three larger uku. I have a split second to debate changing plans and shoot at the mu as I intended. It is a gut shot and I give the gun as much slack as I can and the mu takes off under one of the zees. I have to move a couple of rocks before I pull him out. He is still a bit feisty and I am wondering what to do with him. I don't mind papio and uku in my wet suit, but mu are known biters. Should I put him head up or head down? It seems risky either way. Just in time, my meter rings the "time to go up" bell and I can safely keep the fish held by the gills as I return to the boat. I drift straight down to the anchor line and find the others all decompressing. Gordon saw big and small ulua but did not get a shot. Lyle saw rat uku that would not come close and the old guy got lost and safely found the boat again. No one took a shot. I have the gun that never misses and am feeling smug, but come to find out... I was lucky that Lyle mounted the trigger so true shooting, and lucky that Gordon honed the spear so sharp and lucky to have a bag to put the fish in... all in all, we all got fish. The ocean glassed off for the evening and the ride home was smooth, inviting more adventures.

dive 200

Friday afternoon, Brian is up for a dive and I haven't seen him in an eon. We take the Mo'o iki knowing it does not run at high speed and leave for the 100' hole early. We drop in on the fish like a couple of gangsters, loading slings as we drift downward. Brian checks out the cave, while I move the anchor. There is barely a current, and I have plenty of air. I figure to head out to the peninsula. Others have gotten fish out there recently, after all, my gun never misses. There is a large weke ula far ahead, but he drifts off into the deep. I settle at the top of the ledge and watch the fish, there are weke, but they keep their distance, I try all sorts of tricks and finally turn in frustration only to scare the uku that were watching from backstage. Uku, you gotta love em! They quickly shy away as I try to give a repeat performance. A small very edible kahala comes bouncing into the game. He is so curious, he is checking out my new gun. When the deer come over and nuzzle your ear, that is when you have to give up hunting. I tell myself to kill him as he tries to mouth the barb. I can't do it and bat him off with the gun. I head along the ledge looking for less friendly foes. Rolling in the sand gets the uku to follow, but at a great distance. I find myself in a field of weke ula feeding their way up the ledge. They are paying no attention to me as I pick out a larger one, suddenly my gun has gone from 100% to 75%... the risk of making it 60% makes me more careful. I have been fairly deep, and my bottom time has gone, but I still have so much air and the conditions are so favorable that I figure on giving myself 5 minutes or so and looking for more fish. There is still plenty of daylight, but I head up to shallower water. I see Brian paralleling me coming up the Diamond Head cable, he does not have any fish either. There are some smaller weke between us and the little kahala passes by again, but nothing close. I head back to the hole and the anchor, still plenty of air. My next plan is to move up to 30-40' and "off gas" then drop down on those uku over the peninsula. The water has become even more clear and I think I might be able to redeem the gun and myself yet. The idea seems foolish, but I am feeling blase about potential risks. I am just over the intended spot, unable to make out uku. I begin to drop deeper, suddenly I am surrounded by flashing opelu. Saved by mackerel, the mirror ball dance hall that I find my self in is full of beauty. I watch them feeding all around me, all thoughts of must spear fish are gone from my head as I enjoy the pleasure of my surroundings. The sting of plankton breaks up my interest and I head back to the anchor line to chat with Brian. He has seen lots of papio, weke ula, and a beautiful kagami has swum over his head. Our communication is getting better, he only had to take his regulator out of his mouth and yell once. We are both empty handed, nothing to brag about, no fish to feed us. I should feel ashamed, but as Brian pulls the anchor, I actually feel quite lucky, another evening on the water, playing in the ocean and being outsmarted by fish.... not bad.

dive 201

Sunday and there is still an ocean out there. Lyle is taking Glen diving and invites me to join them. We head for the 100' hole at around 6 p.m. We drop the anchor and Lyle heads over. I wait for Glen because he has never been there before and I want to make sure he finds the spot. We enter to find the anchor right on the hole and I head over to the ewa ledge, out in the sand I see two weke ula and try to get them to come over by digging around in the sand. I find a pair of kitchen shears in the sand and begin to play with them, the weke come over to see what I am up to... it is hard to pull the trigger when you have scissors in your hand. My chance is gone and I am still playing with my new toy. Like a teenager the tool burns in my hand and I wish that that big eel had whiskers. Snip snip snip, what can I snip? I head out to the peninsula to see if there are some fish, helping a few sponges to multiply as I go. There are the uku, and weke ula too! I call them but they remain aloof. The uku keep coming, but never close. I am in the sand pit right before the cable crossing. I throw up so much sand, that I can no longer see, but I think they are coming pretty close. The sand settles and the fish are all far away. I look over my shoulder and there over my head is a beautiful mirror, she is shimmering silver as she leaves me. I call her back and she turns and comes over. I land her with a shot from ole "only missed once" and put the fish in my bag. The uku are all over me and watch me load. My gun has the special auto load feature which makes it quick, but alas the uku are bored by the time I am ready. I try to call them over but my time runs out before their patience and I head back toward the hole. Glen is near the anchor, he has no fish and we begin to head up. Lyle stays down and attempts to power head his eel enemies, unfortunately the eel once again gets the better of him and swims off with the power head, sorta stealing it. He comes up and decompresses with me, he only saw a small weke and a couple of papio. I get to be the hero today, impressing the heck out of Glen (he had never met me before and knows nothing of my miss record!), no sense letting him find out. I act nonchalant, but my chest swells with pride... which is good, because I have a new swim suit as well!! We head in at sunset the firery clouds outline Diamond Head on one of the longest days of the year. It is always good to get wet, hope to get out there again soon.

dive 202

Joe is back on his once a week dive schedule and is ready to go. Mustn't discourage him, Wednesday sounds good. Nils can handle his own going away party/ graduation/ birthday party. How much trouble can 20 teenagers get into? They probably don't want the old spinster Aunt around anyway. I will get home in plenty of time. I am planning on taking the Prince William, and phone around to try and dig up some divers. There are an amazing number of reasons not to go diving, luckily, none of them apply to me. By Wed. afternoon, it is Amy and I heading out on the sea. I don't think I have seen her since Jan. She is still high from her morning flying...Congrats are in order, we now have someone who can fly us over to Lanai for day of diving. I am excited, she promises to take ME flying next week!! Roger has removed the GPS and the depth recorder from the boat.... huh, the nerve of some boat owners! The weather is windy and Amy has never been to the Kewalo pipe. It is close and easy to find. We toss the anchor on one of the islands and plan on swimming the circuit. The plan is for Amy to swim behind me (out of the way) and if she sees any big fish, she is to point them out. She laughs saying that she is the last to see anything. The water is murky as we enter, there are damsel fish but not much else. We head over to the pipe, stopping for nudibranchs, candy cane shrimp and what ever else we stumble on. I look for uku in the sand, nothing. We cruise along the pipe, Amy stopping me to point out an eagle ray which I never actually see. The pipe has its usual assortment of little fish and big eels. We reach the end and I go to my favorite uku spot and call. Amy points out a shark cruising around that I never actually see.... for some one who never sees anything, and has trouble with her contacts, she seems to be doing a lot better than I am. If I don't actually see the shark, it doesn't really bother me, so I just shrug my shoulders. I stretch my eyes into the murk, looking for uku. Luckily, I see the five papio that are feeding right next to me before Amy has to point them out. They are pan size, dinner for two type. One of them has a long string/ worm/ parasite or something on its side. I try for that one because I am curious and it is the largest. I miss, wow... that is the second time that has happened, perhaps I need a new gun. Amy gives me the "aw shucks, you almost had him". What a great caddy! Perhaps I can train her to carry an arsenal. I could choose pre loaded weapons. I wonder how long before she would give up in disgust and out shoot me? We watch the opelu kala come in and out of the murk, I never see any other game. We spend the rest of the dive poking our way back to the anchor. Our air consumption is identical, it begins to get chilly as we head up the line. Amy pulls anchor and we head back into the harbor. Amy is on cloud nine, in awe of the beautiful evening (It is raining, dark and cold), claims to have seen more than ever on the dive. (she was recently diving in Midway, this is the Kewalo pipe) I wish I could capture the perspective and hold on to it. We get back and make the usual promises - "really must do this more often"- I am hoping for Friday.

