As it turns out, I didn’t even need an alarm clock to be up at 4:00AM. With the 4 hour time difference between Hawaii and Saskatoon, getting up that early was like I had already slept in for 3 hours so I was quite rested when I woke up. Walking into the kitchen to grab a drink, I glanced outside and saw one of the most gorgeous moonlit scenes I have ever seen. I quickly & quietly went back to our room, grabbed my camera & tripod and ran out to take some long exposure photos.
We needed to be at the boat launch to meet up with Mike Severns Diving for our first day of dives, and since I was the driver and wasn’t 100% sure of where to go, I wanted to have my fellow divers (Gord, Vince, Norm) out of the house by 5:30 just in case I got lost. Turns out my worrying was for naught and we made it there with ample time to spare and met up with Steve who got dropped off by his buddy. We checked in, signed our lives away, and loaded into the boat. Next thing we knew we were speeding off across the water on our way to Molokini, watching the sun rise behind Haleakala.
After 45 minutes or so of watching the sun make its way over the mountain, chatting with the dive guides, and getting pumped for the upcoming dives, we got to the Molokini crater. They quickly got the anchor down and we got geared up to go for our first dive. This was my first ever warm water dive since I had been certified in Vancouver, BC, and had only dove in cold water. Needing only to wear a shorty on top of my swim trunks was such a great feeling and once we hit that water that was oh-so-warm I had a huge smile on my face.
Group underwater photo on our first dive
The first dive was everything I had thought it would be with amazing visibility and lots of wildlife. Among the hundreds of multi-coloured fish we spotted a black-tipped shark, an octopus, a rare nudibranc and it’s mate. As we were descending from surface, I started to pick up on the songs & harmonies of the humpback whales that were nearby. This time of year was near the end of the mating season for the whales but those songs were so beautiful to hear.
Once we were up from the first dive, we quickly started to the second site we were diving which was called “The Anchors”. This site was pretty much in the middle of the water just off Kihei and consisted of 3 anchors linked together by chain and surrounded by lots of coral and fish once again. Our guide found some cleaner shrimp and we each took turns trying to get them to clean our mouths; that was quite the unexpected yet pretty cool experience. We got back on the boat when we were running low on air and the captain made his way back to boat launch where we thanked the crew and disembarked. All this excitement and it was only noon!
Cleaner shrimp cleaning Steve’s mouth
After getting back to the house, all 5 of us were famished and what better to eat after a day of diving than sushi. Norm, Steve, and I head out to Maui’s famous sushi restaurant, Sansei, to get some take-out only to find it closed for lunch. However, we were on a mission to get some sushi so we ended up going to the large grocery store nearby (I forget the name) and got some pre-packaged sushi, some tasty Maui chips, and of course some more brewski.
After our sushi was safely tucked away in our bellies, we decided to try and find one of the snorkeling spots in our dive book. So, a group of us piled into 2 of the cars and went for a drive south of Kihei to Wailea. We found the spot we were looking for, parked the cars, and quickly took the short walk down to the shore. When we made it into the water and got a few technical difficulties figured out, we swam out to the first reef and almost immediately saw a sea turtle. Swimming around for an hour or so we saw so many beautiful fish and a few more turtles. Holding my breath, diving down a few feet, and swimming alongside a sea turtle was so serene and felt like something that should be in a movie.
We got back to the house after dropping Steve off, took our respective showers, and I crashed for a nap before our dinner date at Café O’Lei with Jackie’s nursing friend from Vancouver. After a very tasty dinner (mmmm, ahi tuna!!) and some ice-cream for dessert, we were home again and I was out for the night as soon as my head hit the pillow.