Adventure Travel: Hawaii – Airplane Wreck and Black Hole Scuba Dives

viagra buy arial, abortion sans-serif;”>By John M. Tipton

Airplane Wreck

We made a run north to the airplane wreck and then came back and dove Black Hole cave on Nitrox, since none were below 120 feet.

We dropped anchor about 20 feet from the right wing and I just swam around the plane and chased the little fish that are difficult to capture on film. Found some others as well, like the Snapper. Image Ascent (77) gives you an idea of what it looks like from 115 feet looking up the anchor line.

While hanging off our drop lines for a short decompress, which was a bit murky, something lumbered out of the murk with a back-and-forth motion, rather slow and ponderous. In the half-second or so before I recognized it for what it was, I thought, “Shark? Submarine? Manatee?” then realized it was a really large seal. Monk Seals are the only ones they have out here and are rarely seen. This one was swimming between me and the bottom, so about 60 feet down, just lazily making her way North. We tried to tell a dive boat about it, but they charged off before we could pull the anchor.

SML - Airplane Wreck - Fuselage (3)

Airplane Wreck – Fuselage

SML - Airplane Wreck - Fuselage & Fish (11)

Airplane Wreck – Fuselage with visiting fish

SML - Airplane Wreck - Cockpit (69)

Airplane Wreck – Cockpit

SML - Airplane Wreck - Acquisitive Sponge (71)

Airplane Wreck – Acquisitive Sponge

SML - Airplane Wreck - Monk Seal (Rare) (80 b)

Airplane Wreck – Monk Seal (Rare)

SML - Airplane Wreck - Blacktail Snapper (31)

Airplane Wreck – Blacktail Snapper

SML - Airplane Wreck - Reef Lizardfish (36)

Airplane Wreck – Reef Lizardfish


Black Hole
Black Hole has so many dead lobe coral, it looks really bad right now. Sadly, the bleaching isn’t just in shallow water. The lobe coral’s almost all died out, but in spots ranging from 30 to 120 feet that I’ve seen. The huge 15 foot around plate coral colony on the deep side of the cave has died as well, which didn’t make for a good picture at all. Sad.
On the way around the reef I ran across the little moray eel and then the starfish, and then went to check out these large coral heads that were full of fish last year, but they’re almost all dead. Seems the die-off has driven off half the fish population. There’s still a bunch, but not as many as before. I was happy to get pix of the Hogfish and wrassies, because they’re a pain to snap a clear picture of. Hanging off the line, I took a picture of a sea critter floating by. It’s about a half inch long. Couldn’t get to macro mode, so the image won’t stay clear too close. The picture here is 10x the size of the actual photo. Neat though.

SML - Black Hole - Blacklip Butterflyfish (41)

Black Hole – Blacklip Butterflyfish

SML - Black Hole - Yellowtail Coris - Tranforming Juvenile (40)

Black Hole – Yellowtail Coris – Tranforming Juvenile

SML - Black Hole - Hawaiian Hogfish - Juvenile (52)

Black Hole – Hawaiian Hogfish – Juvenile

SML - Black Hole - Disappearing Wrasse (58)

Black Hole – Disappearing Wrasse

SML - Black Hole - White Mouth Moray Eel (72)

Black Hole – White Mouth Moray Eel

SML - Black Hole - Gilded Triggerfish (91)

Black Hole – Gilded Triggerfish

SML - Black Hole - Bluespine Unicornfish (117 b)

Black Hole – Bluespine Unicornfish



John M. Tipton is a professional writer residing in Camarillo with his wife Tina.  He has scuba dived for 35 years, combining the sport with a passion for photography and traveled extensively growing up when his father served in the US Navy.

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