Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Double Back Wall Molokini Deep Dive

Huge Slipper Lobster
  If you are a scuba diver and you travel to the island of Maui then this dive has to be number one on your list. Molokini Backwall is the epitome of a 'wall dive.' A half moon shaped volcanic tuff cone rises 162' above water and then drops over 300' straight down. On this lucky day we were diving with Maui Diamond, the boat for Maui Dreams Dive Shop, and did two different drift dives on the back wall of Molokini.

Granddaddy Moray Eel
  I set this page up kind of like the dive. Looking one direction, at the wall, you search for eels, lobsters, nudibranchs and rare fish living in the nooks and cracks on the wall itself. Then you look the other direction off into the deep blue. We had blue fin trevallys, giant barracuda, big eye emperor fish, porcupine fish, and white tip sharks cruising nearby. Manta rays, pelagic sharks, dolphins, and even whales are seen off in the blue from time to time at this spot.

Heidi at Molokini
Soldiers and a Longjaw Squirrelfish
  The clarity of the water is astounding. Diving at the limits of recreational diving, 130ft deep, you still can't see the bottom, even with 150ft visibility. The wall just disappears into the blue. It can be a bit disorienting for the uninitiated diver. I really enjoyed swimming away from the group a little ways to get a better idea of the true massiveness of how big the wall really is. I tried to show that in a few of the reef-scape pictures.

  Our dive group all held their own through both dives. Beautiful conditions above water lent lots of light for photography, which is very important for big wide angle shots like these. Most of the dives around Maui are pretty shallow so this deep dive is a welcome change. I know some tech divers have been all the way to the bottom of this site, 320ft down. Our dive guide, Wilson, pointed out a large unexploded bomb left over from military testing days on our second descent. After big storms I've seen people come up with machine gun shells from here as well. Luckily the coral has come along way since those days as a firing range. Black coral can be seen growing in the depths and many different kinds of coral are fighting for space on the rocky substrate.

Giant Barracuda
Little divers on a big wall

White Tip Shark close encounter
Colorful urchins and coral

Big Eye Emperor Fish
Near the top of the wall

Safety stop in the blue

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