Hawaii Day 4 – Garden Eel Cove

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Sorry guys, today is another visually unexciting blog post as I spent most of my time underwater. Paige and I had a very chill start to the day where we let our bodies sleep in, rest and relax. Once the early afternoon rolled in, it was time to get ready to go into Kona town. We had our first experience of an ABC store.. I don’t know, I guess it’s a store that stocks everything you might need in that area so Kona’s seemed quite tourist-oriented. It was like a convenience store slash duty free shop slash bottle-o.

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We checked into the dive shop and drove out to the boat harbour. Then we cruised on out to Garden Eel Cove. ‘Cruise’ as a verb kind of insinuates that it was calm and relaxed but holy macaroni, I was yelling at the top of my lungs because of the G force I was feeling in my stomach. I felt like I had signed up for a roller-coaster ride at a theme park. Paige thought I was going a little loopy like a little kid because she couldn’t feel her stomach drop as much. The crazy, choppy ride started to send a few of the other divers into feeling ill. But that ride for me was so fun and scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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Once we moored the boat, I felt the sea sickness. The rocking was not agreeing with my body. So I spent the entire time looking at the horizon, which sounds romantic but was more a desperate attempt to keep my lunch down. With everyone on the boat being cute and coupley, I was fortunate enough to pair up with one of the dive masters. So my dive buddy kept feeding me ginger candy and gave me these pressure bands on my wrists. Don’t know which one worked but it helped out a lot. One of the other dive masters told me that in the Navy they tell you if you’re feeling sea sick, to eat a lot of bananas. I said I had no idea bananas helped with sea sickness where he then told me, “It doesn’t! But at least your vomit will taste like bananas!”

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We jumped in to do an afternoon dive to check out the site in daylight. WOW. And I thought yesterday’s dive looked like a Vegas Casino? The coral I saw that day made Kailua Pier look like the Brisbane Casino. Castles and castles of coral reef just demanded attention on the sea bed. It was amazing. I went down to a maximum depth of 75 feet. I saw moray eels, tropical fish, crown of thorns and an eagle ray! Oh there even was this chubby 500 pound monk seal that waddled quickly by us. One of the divers also got sick and vomited into the ocean which then brought about a parade of Aholehole fish. Just don’t think about the vomit bait and you’d think the view was pretty cool. Okay, seeing as I’m going with the casino metaphor, the scene of Aholehole fish snapping up vomit was like one of those large enclosed glass boxes and then a fan blows a whole amount of cash inside for patrons to try and grab. That’s what it looked like. $$$

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I then got eaten by a shark… made of rubber. He wasn’t really into the whole scuba gear taste though so he regurgitated me back out. Haha. If you want to see the silly little video instead of staring at these shitty screenshots then head to my Instagram or Facebook.

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After spending 47 minutes down there, we ascended to break for dinner. We had to wait an hour or so before we could safely dive again. If anyone was just curious and have never dove before, it’s super important to make sure our bodies have expelled enough of the nitrogen gases before going back down again. Solids and liquids don’t get impacted by pressure but gases do. The amount of pressure determines how much gas a liquid absorbs. So, the deeper we go down, the more our body absorbs nitrogen. Otherwise, I guess to dramatise, our bodies become like shaken up soft drinks and when the pressure changes the nitrogen bubbles can come out of our tissues, into our bloodstreams and clot circulation. Then it’s quick trouble. But it takes a while for our bodies to get rid of all the nitrogen so that’s why it’s important not to fly or go to high altitude locations for around 18 ~ 24 hours after diving.

Anyway, that’s just a general.. I’m no expert as I’m just a recreational diver. It’s pretty interesting how well we’ve worked that out though. Dive tables and computers help determine stuff like how long we can stay down there, how long to do a safety stop (for me I had to do 3 minutes at 15ft of depth) and how long our next dive can be etc. Amazing.

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The sun had set. The night was black. And it was time for my first night dive. We were prepared to go see manta rays feeding but unfortunately, they decided not to come out to play for us that day. I was so sad. Though, I did still get to see some very cool sea life. Lobsters, crabs, prawns, some weird fish I have no idea of, scorpion fish (or stone fish back at home), eels hopelessly catching their prey, big tropical fish fighting over each other’s food, thousands of plankton etc. A night dive really wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. There were some moments when I was crawling across an area of just sand where I’d freak out a little. It was like walking out of the fun, happy lala coral carnival and then staring into the darkness of grass fields that were left unused or something. Then thinking a clown might creep out of the shadows. Haha does that help explain how I felt? There were also some moments too where I forgot to shine the light on where I was looking and that would make me feel so isolated but that isolation was sometimes welcomed.

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