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News and Media

News and Media

By Oahu Volunteer Coordinator & ODA Advisory Board Member Marjorie Zensen

I know this is Hawai’i – the Paradise Islands – but we have “weather”, too!

The day started off cloudy and rainy.  Not just the little rain that is gone in 10 minutes but the rain that you knew was here to stay! A little rain doesn’t stop divers though!  After all, we ARE mostly underwater!

Rainy day in Hawaii

That said, as the morning went on, I thought I should touch base with our partner Island Divers Hawaii’s (IDH) Captain Matt Negaard just to check in.  He was out on a charter and sent me a picture of the beautiful calm seas (see photo below left).  But he informed me that it would not be staying that way as a huge cold front was coming our way.  Still, we kept our plans to go out and clean up Spitting Caves, keeping an eye out for a change in conditions. 

Shortly after, Captain Matt sent a picture of trash they had picked up on the surface!  Clean up had begun with the charter but the trash they found floating concerned me.  It was a lot!  What were the seas doing?

Earlier sea conditionsEarlier sea conditions.
Catch o the Day from earlier outingDebris collected from earlier outing.

At 2:00 pm, 18 of us gathered on the IDH boat Sea Fox.  

Dive briefing with Glenn

The rains had stopped but the winds were picking up.  We had to leave NOW! 

Crew on way out

Just as we neared the open ocean to make the left turn to go to Spitting Caves, the boat started hitting huge waves.  The seas had changed.  No left for us!  No right, either as conditions quickly deteriorated.

We made a quick and tumbly U-turn and headed back to the dock.  

Captain Matt at the helm

Thanks, Captain Matt and Dive Master Violet!  And thanks to all the divers who came out regardless of the conditions.  As I write this, the day after, the storm is raging.  Winds are so strong, and I know the seas are rough.  After this storm there will be so much debris on the shores and in the ocean! 

Since we couldn’t dive, Mark and I headed to Costco, dressed in our Ocean Defenders Alliance t-shirts.  THREE people stopped and asked us what ODA was and what exactly we do.  It was not a lost day!  Three more people were educated in ocean conservation and clean up! 

Today’s crew:

  • Captain Matt Negaard
  • Dive Master / Instructor Violet Dickerson
  • Henry Bennett
  • Andrea Fiegle
  • Set Henning (welcome!)
  • Tim Howland
  • Dean Karamehmedovic
  • Gary Liebmann
  • Boat Crew Temple Liebmann
  • Megan Mumford
  • Dan Okamura
  • Michael Dal Pra
  • Crystal Gray
  • Glenn Roberts
  • Kay Smullen
  • Rose Zhang
  • Mark England 
  • And me, Marjorie Zensen

 If you want to know more about what ODA does, check out our About Us page! ODA is the only nonprofit on the West Coast and in Hawaii that's solely dedicated to removing ocean debris. We're proud of our history and accomplishments, and we think you'll be inspired, too!