dive 203

Friday turns out to be a day where I really need a dive, fortunately, I got the key to the power cat gate. Brian Popp, Robert, and Brian OCC (He is on his motorcycle with all his gear, including tank! ) turns up and the four of us are off to sea. I am captain and am planning on the Hole in the Wall. It is really windy, but not that rough, and we continue down to Marnie's rock. Brian Popp is the first guy down and the rest of us follow. The anchor is just off of the corner.... missed the ledge entirely. Brian OCC has gotten a new underwater camera since the last time I saw him (for the trip to Australia). A keen photographer, he drops down on a snowflake eel, well he is happy. Robert has never been to the spot, so I take him up towards the rock. I am flanked by divers and some small uku show up, with out missing a kick, I just shoot at one. Well, it would have been real impressive if I actually hit the fish, but I load my gun on the go, and feel pretty efficient never the less. Marnie's rock is in sight and Robert drifts out after some weke ula couples. Brian P. is banging on rocks, just to let Gordon's shark know he is back. Brian (Ansel Adams) OCC and I head up the ledge a ways. He is hanging back nicely, but I see nothing in the way of game except occasional weke ula couples,. They are not coming very close. I don't know Brian's air consumption, so I am hesitant to take him all the way up to David's spot (turns out it would have been fine), I cut inside and Brian turns and heads back along the ledge. I swim back along the inside ledge, some big opelu kala join me. I rejoin Brian up near the anchor close to the ulua cave. He is totally absorbed with a spotted puffer about one inch long. I try to get his attention and just end up laughing as I watch him be out smarted. Photography means the fish has to be close, still, and not running from the camera. I leave him and go looking for those uku back at the corner, they are there, but not coming close. Back to the rock where I play with mu, a big school moves in, but they are not interested in me. I run and hide, trying to raise their curiosity....you know when your mom told you she would play hide and go seek with you, and you run and hide while she counts to ten thousand? After a certain amount of time, I realize that no one is looking for me and the mu have moved off toward the anchor. I see Brian's bubbles and hope that the mu will be chased back to my gun, they make one distant pass and I charge them with the hopes of getting in range, I take a long shot and find the water must be very clear and the mu must be bigger than I thought. My shaft comes to a halt well short of the mu. It is getting cold and I head for the anchor, I still have 1000 pounds, but knowing that I have already broken the Pfeffer dive safety rule of always having a spare tank on board, I save some air for the emergency anchor pull. Brian OCC and Robert are already on board as is a nice weke ula that Robert got.... he is such the hero, that he actually got the fish twice! It seems that the barb on the gun that I lent him did not deploy and after his nice shot, the fish swam off! He had to chase it down, following the trail of fish. He saw some rainbow runner but not close. Brian OCC had a good dive, clear water and cameras go well together. Brian Popp is a long time coming up, but does beat the sun to the surface. He saw the shark twice (must have thought he was Gordon), along with two rainbow runner. He took a shot at a particularly hard headed mu but did not see much else. The guys pull anchor (I fiddle around trying to start the engines and avoid any work), and we head home. The ride back is not half bad considering the conditions of the sea. The moon is filling up, and the sun has spilt orange paint all over the place. We all agree that it is well worth the occasional shower of spray. Well, Robert is the hero with his fish, I head home for a dinner of leftovers. Need to get back out soon.

dive 203

Sunday evening, Gordon is back in town and ready to go diving (after a certain amount of dusting off of the boat) Brian, Lyle and I join him for a trip to the 100' hole. The water is murky and there is a slight Diamond Head current which moves all the fish to the ewa side of the rocks. I find a butter knife and figure to use it on any shy uku I come across. I drag the knife over to the ewa ledge, tapping it like a best man making a toast on every stone I come across. I expect to see some weke ula out in the sand but none appear. I pick up a very nice rectangular stone and push it in front of me to make some interesting noises. Just like the old days with a Tonka toy at the beach, I soon have a major highway going in. It will connect the ewa stones with peninsula. I am trying to pick the path of least resistance, avoiding as many coral heads, sponges and sand traps as possible. It is a grand highway, akin to the Al Can that crosses the wilderness. Construction has similar problems, trying not to disturb the wildlife, actually building detours to go around large spikey cucumbers. I finally get to the oil pipe line, (I am not confused by chronological facts) and my road crosses under the built in overpass. I am quite enthralled when I look up to see the final ledge... I finally have reached the great pacific. So this is how the Spanish Explorers felt. Reality comes floating back in spurts of bubbles. Gordon is down at the bottom of the ledge, he comes over with tales of large weke ula (emphasis is on the large), but his bag is still empty. He heads off leaving me to start a new game. I see some uku outside and I try make some friendly squeaks. They remain aloof, but a large kahala comes in at my flank. He is very friendly, and I swim out above the sand and drop my knife. The kahala charges. If it is possible for a fish to sniff, snort and toss its head, that is exactly what he did. His initial charge however, rekindled the interest of the uku and I retrieve the knife to try it again. The kahala helps me on the retrieval and we both roll in the sand. He vows to be my blood brother and protect me against all approaching uku. What a sweetie! I leave him to his task and head back to the hole without seeing any other fish. The hole is covered with white weke in a tight and beautiful school. The school is swimming from under the rocks to the top. The school is close and spells the letter C as it moves. I briefly wonder if I should see what the whole message is, waiting for the smoke from the sky writer to make the next letter. Lyle appears from the other side and breaks up the action. He does chase three large weke ula my way, but they keep their distance and head out towards Brian. Well, at least he might get one. I am not having much spearing luck, well OK, so I haven't really been looking and I have spent all my bottom time just goofing around. It is Sunday, I am allowed a "Sunday dive" I am moving into more and more deco time. I decide to join the thick tornado of opelu kala at 50'. That will slow down my N build up a little, and the opelu kala seem to be having the most fun anyway. I am comparing all the different plankton feeders in terms of distance from the rocks, the spaces they leave between each other, and their over all rate of feeding as well as how much space it takes to feed. I see Gordon below, he wonders at seeing me off of the bottom and asks what I see. He is poised for tuna, rainbow runner etc. I signal that it is nothing, but he keeps looking up lest I be steering him away. I finally head back to the line to find Gordon and Brian there. Brian has a small papio and he and Gordon discuss the size of it, comparing it to their own body parts. Things soon deteriorate to regulator button pushing, air turning off and the usual boy antics. Being raised as a youngest, I am good at not actually getting involved, appearing to help both sides and turning off anyone's air when they are not actually looking. The bozos soon leave, and I can enjoy the sun set twinkling under the sea. Dancing rays making an upside down aurora borialis. It is a great show, but I leave it to catch the actual sun set from topside. The moon is full, the sun is going out with a bang. Yes, it is very hard to beat this. Lyle pulls the anchor and we head home.

