Best day of diving! Jeff swore its his top 5 dive, haha which isn’t saying much because he has had only a total of 6 dives, having just completed his open water certification on this trip.
We did a total of 4 dives today: at Pyramid Point, Golden Arches, and 2 at Garden Eel Cove, all just off Kona. All were pretty spectacular. Visibility Was amazing, like on Sunday.
The Garden Eel Cove dives took the cake. The night dive was the most surreal and phenomenal experience ever!
As soon as the sun set, the snorkelers and divers from the other boats slipped into the black waters, and turned on their flashlights. Pretty soon, whoops of delight sounded from the snorkelers. The manta rays had come in to feed. We hurriedly pulled on our own wetsuits and with equal parts anxiety and excitement, slipped into the water.
Immediately, we were greeted by the most astonishing sight. The ocean floor was illuminated by the bright shafts of lights from both the divers and snorkelers, and dozens (ok precisely 21) of gigantic manta rays with wingspan from 5 to 15 feet were swooping in and around the divers with abandon.
Our divemaster Luke led us to the sandy bottom and bade us find comfortable spots to watch the spectacle from. The moment we raised our flashlights above our heads, the rays came eagerly swooping in, mouths wide open. We could stare right into their gaping mouths, and had to hastily duck less their tails smack us in the head. For close to an hour we stayed rooted to the ocean floor, just taking in the wonder of it all.
Other stuff spotted:
A couple of eagle rays, another Hawaiian sting ray (all the dive masters couldn’t believe my sting ray mojo; some had been diving for years and not seen one. Haha), and a few lone manta rays during the day. Also saw an egg of the Spanish Dancer nudibranch, a couple more nudibranches, a horned helmet, heller barracuda, octopus, and a rare Hawaiian long tail authia at 100 feet. On the boat ride over, we also spotted a pod of humpback whales breaching in the distance. 🙂