By Oahu Volunteer Dive Team Coordinator & U/W Photographer Ken Staples
Many mahalos to our partner Island Divers Hawai’i (IDH) and especially our incredible group of volunteer divers for your excellent work at our cleanup dive on Saturday.
We left the dock at IDH with an very full boat.
After a detailed dive briefing by Andrew, the IDH dive boat Sea Fox headed directly to the Spitting Caves area around the East side of Oahu. The conditions were perfect. The waves were light and the sun was shining.
We readied ourselves for a quick negative entry into the water and had to make two drops (groups of divers) since our group was so large. We all quickly dropped to the bottom and settled around the 45’ mark to start our cleanup.
There was a lot of monofilament line entangled on the reef and lead weights everywhere. We had two large buckets with lift bags (to pull the buckets to the surface when full) and a number of mesh bags being carried by the volunteers.
Armed with cutting tools we filled the first bucket full of line and lead in about 20 minutes and had the second one full after a short 40-minute dive. We could’ve filled a third easily…note for our next dive…
We couldn’t believe how much monofilament line and lead weight was present, and unfortunately, we had to leave a bunch behind. We’ll be back to get it!
We were greeted below by ocean wildlife including an eagle ray, two frogfish and a stealthy Honu that all appreciated our work on the reef. This is why we do it.
You can click on each photo to enlarge it for a better view. From left to right: Frogfish, Honu, white-mouthed eel.
We were all pumped as we surfaced and were excited about how much debris we had removed from the reef. The current was picking up as we waited for the boat and we drifted several hundred feet until everyone was safely back on board.
Thankfully we had the needed muscle to lift the heavy buckets onto the Sea Fox for our trip back to the dock. Onboard there was plenty of celebration and dancing….thanks to Dive Instructor Mary’s awesome playlist.
We have a tremendous group of divers who really care about our mission of keeping the ocean clean. We can’t wait to do it all again next month.
Our haul was over 2000 feet of fishing line and 300 pounds of lead weights.
Our exceptional debris-removal crew:
Andrew Monnig - Instructor
Mary Christensen - Instructor
Alan Budge - Crew
Sam Ellertson-Mau - Crew
AJ Jaeger - ODA photographer
A Word of Thanks
On this Thanksgiving holiday, I want to thank everyone who makes our debris-removal dives happen! To you supporters who invest financially in clean oceans, we are grateful that you keep our boats on the water and our dive teams supplied! To all of the Hawai’i volunteers—not just those listed here—but all of you who have EVER joined us on the boats or on the shores of Oahu and the Big Island, we appreciate each one of you and are honored to serve with you in this great cause…clean and healthy oceans.