dive 205

Friday afternoon, weekly dive with Joe, Brian, Amy. The owner shows last minute and we take the power cat out to Hole In The Wall. Finding the place involves a lot of driving around. Joe, Brian and Amy have total confidence, but the rest of us are sure that we are in the middle of nowhere. We finally anchor after Amy has had time to really psych up for the dive. She is using the coolest looking rebreather, German built, small, affordable, good for about 1.5 hours... the only thing is it only good in shallow water (80'). It would be a tropical fish divers dream, no bubbles, more bottom time. I jump in to see that the water is clear and we are right over the spot. We meet on the bottom, Amy and Joe are the last ones down, the antics involved in taking lessons from Joe is enough to make any girl (except his wife) have some second thoughts. Amy does get everything squared away and begins to enjoy her dive. Joe and Brian are photographing her every move. Time to head off in search of game. The captain and myself head across to the hole in the wall spot. He is in front of me and I am following in his sand trail. Uku arrive on the scene at uku spot #1, right in the swail, he shoots a smaller one and brings the larger ones closer. I shoot one in the back and it fights itself off the shaft and digs out to shallow water. A large brown humu goes zooming after it. I follow the entourage until I can no longer see the humu. I have my gun back together when the humu comes back empty handed. He is now my best buddy, "those other people bag their fish, but this one, she donates the food to the people". We go cruising looking for more fish. The Captain has gone around the far side, so I approach on the near and deep side in case he has fish leaving the area in front of him. I round the bend and see him at full point. He is not aiming at me, but at some fish that is next to the ledge right below me. I can not see the fish, but I am afraid that I will scare it anyway. I back slowly away and watch. His gun goes off and a good size papio fights his way into view. Darn that guy, his bag is nowhere to be seen and to help him out I begin to look for it. We get to it at about the same time, back in the swail. There are clouds of blood and the uku return and I get another chance. This time, instead of killing the fish, I just put a hole in his dorsal fin. A snerk piercing that he can brag to the other fish about. The Captain heads off with his bag full of fish to check on the others back near the anchor. I stay till my bottom time is gone, but do not see any more things to shoot. I have a couple of minutes deco when I get back, yet everyone else is still cruising around on the bottom taking pictures and looking for game. I am the only one going up, Brian joins me and we wait for the techies as well as the master spearfisher man. Joe and Amy get in, she has had an exciting dive. She is going over all the things she did not like. She could never seem to get enough air to breathe, but Joe said that it was only "perceived" feeling like you can't breathe. Oh great, you only think you can't breathe... not to worry, I take a big step back from buying my rig. As Amy runs through her symptoms, Dr. Joe checks her over in full clucking hen fashion and the rest of us test our knowledge of both anatomy and diving. Amy is fine, but we go over all the things it could be anyway. Brian pulls the anchor and we head in. All of Waikiki is pink orange, the sun set colors make Diamond Head a soft hue, all the mirrored buildings are fire red. It is still light as we put stuff away and plan our next adventure. My recent weight loss and general hungry look, get me an uku, I have excellent dinners for the next few nights.

dive 206

Saturday, I have taken off the carburetors on the Mo'o iki, and got the rebuild kits. Now like a true Tom Sawyer, I have managed to have the boat owner sucked into doing the work... "no no no, here let me show you how it is done" I am enjoying a diet coke in the cool shade of the Mo'o, when Marvin shows up looking for dive partners. (of course I have told him to come pick me up) . The others are too involved to drop what they are doing. (Just to make things truly unsettling, Lyle has dropped by to help) True boat whore that I am, I jump ship and we head for the deep blue sea. Marvin has yet to dive the wrecks, and it seems like a perfect opportunity. We tie up and head over. There is no current, and we descend in a gentle drift to the bottom. I am between the ships and as I approach the bottom I see a school of pan size papio jazzing around. The opelu above me dart by and I look up to see some really big ahi chasing them. I head back up to mid water and actually do get close as the fish uses me as a wall to chase opelu against. It would be a great story, but there is no doubt I would loose my gun. Those are some strong fish. The instant is gone and the opelu resume normal behavior and I focus on all the papio below me. In the school of 20-30 fish, there are two of those weird really good tasting ones. (barred papio in Jack's book) Those are the ones I want and nothing else will do... I miss, amazing since the little yellow spots were trying so hard to get in front of the spear, I was sure I would accidentally get a couple of those. Marvin chides me for the miss... great, another expert. There are some MK, but they move off towards the deeper sand. The papio have moved to the inside wreck, and I follow. We are playing hide and go seek around the ship. The ahi come back over head and I watch, I see two, but it seems as if there are three of them. I stop to check out the little white tip and to show it to Marvin. The shark is there, but Marvin has gone to the upper deck. I continue to the stern and lie under it as I watch the big mu approach with the small papio. I figure to go for the mu, they are almost in range when the hammer head comes by. I never like to shoot fish when I am in plain sight of a shark. I figure to go check on Marvin and show him the shark. Marvin and the sub both appear at the same time and all the fish are out of sight. We visit with the tourists until they have passed and I go off to look for more game. The ahi are still above and I think of the blue water guys that would love to have such an opportunity. Not a minute goes by before Marvin returns having caught a fish of his own. He seems to be able to catch them with his bare hands, who needs a gun? He has a greedy black humu who has a hook in his mouth and is trailing fishing gear. We get the goodies with out getting bit and let the humu go on to steal bait yet another day. The sub returns and we visit with the folks on the other side, our bottom time is up, but decompression is busy with visits from damsels, butterflies and a turtle. We surface and Marvin takes me back to the harbor, where the Mo'o iki has its engine reassembled, but now has no steering! Boy sure glad I don't own a boat, but I am truly thankful for all of you who do!

dive 207

Some days you need to go diving more than others. I definitely need to get some water over my head. The wrecks seems as good as anyplace and we anchor there. There is a Diamond Head current, so I head over towards the pyramids figuring there will be more fish there. The water is murky and getting lost actually sounds appealing, so I just take a heading and start out. I never look up, just watch the rocks beneath me as I kick along. I pick up a couple of dead shells and a nice calling rock, eventually l come into a palani school, and I know I am close to the pyramids just by dead reckoning. Cool. Having not looked around, I missed seeing all the uku that have no doubt escorted me here, there are about 20 of the guys, mostly smallish, with several larger ones mixed in. I am laying still and surrounded by opelu kala, they are very close. I notice there is a papio at my elbow, I really should pay better attention, here they go through all this trouble to cheer me up, and I don't even notice. I wait for the largest uku, and then miss. It does not phase them at all, they are still around when the mu come along to help with the cheer up Snerk campaign, I miss the close one, but I do feel better. I take turns between uku and mu and continue to miss. At one point I vow not to take another shot unless I am actually sure of getting the fish. HA! That idea came and went. The fish were unbelievably friendly, coming close to see how I play in the sand, I even go as far as writing messages for the uku to read. They come and study the word.... "uku".... but I think they were patronizing me. Loading the gun is a good exercise, and I soon feel more serene. My pesky meter however, limits how long I can lay about at 100', and taking that last mu shot cost me two more minutes of deco. I swim midwater back towards the ships, my gun is not loaded when I notice the uku escorting my return as well. They are much more aloof away from the bottom. I try diving down again, only to earn another three minutes of deco time. The ship is looming close and it is a good three minutes before I realize that I am at the outside ship, and the anchor is inside of me. (thanks to the large ball buoy) So much for great navigating. I do find the line and decompress. Gordon is the only one that got a fish, and it is a kawela 'ai! (He says they looked like ono from far away, what sassy fish! ) We all get safely back to the boat and home in time for the beautiful sunset sky. I feel remarkably better, I need to do this more often.

