April 9, 2002

12:11am, the next day - I took some jaw dropping shots today -- a PERFECT end to this trip. :) The morning started out with a run down to Lanai with Maui Dive Shop. We dove "Monolith" and "White Hill" (aka "No-name Paradise"), and saw, at 120', some Hawaiian Longfin Anthias, which are apparently a very rare endemic species of anthias. I was very narc'ed from nitrogen narcosis at that depth, and I rather enjoyed its overpowering ringing silence. :) In the late afternoon, we headed out again for dusk and night dives at Molokini crater. The dusk dive presented us with a fairly normal sized manta ray (6-8' wingspan) circling around a cleaning station, and because Dave and I jumped in so early, we got him to ourselves for fifteen minutes before the other 15 divers splashed into the pool. By the end of the dive, many small gray reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks had gathered, and were circling the mooring line and the boat. Some of the grays even came up to the surface to investigate floating objects, which apparently is unheard of. :) After a glorious sunset (the day itself was glorious, too. the sky was a perfect blue textured by a few puffy clouds, and it was so clear that we could see the snow on top of Mauna Kea -- on the Big Island -- from Lanai!), we descended into the darkness wielding cameras and bright dive lights. It was the best night dive I've ever been on. :) Eight oval squid hovered near the bottom of the mooring line, which kept me busy for the entire dive. However, when I did happen to look up, gray and white-tip reef sharks were almost literally everywhere. Jerry was bumped three times by a 5' white-tip, and Aldo even managed to record it on video. :)

The raw, unedited Canon D60 images are spectacular.