2006 Kona Classic Day 3: Things are Looking Up

Filed under: — Anastasia @ 10:27 am

Tuesday, and NOTHING WENT WRONG. Someone must have thrown a lei into the volcano for us.

We started out the day with a fairly uneventful dive at Eel Cove. Well, it was uneventful except for the fact that we spent big chunks of it trying to film necessary scenes for my video. It’s hard enough to direct a scene topside; underwater, when all the participants are easily-distracted photographers, it’s even worse! In a weird bout of life-imitates-art-imitates-life, Jeff and I pretty much drove each other bonkers shooting the sequence of our getting in each other’s way while trying to film an eel. Priceless.

(A big thank you to Dave for manning the camera on the shots of us – I’ve long since lost count of the favors I owe that man!)

Pair of lizardfish:

Dive two was Ray Bay, close to where I saw a tiger shark last July. No sharks on this dive, but we did come upon some enormous schools of goatfish, some eagle rays, and a tiny leaf scorpionfish lurking in a coral head. This was just a fun area to dive in: lots of coral rubble to hunt for fish and eels in, and always those schools of goatfish to film when there was nothing else around.

Leaf Scorpionfish:

So, two dives down, and still nothing resembling an Incident. Things were looking up just in time for the manta night dive.

As we waited for the sun to set, the photo pros brought forth a pile of wetsuits they’d promised to photograph. Our divemasters gamely pulled them on and headed to the bow for a photo shoot – hysterical! Lots of cheesecake shots of slightly damp divers in the sunset. I’m not sure who had more fun: the models, photographers, or the hooting audience.

Jeff and I dropped down a bit early in hopes of some alone time with the mantas, which were putting on quite a show at the surface. We sat by the light box for 10 minutes before one manta swooped by.. and disappeared. Another five minutes and 2 mantas swooped by – and dissapeared. The plankton was intense in front of my lights, and squirrelfish kept darting in for a mouthful, bonking my light and/or hand while they were at it. 20 minutes into the dive, suddenly we were surrounded – by a dozen mantas and several dozen photographers and videographers. Despite the chaos of video lights in every direction, we both got some cool shots of mantas swooping over people’s heads and turning somersaults. Mantas were everywhere, even getting in the way of shots of other mantas. I guess that’s a good problem to have.

Manta swoops over divers:

Unfortunately, Lady (Bad) Luck paid another visit to our boat; one of the photographers wound up with strobes that didn’t fire. Compared to the last two days, this seemed like an ok problem to have…

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