dive 208

It is really windy, marginal sea conditions and no dive partners. Unfortunately, my hair is drying out and I am sure that the moss barrier keeps both the loose brain cells in as well as those excess Nitrogen molecules out. I am desperate to dive and figure to be extra cautious. The Mo'o iki runs like a champ as I head for the hole. The water is rough and I almost don't waste time getting the Mickey Mouse beach ball, but then I see that Goofy is on it as well, I have a soft spot for Goofy. I can totally identify with him, he is a lot more coordinated, but we have a similar general disposition, and we both have such cool laughs! The beach ball is rescued. The west side of the island is socked in with rain and there are no line ups from there, I can make out the Gold Bond building, what is it supposed to do with the hill?? There is the blue roof on Diamond head, what does it do?? Better safe than sorry, I head back to the wreck/pyramids... I hook up the depth recorder, but can not get power. It is rough enough that I don't mess around with it.... I will just go by my best recollection of lineups. Well, the water is only murky on the top 20 feet, I can see the ship, not bad for an old girl...hey... that is not a ship, it is an airplane and the anchor is cruising through the sand with no place to set it in sight. I turn around at 90' and head back up the line. Pull anchor and try again, I give it all the scope that there is, which does not really help because the scope is used by the wind on the surface and the Diamond head current is keeping the line about vertical near the bottom. This time I am in the sand out side of the wreck, I can hook the anchor (which is cruising slowly along), but then I would have to swim up wind and down current to do my dive. It does not make sense, I am wet, I am at 100', there are no fish, I head up letting the boat keep drifting so I won't have to fight the current getting in. I decompress just to enjoy all the plankton and being wet. I spend the time trying to figure out how I can possibly be a hero in a dive report, no way... perhaps it doesn't really count as diving if you use less than 1000 pounds of air. Oh well; so it goes... To be safe, and since I am in deep water I tie up my pack before attempting to put it on the gunwale. I have not yet undone my belt when I feel my goodie bag slipping by my foot. I quickly go after it only to find "fuck", I am tied to the boat!! I undo my belt, and continue, but I know that the bouncing sea is likely to undo my tie job, and I watch the bag sink out of sight. Back in the boat, sans bag, almost popping the beach ball with my gun! Pull anchor and head for home. Too many things working against me. The trip home how ever is a high speed down hill surf, the boat is running very well. Taco bell sounds real good for dinner, and I now have a reason to go to Kona and buy a new gear bag! Good old Goofy, did he ever try scuba diving?

dive 209

Saturday morning, Gordon is taking some USGS visitors out diving and invites me along as pseudo safety diver HA! (.... well, then again, comparatively speaking....) We meet Stan and Nick at 7:30 and head for Marnie's rock. The trades have been napping during the night and it is a rather pleasant trip along the coast. Nick is a little nervous and keeps telling us he is not that experienced... as if we would toss him into 75' shark infested water. Well, OK. I promise to be his buddy, since I think I am slightly more maternal than Gordon. We toss the anchor and I am the first to the anchor line. Stan follows and the other two are last, Nick is not weighted properly and his tank is loose, not a great start when being thrown into deep shark infested water. Stan heads down and Gordon follows while Nick and I try to do it right. We get it together and head down to the anchor. The water is pretty clear and there is a slight current heading toward Waikiki. Nick and I swim along the ledge down current, checking out a cone shell and eels along the way. We cover some ground and head back up current along the inside. Near the anchor we come across Gordon, who has a nice uku in his bag, Stan who has some nice urchin spines in his finger, and their new found friend a nice sized sandbar shark. Gordon is chasing it off like an old man scaring off the puppy who has followed him home. Not very friendly after killing a nice size fish and waving it around on a stick. We all go our separate ways and Nick and I continue to find nothing but eels. Gordon has informed me that he left two uku for me to get, (so generous) but the funny thing is he's vague about exactly where he left them, and I see not a whiff of game. Nick and I continue to see how many eels we can bother before heading up the line. Stan and Gordon are decompressing, and since I still have 1500 pounds, I leave Nick to his own devices and head back down in vague hope of lost game. On the bottom, Gordon's friend is so happy I came back. I actually scold him for not having any rainbow runner with him, one tiny pilot fish is hardly an entourage. We head in along the ewa ledge, the shark soon circling off out of sight, I guess he knows who actually spears fish. Funny how much better I feel about him when the water is clear and the day is sunny. There is no one in the ulua spot and I head back seeing one small cagey mu. The shark meets me back at the rock and I can see no game. I head up, noting the opposing current really has the boat wallowing in the trough. I hope those guys don't get sick, I should have come up sooner. I come up at a distance, just in case... coast is clear and I get back in the boat. Gordon pulls anchor just as Stan feels sick. We are soon under way, the ocean has really picked up some swell size and we hang on for the ride home. We pass a Hawaiian sailing canoe, (nice touch for Arizona tourists) and once we are in the calm off Kewalo, the guys are ready for a second dive on the pipe. How many divers does it take to figure out how to string up a cam buckle on a BC? Gordon and I each do it twice with out success. It is really good when I say things like "here you fool" let me do it! hmmm, act humble and hope for the best. Stan and Nick just lay low. We finally figure out how it goes and we head in the water. Gordon sits it out while the three of us tour the area. The water is murky due to recent swell, there is still some surge. There is no game, but plenty to see. We play with starfish, crabs, sea cucumbers, sponges, flat worms and the like. Stan endears himself to me by understanding everything I say. (OK, the guy is probably whacko) We are soon back at the anchor, biology lesson over. We surface to find Gordon enthralled with radio excitement, fortunately tragedy is avoided as engines of a distant boat spark to life. The sun is shinning brightly as we head back to the busy harbor. Canoes are paddling, sailboats are sailing, fishermen are fishing, all is right in the world.

dive 210

Sunday morning, time to meet the rebreathers down at the Prince William. Joe, Amy and Brian are going to be using rebreathers and Cal will be filming them for a show on high tech gear. We load up and head out for the Kewalo pipe, the only place I can think of that is shallow and close. (the winds are howling) We anchor on the islands and notice that the water is murky, but it looks much clearer over toward Honolulu harbor. Since it is a filming expedition, we move to the clear water and anchor on what would be another island if it were not for all the sediment. Every one is soon in the water except Amy who casually asks: "Hey Jen, this isn't quite right, can you reach back there and give my reverse trunctinator valve a quarter turn?" I immediately have visions of Joe and Brian looking over her body and saying: "I just don't understand it, I am sure I checked the emergency reactant aspirator, it somehow made a quarter turn" Fortunately, Joe comes back and all is squared away. They are all happily filming away by the time I get in the water. I seemed to have stumbled on the stage of a fashion show wearing my regular clothes, I make myself scarce. I cruise over a ruble patch between islands and see a group of hand span size papio darting along, chasing small goat fish and nibbling the spot where the goat fish last stopped. Who can tell? I continue back toward the pipe and soon am over familiar territory. There is a lot of coral on the flat just ewa of the pipe, it will be neat to see it in ten years time. There is no game and I swim down the ledge into 70' of water and wait in the sand for the hordes of uku. Nothing but white weke. I am really enjoying having a mask that does not leak... oh yeah, by the way Janetta, I kinda borrowed your mask since you weren't using it. Mine has cockroach nibbles all along the snot line and is leaking a lot. (Hopefully I will get to the store before you return) I move back towards the anchor, seeing a distant pan size papio cruising along. The anchor is still set, but no sign of the stealth divers, not that they are easy to find, and who knows how long they can stay. I move in the direction of Honolulu harbor to cover new terrain. I glance up to see a nice small kagami high up and heading away, I follow in case it is heading to the secret coral grotto... nothing but sand, I head back to the anchor. Those guys are probably done. I clear the anchor, admire the beautiful giant pocillapora coral head and head up the line. I am hanging at 15' when the anchor breaks loose, time for coral head rescue, I should have moved the anchor clear! I get there just in time and the coral head along with its community of crabs and fish are spared by the very one who endangered them. Back up to find the others have had a good dive. Amy was a lot more comfortable, in fact down right enthusiastic about her rig. It is a cool. Brian hauls up the anchor and Joe takes us back home. Planning our next adventure...I think Gordon is heading out later.

