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Old 08-18-2006, 02:25 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,690
Default Diving The Forbidden Island Caldera, Whales, Seals, Sharks & More

This is a special request from tautologies to put up some shots from a recent diving trip to Lihau, a submerged volcano cone or caldera near Niihau, west of Kauai in Hawaii. I am planning on doing a more extensive article with a lot more land and UW photos but for now here are a few.

Cloud shrouded Niihau in the distance with a pilot whale in the foreground. A pod of several dozen whales showed up as we left the area of the island.

The viz. was excellent this far offshore with minimal runoff. The volcanic bottom forms were bizarre to see for a Florida diver.

Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, the Hawaiian monk seal. Literally it means, "the dog that runs in the rough." Doesn't look like a golfer to me. I was fortunate to catch this guy from a distance in an UW telephoto shot. It would surface near us for a breather and orbit around while we were SCUBA diving. He would just lie on the bottom, growl and slowly spiral up for air about every 10 minutes.

We even had some sharks show up, a couple of white tips and several baby gray reef sharks that may have popped out of mom within the last week I would think.

It is an interesting dive and usually with a very rough return up wind to Kauai. Of course the normally strong trades were turned off by nearby tropical storms for much of this trip (ouch!), good for diving through. More to come, stay tuned.

More about the "Forbidden Island" here .
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