Wednesday, August 02, 2006

South of Maui

The days since my last post have been filled with excitement and adventure to say the least. After leaving Kauai early to catch a calm spell in the Alenuihaha channel (between Maui and the Big Island) we spent a day on the west side of Molokai, home of Gaetano, one of our deck crew.

The cliffs of north Molokai are incredible, some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world rising some three thousand feet from the ocean surface. Alas, the winds were to strong for us to work the north shore and we had to settle for thirty knot winds but calm seas to the west. The dives were enjoyable although not the best of the trip. large fish were few and far between with a few parrotfish and snappers making the cut onto the data sheet.

After our day at Molokai the winds cooperated and we were able to start working the Alenuihaha channel along the coast of east Maui. If you have not visited, east Maui south of Hana is spectacular. Lush tropical forests coat the hills and valleys with a verdant carpet of the richest greenery you can imagine. Black basalt cliffs rise from the turquoise waters and sparkling waterfalls gleam high above. Everywhere the jungle is dominated by the west Maui mountains reaching to the clouds.

The diving ... well between the abundant black sand which does have a special appeal once you come to appreciate the variety of different wave patterns determined by grain size, swell intensity and depth, there were short series of rich coral and clear waters. Not too many large fishing making their way onto our data sheets, but we have seen a decent number of new recruits, young fish which have just settled onto the reef this year.

So, aside from being drug over a few shallow spots and being towed through sections where we had to hold our hands out just to feel exactly where the bottom was, things have been going pretty much as planned. It feels good to have the Alenuihaha behind us. Tomorrow we head to the north coast of the Big Island. I am looking forward to it.


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