Gordon's boat, five thirty, Brian, Gordon, Lyle, myself and the Birthday boy. We are limited by rough seas and the debate of where to go. The plan is to go find the new boat that has been sunk by the yellow submarines, off of courts it 120' of water. Gordon had driven over it yesterday and we had seen it on the fathometer. Joey had confirmed that it had actually been sunk and we were ready to explore. Lyle is more practical and points out that it is too new and nothing will be there yet. Don't confuse us with facts adventure is afoot. Gordon pulls out the marks he took two years ago as an environmental scientist, telling them where they should sink the ship and figures he will look there. Birthday boy has his ideas on how to find a wreck, I kind of feel like the place where we saw it yesterday would be good, three loud mouth captains on the same boat. Brian and Lyle lay low and get rigged up. We finally stumble upon it and toss the anchor, Lyle and Brian are over the side. I leave Gordon still rigging up and head down. There is a big ship all right, but I can see that I do not have enough scope on the anchor line, the anchor is hooked on the deck and would not reach the sand around the vessel. I head back up, trying to surface before Gordon gets in the water, yet being held back by a computer that always wants me to ascend slowly. This is where the computer has really changed my habits, slow as molasses, yet I surface just before Gordon has entered. I get him to put out the scope and return to the ship. It is huge, sitting in 115' sand all around, one file fish has found it. Lyle and the Birthday boy are ready to head up and look for a real dive spot we are all at the anchor wondering where Brian is. We see him out on the sand, he shoots and like birds on aku, we quickly head over in his direction. We are about 20' over his head, he has shot a beautiful small kahala and is loading his gun so quickly that there must be invisible uku in the sand around him. The birthday guy drops down and takes a shot at the invisible fish, it is more than I can handle and I find myself in the sand at 115 staring off into nothing. He signals uku and continues to load his gun. There is a line stretching off the stern heading in towards where I imagine the ledge to be. It could be a submarine directional marker, and I follow it from sand to rubble. Of course there are uku following me and I did look around and see them. There are two and I take one before continuing to the ledge. The ledge has a big anchor leaning against it, another prop for the tourists, looks nice. Gordon soon joins me on the ledge, he says he has fixed the anchor and I am free to explore he goes toward Diamond Head and I go towards Kewalo. I see lots of potters to catch, not much else, and head back to the Sea Tiger and meet Brian and Birthday boy on the line. We discuss our dives and Brian and I compare fish. I surface just as the mountains pick up the orange glow of the disappearing sun. The sunset cruisers are hanging close due to rough seas and they fill the ocean with the hum of their engines, definitely detracting from the peace of the scene. Gordon returns having shot the other uku, and managed to spear himself in the arm and get bitten on the finger in the process of bagging the fish. We come back with three fish from a wreck that we agree will be a good dive spot in six months. It is close, a current free area, an easy swim to the ledge, it is a bit deep and easy to get into deco time, good over all potential.

dive 211

Tuesday afternoon, Gordon, Lyle and I are going to Marnie's rock weather be dammed. Gordon is sure that at sunset, there will be uku everywhere. The sun is still high, and Gordon dawdles as much as possible. Stopping to check out pinnacles that come up from 500' to 240' just off the Pearl channel. Zig zagging down the ledge and seeing how far outside of Marnie's rock does it drop to 800'? I am ready to get in the water by the time we anchor. Lyle drops over and Gordon and I are left to find out the source of the mysterious whistling or high pitched ear ringing that we both can hear. Gordon goes through all the electronics, checking all bilge pumps and I wander around trying to pin point origin of the noise, it is definitely louder when I bend over... finally we discover it is my mouth piece! (I am wearing my tank the whole time, turning in circles trying to catch my tail) The captain at ease, I head down. The water is fairly clear, and I can see below the boat a butter knife sparkling as it glides down. It is fairly far off the ledge, and I glance toward the anchor line and see Lyle's bubbles way ahead. That was no butter knife, it is the real thing. I sink down, loading my gun just as I begin to make out three or four large fish. I continue to sink as the fish magically turn into 100 kawela 'ai. They taste OK, but having just eaten one, and knowing there is no glory, I head toward the anchor. There are two big weke ula they are courting and ignore me. I leave them be as I am surrounded by feeding opelu. As they feed, there is a random pattern of dashes going in all directions, then suddenly they all align and fall into a synchronized school. Like metal filings being passed over by an invisible magnet. The school pulls tighter and tighter as it moves away. The opelu kala move in close, fearless tonight for reasons I don't understand. This place is so beautiful, I lie in awe as several small uku join the fray. I debate just spending the dive right here with out moving, but Gordon is ewa of me and Lyle is on the other side. I am in the space between the rock and the ledge. I figure the hordes of fish will thin out if I hang around any longer. I hear Lyle's gun and see he has one of the weke, I make my way down the ledge toward David's spot. I am out of sight and lost in a miniature world of sponges and miter shells. When I get to the breaks in the ledge, I wish for rainbow runner I look up to see there are three swimming by me. They are a fish I do not understand, they are soon gone. I am so mad that I ignore the two small uku that appear. I come across two big turtles laying on the bottom, not against the ledge or anything, just off the ledge, facing out toward deeper water. I sneak in the middle of them to see if there is a reason. Oh, what a great view, we are on the incoming route of all the opelu kala, twenty or so tiny papio, and of course all those giant uku. The papio come in like tail wagging puppies and surround my gun, rub the sand, circle out and do it again. They really are the cutest little puppy dogs, I just wish they would stay out of the way as the uku slowly make closer passes. Great grandpa uku is approaching, I am ecstatic that it is the big one that I am going to get the shot on. It is the perfect shot. In retrospect, I will admit that it might not have my most humble moment. Perhaps there was a slight inkling toward gloating as I envisioned the others faces as I tried to lift the fish into the boat. There was per chance the fleeting thought of sporting good stores across the nation begging me to use their equipment. My picture on the cover of Hawaii Fishing News. Never the less, it did not make the sting any better as I simply pulled the shaft back out of the fish, the barb never deploying. The excitement stirs one turtle and he moves a little further away less I try that trick on him. The gun seems fine and I load it again. I am a long ways from the others and the boat, there is a bleeding fish swimming around, it is getting dark, time to head back. I am feeling dejected and I kick sand as I move along. I come across Lyle exactly as I left him, except he is using the weke ula as bait and spearing what now seem like small uku. I continue on to find Gordon with a bag full of uku, he is excited, sees my empty bag and tells me about all the uku that are around here. I can see two of them behind him as he speaks. He misunderstands my scoff and agrees to swim with me and show me some. I feel very patronized and I ditch him as soon as he turns his head. I short cut across to the ewa ledge the opelu kala are very thick and come so close that the mu almost does not see me in the hoards, but the bubbles blow my blind, and he is gone. I glance over my shoulder to see a larger uku tailing me, another great shot, mid spine. I am afraid to pull the spear out, I let him swim off the undeployed barb before I can think. My brain is slow, but the humiliation is complete. I briefly wonder if Lyle has put a drop of glue on the barb. I under take "fixing" my gun with a near by rock. The scene very reminiscent of John Cleese giving his car a good thrashing in an old Faulty Towers show. I regain composure about the same time I run into Gordon, who tells me there are uku about. I move back to the rock, it is now dark and the fish are hard to see at any kind of distance. A sandbar shark appears, smaller (I think) than Gordon's one, but very feisty. I am about where Lyle had used his fish as bait, and the shark is not afraid to come right over to me. I head back to Gordon who fortunately had sent his catch up with Lyle. We clear the anchor, and leave the bottom. We exchange tales, my barb seems to be fine. Did I pull on the line to deploy the barb? He talks about the weke he saw, the uku he caught and jabbers on the whole time. I can tell it will be difficult not to sulk. I surface to find an equally happy Lyle excited about his great catch, one weke ula (large) and two uku. Gordon has one brag size and two smaller uku. Six fish; happy divers. Lyle pulls anchor and we head for the dark ride home. Those gloaters can't wait to see the dive report; "How will she ever make herself the hero now?" Insult to injury, as if I ever use dive reports just to make fun of people! (maybe that is why it is so hard to find dive partners anymore?) It is a dark ride home and it is not the lingering sunset, but the stary sky that gets my admiration on the way home. We get back late, there are lots of fish to clean. It is well past nine. Those divers with lives have worried family and loved ones, Roger is sent to check on us. Gordon generously gives him some uku and gives me one as well. I am honored to be diving with such great spearfishermen. I am glad just to be included. I return home to start the rice at ten, happily I have two messages waiting: 1. "Hey Snerk, since you won't be coming on the river, mind if I borrow your waterproof bags?" 2. "Jennifer, sorry you won't be on the river; is any one using your fly rod? I mean you never really catch anything anyway...." This is the kind of evening that makes it really sweet when I have to lash the giant fish to the stern and drag it home. I will gloat unbearably and without mercy! Never say die!

