Today is the sixth day in a row of pouring rain and high surf in Northern California. My dive gear is forlornly bone dry and hanging or stuffed where it belongs until I load up the van again, maybe next week, maybe not.
So in the meantime, I'm going through photos of last year and came across this one, snapped of us by Seth, our Bubbles Below Dive Master, between dives at Hale o Honu (House o' Turtles) on the south west coast of Kauai.
We were sitting on the back of "Dive Rocket" with a sugar mill in the background, enjoying the warm sun and talking about what had been our first dive together as a family.
We had descended into 78 degree water with visibility around 70 feet. It was stunning to be able to see the bottom and the broad lava rock slab ledges progressively sloping off to the south into deeper water. We levelled of at about 60 feet at the lip of one of the ledges and swam along the edge looking for eels and lionfish in the cracks and holes. We found both. In addition, we saw lots of Trigger Rish, Racoon Butterflys, Blue Strip Buutterflys, and everywhere, turtles.
There were old males and juveniles, and some mating pairs. At one point a young turtle swam right into the center of our group, and we obligingly formed up a circle with the turtle in the center, then everyone just hung there. It was a moment out of time, perfect, peaceful and complete.
Later, we were given a rare treat when, out of the blue there swam toward us a Spotted Eagle Ray. It circled us as we were suspended off the ledge about 15 feet and then dove onto the wall with its mouth scraping along looking for scallops. It wiggled along like that four about 10 feet and then abruptly turned seaward and winged its way directly below me toward deep water.
Later that week, in August 2007, we dove at Sheraton Caverns, a spectacular site off Poipu with large cylindrical wells connected by a labyrinth of lava tubes, and a few other very nice boat dives off the south shore. Sheraton Caverns would be an easy kayak dive from Koloa Landing, though primarily people do it as a boat dive.
These dives were all unforgettable, but going over my logs and looking at the pictures, my favorite memory of that trip was our first dive together and how we spent an eternity suspended in a circle around a young sea turtle.