Moku Mano Dive
Updated: Jan 18
OP Owners Log - 1/7/2023
We work hard to play hard, we know, it’s a saying that you’ve heard a lot, but we think of it in a different way. We work hard to set up systems and processes that we can have other people perform so that we can spend our time out playing and exploring. Below are the adventures that Offsite Professionals has enabled us to spend more time doing what we want to do. We aren’t trying to brag, but what we want is to inspire you to make the next step toward your freedom and we hope that chronicling our adventures and the frequency at which we do them will give you hope and aspirations that you too can pursue your hopes and dreams, and ultimately gain the freedom that you already work so hard for.
We found ourselves asking for one more spot on the boat today. AJ’s meeting for NARPM was canceled and Dustin had secured a spot for himself. From the text message thread, we could tell that we were virtually not physical and it had to be a decision made in person. Either way, we both showed up and both were able to make it out on a 6-mile ride on a couple of different dingies. Ours with a 30hp outboard maybe made 6 knots and into the waves heading out. We made it from the harbor about 1 hour and 30 minutes after we departed past the marine base and looked out into the deep blue.
The group was great. Jim and Jamie (not Jaime) the captains, seemed to be weekend warriors. They worked the weeks and did as much scuba on the weekends as possible. We were happy to be along for the ride and the adventure. This spot apparently is not often available to go to for several reasons. The surf on the way out during the winter months (October to March) is hitting the north shore pretty tough, but when the winds and surf get shadowed from the other islands (Maui and Kuai) there breeds a window that allows traveling. The other, and maybe more important item to note is that the military base has live ranges that point in that direction. Not ideal to be heading down range when friendly fire is going on. This day was the exception to both of those impediments and could be considered the opposite of a perfect storm, the timeliest to get out and dive into the blue open waters.
We immediately were impressed with the visibility and the depth at which we started. Coming down the depths to see a sting ray floating about breed excitement and further for the rest of the dive. We headed east to the island underwater and entered the first cave. Our group, a bunch of divemasters and scuba shop employees were outfitted with the coolest of toys. We were literally the only ones without underwater scooters, which meant we had to kick a lot harder and watch them literally circle around us! The cavern started around 60-80 feet and decreased in depth as we continued to explore. This cave had a surprise for us and we came upon 3 white-tip sharks as we got further in. The sharks annoyed and most likely upset with our lights darted around as we watched them with grace. We could hear the rumble of the waves and tidal waters crashing the rocks above, Dustin even mentioned it sounded like an EDM concert underwater.
We exited this cave and headed north to northwest following the slope of the underwater terrain and found ourselves upon another cave. Dark and ominous we followed our fellow scooter adventurers in hopes of not running out of air in time to get out. No surprises were found in this cave but the sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks and the pressure of air that compressed as water filled the cavity was spectacular. This cave had a semblance of a blowhole that allowed for some rays of light to enter. We spent a small amount of time on the second cavern as our air was coming to an end. As we headed to the boat kept our safety depth conscious so as to minimize our stop out in the blue at the boat.
Zodiacs are entirely different animals when it comes to diving. String ladders, ropes, and leaving gear in the water. One of the first times that we haven’t been with a professional feeling shop, but more with a bunch of friends with a lot smaller space. Spending our surface time sharing some 7-eleven wasubi we had purchased prior to arriving at the harbor was clutch. It was nearly 12 by the time we had surfaced and 45 minutes to go before the next dive. Almost the perfect amount of time in the sun to get dry only for us to start pulling the gear out one by one to swap the tanks to hop right back in.
We headed north around the head of the island, from the boat’s pull and the direction from which they were tethered together we could tell the current was heading north the way we were headed. If you’ve ever swum with the current before, it can both be a lot of fun and a lot of work. We had formulated a plan to hitch a ride with the scooter buddies after we had drifted down past the head of the island. After AJ had displaced 1000 psi started to get nervous and call to head back. As we started to swim back it felt like walking at the same pace as stepping up the down elevator. You keep working but really don’t make it anywhere, maybe more like a treadmill. Either way, the scooters picked us up and had to kick it in high gear to get back to the pool of less current. Slightly frightful that one of the scooters runs out of batteries on the second dive of the day and we spend the rest of our air working hard swimming back to the boat, in all likelihood to not make it and call for a pick-up if they can see/hear us.
We found our way back into the cavern on the north side and this time the sun had punctured through either the clouds or a different angle that created some amazing rays of light that darted through the blue abyss. The structures and the rocks on the dive were large and magnanimous which created a fun way to dart and weave about. The cavern was much larger than we have done before with a swell that would push and pull such that swimming was only effective if you wanted to get somewhere in the end, but there was no taming the swell, you had the accept the fact that it was going to direct you. We again did not see any large sea creatures as we had hoped, as we are still on the hunt for hammerheads, but we thoroughly enjoyed the great visibility and the dives that were had. We brought beers for the ride back and happy clams with some more great stories to tell.
- AJ Shepard