dive 212

Tuesday eve, Gordon is planning to go diving in Kahala, the wind seemed slightly better and he wanted to take advantage of it. He has been diving later and we plan on six o'clock departure. He brings his old friend and we head out. The ocean is not too bad, lots of short wind chop, no big swells have developed. We round Diamond Head with plenty of light and discussing different options. Dropping Gordon for a bounce at the deep barge is suggested, and his eyes light up. We drop him and I soon loose his bubbles in the Navatek wake. A few minutes later a floating gun is the first thing that hits the surface, sure enough he has the 35 pound ulua (he shot the smallest one). He has a great shot, but needs another shaft. Fortunately he has spares on board and will be ready for another dive. The next plan is Joe's barge, Gordon is to toss the anchor, the old guy is going to set it, and I am supposed to put us on the spot. I drive around and the other two don't help, just make fun. I know I am close when I tell Gordon to drop the anchor. I go to the stern and help with gear entanglements before realizing that I am still idling forward. I hope I can at least recognize our location, as I head down the anchor line. I have anchored at the pipes, not too far, but off never the less. I reach the bottom and find Grandpa has no clue where the barge is. I take him about half way there when he worries about how we are going to get back to the anchor again. He does not take to my idea of diving the barge and swimming back the way we came after the dive. He asks what I use for landmarks and I answer " the big pipe", he is up for moving the anchor and we meet Gordon with his repaired gun on our way back up. The amount of light is now getting to be an issue as we pull anchor. I am not going to risk the wrong spot again and I leave it to Gramps, who is now convinced that bottom time is a factor and thinks fantasy would be safer. I am on the bow with the anchor as my visions of fat uku playing ashes ashes we all fall down around the barge slowly fades. The anchor is tossed at fantasy reef soon after the sun has gone behind Diamond Head. I am first in and the black humu tell me we are spot on the site. It will be too dark soon, I am kicking myself for having missed the barge. Why is it always me that is so inept? At some point I should run out of things that I can do wrong, but why can't that happen soon? I am grumbling along across a channel flanked by the other divers when three barracuda swim between me and Gordon. We watch them as they circle around out of sight. I hear a gun and figure I had better go check. Gordon's friend is in the middle of a barracuda battle. He is being tied up in his line, the fish has already managed to unbuckle his tank clamps and is working on his corkscrew spin. It looks like an easy victory for the fish. I try to help, and the fish does get bagged without anyone getting bit. I will think twice before spearing one of these guys. I then continue on by myself the others having the good sense to stay close to the anchor when it is dark. I started with a light tank (having done 8 minutes on the bottom on the last dive), but I do not know how light. All I can figure is the rule of thirds cannot apply to me. I surely have enough to get to the uku spot and back. I pick my way along not seeing any game. My spot reveals one tiny mu small enough to put in my pocket. I see something bigger, the kala are slowly coming in. There are lots more barracuda, and they circle as I strain to see something more. Actually I am straining to see anything! Forget the silly rule of sixths, I am heading back while there still is the small ray of hope that I will be able to find the anchor. It is the perfect time to hand net nasos. They are just going to sleep. It is a bad sign when the fish are sleeping. I hope the guys will turn on the boat lights so I can at least find the boat. Boy I am good, here is the smashed coral head the anchor was hooked on. Someone had moved the anchor five feet away and it takes good detective work to find it. I look up to see Gordon backlit on the line. Plain as day.... guess I should look up more often. He has no new fish. We decompress, the water is dark blue when looking toward the surface and you can make out the quartermoon shinning overhead. Venus even shines through like a wishing star. I still feel like a fuck up, but at least a happy one. We head home with two good size fish aboard. It will be nine by the time we wash up, looks like pilot crackers and cream cheese for my dinner. Maybe underwater wishing stars are better than the normal kind.

