We have come up for our surface interval again and have to tell you about this dive! For those of you that have been diving with us for a while and those that haven't been with us yet, be ready to have your MIND BLOWN! (Ours was).
Lahaina Divers has added a new dive to their weekly charters on Thursday. It is the Three Tank Thursday Adventure Dive and it is just that. Three tanks, not the normal two, and it is to sites that Lahaina Divers rarely gets to and sites that no other dive operation goes. Sometimes one of the dives will be at a site that Lahaina Divers goes to but from a whole different perspective as you drift through them. Since these are sites that are not visited often, there are no mooring balls which means it is a drift dive with a live drop-off and pick-up. On today's charter, we went to Lanai and bypassed the Cathedrals and many of the other sites and went around to the back side of Lanai for two of the three dives.
Starting off with Shanty Town where local fishing shanties look down over the water and underneath the surface the wildlife gets crazy. The adventure starts with lining all of the dive group on the back swim deck like a group of military special operators. Once lined up the crew gives the ready signal and the captain readies the boat for the drop-off. Then you hear DIVE, DIVE, DIVE and off you go into the water. Once in the water the guide then descends the group and the drift starts. At Shanty Town there are large areas of healthy coral spilling down from the lava structures Lanai is known for. As you drift along, you may encounter critters as small as juvenile Gloomy Nudibranch and as large as Manta Rays. Today we saw a lIf ot of wildlife with way too much to list. Once the dive is done, you will ascend to your safety stop while the dive guide deploys the safety marker. Granted, the boat follows along the whole time and is nearby at all times. After the safety stop everyone ascends to the surface and awaits the pickup. The Captain slides the boat right up to the group and everyone boards the boat.
As always, Lahaina Divers feeds their divers well with fruit and veggie platters, sandwiches, and Captain's cookies almost as big as your face between dives. While we were feasting, the crew changed over our tanks and got us ready for the next dive. They come around, ask questions like 'how was that dive', 'how was your weight', and in some cases will give tips and tricks to help make your next dives even better.
From Shanty Town, we went to Jonie's Jungle. If you like wall dives, canyon dives, peering into small pukas (Hawaiian for holes, cracks, or crevices) this dive site won't disappoint. As soon as you drop in, you are greeted with a mini Grand Canyon entrance. Today we had a school of rudder fish flowing down the bottom of canyon like a black river cutting through the chasm. As you drift along, you see the harsh starkness of lava topography along with enclaves of coral. but more so you notice that there are more Bi-Color Anthias, Whip Coral, and other wildlife than some of the other sites. In a couple of spots the Anthias cover the coral like a rug and obscure your view of the coral. (pesky critters, you are blocking my view) From there you spill out to a series of crevices and mini-canyons filled with stuff like Ghost Shrimp, Lobsters, Crabs, Frog Fish, and more... wildlife. (thought we were going to say Anthias, huh?)
Finally, we ended our dive after having our mind blown once more and climbed back onboard. From here, heavily loaded with Nitrogen, we made our way back around Lanai towards Lahaina and slid into the area of Sgt. Major. Once again, we anxiously awaited the command of Dive, Dive, Dive and dropped in. This time though, rather than just staying at Sgt. Major, we swam through the fingers and saw Great White.... Tipped Reef Sharks, Green Sea Turtles, and more. Just when we thought we were done, the adventure reset and we drifted to Sgt. Minor. Ok, for those that have dove with us for a while you are saying 'Been there, done that' but not like this. Rather than fighting the current and kicking around the fingers we drifted with it. Between the two sites is an awesome sand and rubble field where you will find Fire Dart Fish, Tako (Octopus), Dragon Wrasse, and more. Oh yea, throw in a frog fish or two.
If you haven't been diving with Lahaina Divers before, DON"T DO THIS DIVE FIRST! Save it for your last dive after you have done Molokini, Lanai, Turtle Reef, and if you qualify, the Hammerhead dive. Then finish your dive adventure with this dive. Not that the others are not as good, but after this dive your mind will be so blown you will miss the beauty of the other dives. If you have been out with Lahaina Divers before, it is still recommended that you save this for one of your last dive charters. Enjoy the serenity of falling off a moored boat and seeing the wildlife around the plethora of moored dive sites. Once you have done that, then hope your adrenal glands are ready for this adventure. If you have a hood bring it because you will want something to catch the pieces when your mind is blown away on this charter.