Underwater Pictures

These are pictures taken from the underwater reefs of the Big Island. I dove with Kohala Divers for most of my diving except for the Manta Ray Night Dive, which I chartered through Big Island Divers.

All of my trips with Kohala Divers were out of Kawaihae Harbor, as shown below:

The coral in the Hawai'ian Islands is harder than in the Caribbean. None of the vase sponges and fans that are typical anywhere in the warm-water Carib - mostly hard, rock-like coral fingers and so forth.

My highlight was doing a night dive with the Manta Rays! Near Kona, this is one of the only places in the world where Manta's congregate together for feeding. Manta Rays eat plankton, which are attracted to light during the night. It was found many years ago that in some places on the Big Island, exterior hotel lighting was attracting a large amount of plankton near the resort, which in turn attracted Manta Rays.

It has been attempted in the past to setup similar night dives in other places, but there has not been any success. It seems that the area near the Kona coast is the only spot where this species of Manta will feed as a group.

The Manta Rays are large - around 10 to 15 feet wide from wingtip to wingtip. For each foot of width, you can estimate around 100 pounds of weight, so a 13-foot Manta would weight around 1300 pounds.

Each Manta has a unique set of marking on its' underside. There are divers on this island that have been diving with these same Mantas for over 30 years. Typical life span of a Manta is over 80 years!

Fish

Moorish Idol Puffer and Sea Cucumber Scrawled Filefish
Moorish Idol Puffer and Sea Cucumber Scrawled Filefish
Racoon Butterflyfish Peacock Grouper Longnose Butterflyfish
Racoon Butterflyfish Peacock Grouper Longnose Butterflyfish
Moorish Idol Blackside Hawkfish
Moorish Idol Blackside Hawkfish

Eels and Turtles

Whitemouth Moray Turtle being cleaned Whitemouth Moray
Whitemouth Moray Turtle being cleaned Whitemouth Moray

Creatures and Critters

Spinner Dolphins Leaf Scorpionfish Helmet Shell
Spinner Dolphins Leaf Scorpionfish Helmet Shell
Helmet Feeding Pustulose Phyllidia Peacock Flounder
Helmet Feeding Pustulose Phyllidia Peacock Flounder
Fuchsia Flatworm Varicose Phyllidia
Fuchsia Flatworm Varicose Phyllidia

Stars

Cushion Star Crown of Thorns Star Green Linckia
Cushion Star Crown of Thorns Star Green Linckia
Crown of Thorns Star
Crown of Thorns Star

Miscellaneous

The Lava Dome The Lava Dome The Lava Dome
The Lava Dome The Lava Dome The Lava Dome
Diver Emerging
Diver Emerging

Manta Night Dive

Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray
Manta Ray Manta Ray Manta Ray