dive 213

Sunday, the ocean remains unrelenting but Tribble is up for a trip to Marnie's rock. Everyone else has a life, and no one except myself shows up by six. Gordon is strongly for hitting just the right light and dallies around trying to find "Rich's spot" off of Pearl Harbor. The uku won't be there unless it is dark enough. I would rather be a little early and have a margin for error but he is of the no error theory and we finally toss the anchor only slightly ahead of the sun. I jump in and still can not see the bottom when I am at 50'. I finally bought a new mask, (before Janetta shows and wants hers back) so I am not that surprised that I can't see anything through the fog. The thing is, it is not the mask... it is murky and dark. I can just make out the rock at the same time I start to see the fish. Big opelu kala, three ulua straight ahead, large uku approaching from the right and two weke ula on the left. It is all time, Marnie's rock at its finest. I wonder about shooting the uku mid water, but the big guy turns a little far. I dive down and they follow. I miss my shot at a normal size one, but I am not worried, plenty of time. I load and line up again, big guy moving in, I am not going to miss, he is big and coming straight in. KA-POW! What was that? The fish disappear and I only have one rubber left still loaded. I see some small papio and the uku are inside running along the ledge. Gordon appears from the ewa direction, he is empty handed but sees the uku and heads back down where he came from. I sit by the anchor between the rock and the ledge and watch the fish circle around. There is nothing but opelu kala, but they are willing to come close and make it fun. Two mu appear and join them, they are coming in and I think I might take a one rubber shot, as long as I don't have to breathe anytime soon. I refrain from exhaling and the large one makes a slow approach. Too slow, I can feel bubbles coming and try as hard as a dinner guest at the white house not to let any air out. Ever so slowly, it is just a whisper, but Mr. mu hears it and looks like a hiker who just noticed a rattle snake coiled up at his feet. He takes off, scattering the opelu kala. The uku pass by and I take a shot, the one rubber thing makes me feel like I am using the Nerf spear. It looses umph, and bounces off the side of an uku. So much for that, I had better have them touching the shaft for my next shot. I hear Gordon's gun going off periodically, well at least he will be happy. The uku no longer pass close and I try throwing sand... yeah right, like that is going to do anything... "Hey Paul, does that area look a look slightly more murky over there? See? If you get just the right angle, it could be sand. Let's go see!" O.K., so the idea just makes it harder for me to make anything out. I leave the mess and head along the ledge where I last saw the uku. I am quickly flanked by opelu kala joining me on my trek. As we move toward the ewa ledge, they all turn to leave. I am now in kala territory, how about that? Fish got hoods! I wonder what the opelu kala tag is and where I could leave it. I am wondering if my thought processes are totally whacko, or if people just don't mention these things as I approach the ulua cave. Ever since running face to face with the big one, I always round this corner with a lot of mental build up, I am relieved to find it empty as I and my wounded gun head back to the anchor. I come across Gordon, empty handed. He at least has the good humor to signal that we are too early (I only see the signal because the moon is getting full!) I signal that I am heading up and he soon follows. He tells me he took three or four shots at uku, never able to land one. I am getting stung non stop and keep my decompression time short. I surface to a bright moon and a rough sea. Gordon pulls anchor and we head home. The silver moon road is beckoning us to head toward Lanai and the southern cross is still shinning brightly off our starboard side. It is still summer, but I can feel it waning as the cold sea spay crosses our bow. Gordon is feeling dejected and ready to give up fishing, boy am I glad I don't have any reputation to maintain. The mighty have fallen, but it is hard to have sympathy when standing on the same level. Sort of like having a house guest who says "boy, I could never live like this!" I plan on repairing my gun and returning to the sea.... I just wish the wind would stop blowing!

dive 214

Friday morning, a gift, the winds have diminished. Marvin has his son Andrew visiting and they are anxious to dive. We head for Waikiki with Andrew's girlfriend Stacy along as boat babe. We are looking for a calm place to dive where Stacy might be able to see something. The wrecks seems like a good place and we tie up to the empty buoy. There is a slight Diamond Head current and the water is surprisingly murky. I leave Andrew and Marvin playing with turtles and waving at submarines and head up current to see if I can see some fish. A few rat uku are around, but I can't get them close. I lay on top of the ledge by the pyramids and call. The uku stay in sight long enough for me to get stung several times by the paneria sp. on the bottom, but they stay out of range. I swim to the pyramids and spend time laying in the sand. I head across the sand to the mu hang out, there are 20 good size uku and 6 big mu and a submarine, all going in different directions. I work the uku and the sub stops to watch. The uku remain aloof. I give up and turn to find the mu all behind me. Pull pull shoot. The mu drops like a stone, the people on the sub are excited. I swim over to my dead mu feeling like a champ. As I approach, Mr. mu gets up, shakes the unpenetrated shaft off of his head and joins his friends. I stick with them and can not for the life of me figure out which one is wounded. I am sure the tourist think it is part of an elaborate play done for their benefit. The fish are trained to fall with blanks like the afternoon cowboy show at Knotts Berry Farm. I move up on the ledge with little bottom time left, I am heading for the wreck. The uku circle around and they are joined by a big uku. I lay down on more hydroids and scratch the bottom. The uku are approaching and I am focused on the big guy. I have been hearing the sub, and know it is around, but I am ignoring it. Between me and the fish there is suddenly a darkness followed by the sight of the far steel channeling that makes up the bottom of the sub. It has come from the pyramids and gone from 10 feet off the bottom to 1 foot off of the bottom, and over me! I am being run over! The nerve! I back away as the sub also pulls up. There are the happy tourists waving away. I feel a lot less friendly, a BA seems like a good idea, but it is not my nature. I am into deco time so I head back and watch Andrew and Marvin on the decks below as I decompress. They soon join me and Marvin wants to see my fish, he is beginning to doubt that I have ever speared anything. I proceed to tell them of my exploits with the big mu. Hmmm I must have lost them, they seemed to get the "I speared a big one", but the part about the fish coming back from the dead and the sub landing on me just brings looks of "huh?" They have had a great dive and Andrew is hot to go again. There is nothing like a dive to ease the mind.

Later that day I show up to tell Gordon, Joe and Amy that I am not a diver. They all laugh at the idea that I don't want to go diving and help me load my gear. I leave my gun because I am not in the mood for killing and we head for Kahala. Funny thing, this morning the Grasshopper was happy to get around Diamond Head and visit Waikiki and now Gordon's boat is happy to get around Diamond Head to where all the uku are playing. The ocean is always bluer on the other side of the point. We head for Joe's barge as Amy has never been there. Joe and Amy are very honeymoony. (I guess getting a sitter for the night can do that) They are spooning and kissing along and on a boat there is no getting away from them, in fact they always seem to be right were I have to get to. "excuse me can I get that gear bag?" Lovey couples are like that, you walk into a dark room, flip on the light and there they are, making out on the couch. Make some small talk and move on. Head out for a walk in the garden and run into them making out behind a tree. It will continue along with the small talk getting more and more difficult and awkward. The ocean is calming down for the evening and we are soon at the spot. I am going down with the anchor and tell Joe and Amy that I will meet them there. Since I don't have a gun, I figure they won't mind company, they look longingly at each other and begrudgingly agree. I ride the anchor down just upwind of the barge and set it. There are uku, big uku, mu and weke ula. "hey no gun!" I try not to scare them off and ignore them. They approach and tease. I come across a broken textured cone. It looks like broken china on the bottom. I wonder about its demise, and start picking up the pieces... can't leave broken china on the bottom... I decide to glue it back together as a project and pick up all the sharp pieces and put them in my wetsuit. Ouch. Gordon shows and asks about fish. I tell him the big uku have gone to the forward zees, the mu are on the other side of the barge and the rat uku and weke are around here. He never got the message past the part about big uku forward. He checks the anchor and heads off. I make friends with file fish by feeding them crab snacks from the bottom of rocks. It is kind of nice to not be trying to hunt. Joe and Amy have gone down below the boat and I see their bubbles making their way across the sand. We join up and go explore the barge. I still have lots of air since I just have been laying around, but I am out of bottom time. Seems like getting into deco should be fine, just as I have this thought the Diamond Head current picks up one notch. I know Kahala, in ten minutes it could be howling. I head up, it is clear and I enjoy being a voyeur of Joe and Amy below. It must be 30 minutes since they were last entangled.... I suppose they have some story about dive gear training, but it sure looks hot and heavy. Joe knows I am watching and signals that he is fine and not to worry just before he starts discarding tanks and clothing. Their bubbles are drifting right into my face, making it like a scrambled channel. I can't really see anything except to know that it must be the playboy channel. Joe has lost his neoprene hood and it floats away with out them noticing. I dive down and meet it as it passes by. The current is picking up and I make my way back to the line and hang on. The new hood is warm, not bad. Gordon has cleared the anchor and comes up empty handed. Amy comes up with some lost hood story while Joe searches the bottom for missing bits. I show Amy the hood I found and she answers "Nice, yeah it is just like the one Joey lost" Joey is still searching for something that floats.... hard to feel sorry for the guy. He comes up and tells me about how he lost his hood and ends with "hey that's my hood! How did you get it?" We surface to see Diamond Head back lit by a firey orange sky. The seas are dropping down for the evening. Gordon pulls anchor and we head for home. I am glad I went diving, it definitely is good for clearing your head. Amy finally got to see Joe's barge and they are making the once a week thing a reality!

