Daily Archives: April 25, 2007

SCUBA SCUBA Doo, Where Are you?

Posted by on April 25, 2007

Canoes in the sunset off Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Canoes in the sunset off Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Today I had the classroom part of my PADI Open Water Dive certification. I rocked. I’m good at test taking. I’m taking my instruction at Lahaina Divers, which seem like a pretty good outfit (the fact that they’re a block away from my hostel doesn’t hurt either).

SCUBA is something I’ve never really given any serious thought before. You see it on TV all the time, but I never really bothered to think about what goes into it. You strap a tank of air on your back, you breathe the air, you go under water. Pretty simple.

What I never gave any thought to was the issue of pressure. The brilliance of SCUBA isn’t strapping a tank of air on your back. The brilliance is in how it regulates the pressure of the air. The modern SCUBA set up was invented by Jacques Cousteau (or as it was originally called, the Aqualung).

Tomorrow and Friday I actually get into the water and at the end, I should be able to dive anywhere. By the time I leave the Pacific I should have my Advanced Open Water certification.

I’m looking forward to diving in Truck Lagoon and Palau.

More Maui Makes Me Merry

Posted by on April 25, 2007

Wave on the Hana Coast

Wave on the Hana Coast

Instead of leaving Maui before schedule, I’m going to be staying a few days longer so I can get my SCUBA certification in. The best I could do was a class that starts on Wednesday and ends on Friday. Today (Tuesday) I’m going to drive down the Hana coast and take photos and read my SCUBA book before the class tomorrow. If you know a bit about physics, what you’re required to know isn’t that difficult.

I have to figure out how I can get to Oahu from Molokai. My current plan is to take the ferry from Maui to Molokai. I don’t know if renting a car is possible or worth it on Molokai.

Today I took the extra day of waiting to make the drive up the Hana Coast. Hana is a very small community on the southeastern part of the island, on the slope of Haleakala. Charles Lindberg lived there in the last years of his life and is buried nearby.

Waterfall on the Hana road

Waterfall on the Hana road

The highway showed about 40 miles to Hana when it started. Problem is, that 40 miles consists of nothing but hairpin turns, one lane bridges, and lots of traffic. If you could do 20 mph you’d be lucky. Also, the Dali Lama was in town so traffic pretty bad.

The weather has been very windy the last few days so the surf has been very high. I managed to get some nice photos of the surf.

The highway to Hana had lots of waterfalls and really nice scenic overlooks. I eventually just gave up taking photos of waterfalls and the coast because they all sort of became a blur and the sky was overcast, so the lighting wasn’t very good. Here is the most prominent waterfall I did manage to see along the way.

I eventually worked my way up to the Haleakala National Park visitors center on the coast. They had a waterfall called the Pools of ‘Oheo. Its a stream with two small waterfalls that spill into pools right on the coast.

The Pools of Oheo in Haleakala National Park

The Pools of Oheo in Haleakala National Park

The drive back almost made me dizzy having to go through all the hairpin turns again.

View the entire set of photos from today here.

I’ve also changed how I’m handling my images. First, I’m shooting everything in higher quality RAW files instead of JPEG. We’ll see how this works out and how much storage I have. I’m also not uploading everything to my Flickr account. I’m just going to convert the best photos to JPEG and upload those. This will result in fewer but higher quality images. I might also delete some of the redundant photos in older sets.