By Oahu Volunteer Dive Team Coordinator & U/W Photographer Ken Staples
Aloha from Oahu.
The Ocean Defenders Alliance Hawaii team (ODA-HI) had another successful cleanup dive here on the Eastside of Oahu.
Our long-term partnership with Island Divers Hawai’i keeps getting better and better, and our group of ODA volunteer divers keeps growing.
We couldn’t be happier!
Heading Out on Our Marine Debris Removal Expedition
We left the Island Diver dock at 2pm with a full crew aboard the trusty vessel Sea Fox.
We headed out in rolling seas to Sea Cave which is a popular fishing spot on the Eastside of Oahu. In the first photo, you can see a cave! Amazing isn't it?! Be sure to look at all of the photos in the gallery below. You can see why they call this area Spitting Caves because it looks like the splashing water is being spit out of the cave.
Notice in the photo below, the tents pitched on the sides of the cliff. You can enlarge all the photos in our articles by clicking on them. :-)
Our group of 16 divers were led by Dive Instructors Andrew Monnig and Kevin Wong.
We went over our dive briefing and plan of attack and got ready for our mission to begin. Our fearless captain dropped us close to the wall and we quickly dropped to the bottom to begin.
This particular area of reef had a lot of monofilament fishing line strewn from reef head to reef head, and up and down the wall.
Ocean Life in Peril
We carefully untangled and cut yards of line off the coral. We had to be careful as there were several large eels lurking in the reef. In the picture below you see a couple pyramid butterfly fish near our diver.
At one point, Glenn spotted a puffer fish that had been hooked and the line was caught on the reef. He struggled unsuccessfully to remove the giant hook from the mouth of the pufferfish but was able to cut the line and free the puffer from the reef. We hope he’s able to spit the hook eventually!
A large honu (green sea turtle) also passed by us as we worked, and she traveled right through the path of where we had just removed a bunch of line that had been strung between the reef heads. This is why we do what we do. [Note: we don't have photos of those two instances. We only have one UW camera and it was documenting work elsewhere on the site].
After a short 45 minutes, it was time to surface. We headed away from the wall as a group and made our way up to our safety stop depth.
Defending the Oceans is Satisfying Work
We were pleased with our haul of debris and give our kudos to Andrew and Kevin for wrestling the full buckets back up to the boat.
Getting back on the boat was yet another exciting adventure for all. The seas had picked up their pace and the boat was a rockin’. Check out the photo below - that's what it looked like to us divers as we approached the boat!
Speaking of rocking! Once aboard we cranked up the rock-n-roll music and discussed our rewarding dive.
We then headed back in with a boat full of smiles. All of us proud of what we had accomplished.
Huge mahalos to our fantastic group of divers, Island Divers and the ODA.
Our mission for a debris-free sea is an important one. Just look at the tangled mess of lines (hundreds of feet!) and lead weights and hooks. Please open the photo gallery below to see more images of the debris we removed!
We're thankful for each member of the crew. Your action to help the ocean is meaningful and appreciated!
- Andrew Monnig – Instructor
- Kevin Wong – Instructor
- Bruce - onboard support
- AJ Jaeger - onboard photographer
- Dan Okamura
- Glenn Roberts
- Jared Betzel
- Keith Ellison
- Michael Lee
- Mike Martinelli
- Nico Henderson
- Patrick Robinson
- Ramondoe Goodrich
- Renee Setter
- Stephani Enderlin
- Strat Streetman
- Ken Staples
If you live in Oahu or will be visiting there next month, come on out with us on our next dive Saturday, July 13th. To signup, please visit this page on Island Divers' site.