dive 215

Tuesday evening, Gordon is heading out with Tod Payes and his acting boss John Payne. Gordon is on best behavior, but invites us anyway go figure? Tod and I promise to be good. John is just glad to get out of the city and is in it for the boat ride. It is windy enough that we plan to stay in Waikiki. Tod says there are big weke ula at the hole, so we head there. He and Gordon tell tales of Molokai, giving and guarding information at the same time. There is no current and I go down with the anchor. A small yellow spot papio greets me as I set the anchor. Mike and Gordon are calling them endangered species lately, and he is only pan size so I ignore him. Three large MK come tearing out of the cave at the sound of my bubbles and disappear. There are lots and lots of small fish surrounding the area. It makes a picture perfect scene as I swim around the hole looking for sleeping ulua. There are small weke ula by the outside rocks. I ignore them and head out the peninsula. The area is devoid of fish away from the hole and I see only an occasional brown humu. Two large weke ula lead me out to the deep sand where there are lots of big weke feeding. I settle down at 110' and watch them. They are feeding and courting and ignoring me. It is super quiet and serene as I lay in a bed of sand watching. I think this is why I like diving, I would probably be happy laying in a meadow watching deer and antelope, but my body always gets sore. Underwater wildlife watching is far superior comfort wise. I think it would be nice to sleep underwater as well, and I am envisioning making my cave into an aquarium when it occurs to me that I am wasting precious bottom time heroes are being made elsewhere and I should try and call those big uku over here. The uku remain outside, waiting for dark. A larger yellow spot comes by and with disregard of Gordon and Mike, I fire away, missing of course! I am out of bottom time and head back toward the hole and shallow water. Tod is putting a weke ula in his bag, his second one, fair size considering he only has one rubber on his gun. I head over to my uku corner and court three small uku who do not come close. I pass over an octopus and check out the shells he has been eating. He is a small one and has nothing like the broken textile cone I found the other day at Joe's barge. I still wonder who ate that. I come across a much larger octopus and tease her while she flashes colors at me. I have five minutes of decompression time already, not a good time to start a battle royal with miss sucker feet. I check her shells, nothing big, and head back to the anchor. There is no sign of anyone and the anchor is gone, there is that bigger yellow spot again I guess I could shoot it so I could have a midnight snack as I swim home.... oh wait, there is the anchor...whew... Gordon moved it for better pick up, no chance of getting it caught on the hole. I head up and do my decompression without seeing the other guys, but I hear a reassuring gun shot and know they are still down there. A good dive for me, didn't loose or break anything, didn't kill anything needlessly and found tremendous piece of mind. I surface and visit with John and watch the sun set. Tod comes up with his two fish, turns out he usually has two rubbers and broke one right when he went down. He had taken on a different octopus and came away a sad looser with one tentacle which was gladly eaten by an eel. Gordon surfaces with nothing but complaints about his terrible shaft, he just put it on his gun and missed three good shots of big weke ula. Tod pulls the anchor and we head for home. I am ready for more diving. I feel my free time being sucked away and it is driving me to the ocean.

dive 216

Friday rolls around and the Mo'o is going diving. I am not usually welcome across her bow but standing on the pier with all my gear whimpering and looking forlorn has the desired effect and I get to join the others. The Captain, Lyle, Gordon and John Chang are all on board, we are bound for Marnie's rock. Lyle sets the anchor and the rest of us follow him in. The opelu kala are hanging outside the rock there is no current. I drift in with the fish as I watch the others. Gordon is cruising the ewa corner, Lyle has the rock covered. I figure to head down to David's area, Gordon must not have seen anything as he is heading this way as well. I think about backing off from the master, but it occurs to me that after landing the giant ulua, he could not possibly need more fish. I hold my ground and continue down the ledge, I can see he is surprised at my total lack of respect. We both refuse to give in and swim along the ledge. There is no sign of game, we finally come across distant uku, but I can see that they are not having any part of me and I leave them for Gordon to entice. I swim inside with the kala and move back toward ewa. Here are more pieces of textile cone... who eats these things? No sign of anything. I pick up a big lettered cone and try to crunch it with my hands. Perhaps eels crunch them, their version of nuts. I know they got strong enough jaws. This lettered cone is definitely a Brazil nut! I find an eel and try to feed him a cone shell. Like a small child sticking food in the face of a reticent house pet. The eel is more scared than anything, even cookies when force fed to you by Nazis can loose their appeal. The experiment is inconclusive. I move along to the ewa ledge. I come across a very nice Hawaiian anchor stone and proudly check it out before retuning as it is too heavy to lug around. I take marks. A big silver fish swims by in mid water, it could be a rainbow runner, tuna, shark, or kagami I wait to see if it reappears. No luck. I check the cave and just to check my marks, try to refind my anchor. Yep, there it is, right under the 30 black humus feeding on my stirred up bottom, easy to find that again! I head back toward the boat. Gordon is at the corner, he is empty handed. The anchor is crowded with divers heading up, there is a large kahala in a bag, his tail hanging out. John is the hero, the others are empty handed. I head over to the outside rocks in search of the evening run. The uku are just coming in, two come close and I take a long shot at the larger, I miss, but the numbers of uku triples. They watch me load. My beeper goes off.... is it possible to run out of bottom time at Marnie's rock? I check my gauge... eeek! less than 800 pounds of air. I was fooled by the fact that everyone was still down, I leave the swarming uku, control my "under 1000 panic", and head back to the anchor. The gang is all on the line and I hang at 30' watching the opelu kala come closer and closer with the darkness. John and Lyle saw the shark, Gordon lost a papio down by David's spot, but on the whole very few fish were seen. We surface to hear about Johns first fight with a big fish, of course the Captain is telling the story and John is characteristicly quiet. Just glad he didn't loose or bend his spear. I brag about MY great find; "well I found a beautiful anchor stone"..... "Is that the one by the pipe?" the captain asks. "Oh, I have seen that one, nice horizontal groove, by the ulua cave" Gordon chimes in. The Captain wants Edwards son to take a look at it! Talk about wind out of sails! Scrambling up a mountain only to find a beer garden full of people at the top, they having come up the well worn path, the older ones took the tram. Gordon pulls the anchor and the Mo'o starts her trip home, she loves the windy sea, splashing up her own storm. Drenching herself in the face just so she can't see! We head for the brightest light, it turns out to be the bow of the oil tanker that has just got underway. Never a dull moment on the Mo'o, she has always seen to that. I am glad to be included, there is after all, always brownies and beer for dinner again and more fish still out there.

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