Sharks, Barracudas, and Turtles… Oh My!!

15 Aug

It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year…SHARK WEEK!!!!! I am absolutely in awe of sharks.  There is something very intriguing about something so terrifying.  It’s also amazing to watch all those brave crazy researchers come up with the most daring ways to learn about these fascinating creatures.

Tyler and I both want to visit South Africa where huge great white sharks breach waters off the coast in order to make a meal out of poor, unsuspecting seals…..

All this shark talk has made us consider doing an actual shark dive.  Back in April, while I was on assignment in Austin, TX, I signed Tyler and myself up for a scuba diving certification course.  It was a big surprise for his 30th birthday!!

I knew we were going to be coming back to Maui soon, and thought this would be the perfect place to do some awesome dives.  It took about two weeks of self-study book work, two days in the pool, and 4 dives in lovely lake Travis (where the visibility was maybe 15 ft.) for us to earn our open water diver certification.  We had so much fun and became great friends with the instructors and staff at Dive World.

We recently had the opportunity to go on our very first boat dive.  We booked with Ed Robinson’s Diving Adventures, and were very pleased with the knowledge and skill level of all the dive masters on the boat.

We met up at the Kihei boat ramp at 6:30 in morning, loaded our gear and traveled to our first dive destination, Molokini Crater.  We have snorkeled here before and had a blast; so were were really excited about diving here.

I started to get nervous on the ride out because we had not been diving since our time in Lake Travis.  The whole way out I did a mental checklist of everything I was supposed to remember.  We anchored at Reef’s End, and got a quick debriefing on the depth we were to dive and what we should expect to see.  I could feel my heart beginning to beat faster as I geared up.  I stood at the edge of the boat, said a silent prayer, and jumped off into the deep, blue water.

My first feeling was one of relief.  My BCD worked, I was floating!!  My regulator appeared to be functioning properly, and I began to relax.  We regrouped at the descent line and readied ourselves to submerge.  Releasing all of the air in my BCD, I slowly started to sink.  I looked around and couldn’t believe the amazing clarity and the beauty of the amazing ocean world around me.

We bottomed out at a depth of 50 feet, and followed divemaster Dave along as he guided us through a beautiful reef filled with tons of fish and beautiful marine life.  We saw a lot of the same fish we see on our many snorkel trips, as well as an abundance of new species.

The creepiest thing we saw was a barracuda who appeared to be about 3-4 feet in length.  He was so still he appeared to frozen; suspended at a depth of about 30 feet, with dead eyes and scary teeth.

We saw a white tip reef shark pup, lots of eels, and two big beautiful green sea turtles.  However, the highlight of the trip for me occurred on our second dive.  We were at a depth of about 40 feet when our dive master spotted an octopus.  He was medium sized, and a deep purplish brown color.  When startled he squirted ink everywhere and swam off.  He changed colors to a white with purple spots as he swam away.  It was incredible!!

I am truly in awe of this whole new world we have discovered.  It truly is like being on another planet.  I see a lot more diving in our future, and who knows, that shark dive may be more in the near future than I thought.

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One Response to “Sharks, Barracudas, and Turtles… Oh My!!”

  1. alfred estelline owens August 19, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    Oh thank you for letting me see & travel with you through your eyes & stories, your much braver than us! Love you two, Mom & Pop

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