USA – Hawai’i – Kona, Lone Tree Arch and Golden Arches

Operator Site Dive Depth Bottom Time
Jack’s Diving Locker Lone Tree Arches 48 52.0 56 minutes
Golden Arches 49 52.0 48 minutes

Having purchased new short booties for Tripp, and checking in with Jack’s the day we arrived, I was excited for this dive in Kona. The area is my favorite to dive in, and I’m grateful we had the opportunity to book a dive trip.

We headed out to the docks in the morning and got everything setup. I’m pretty used to Jack’s being a fully staffed company, with young dive masters and instructors in training. For this dive, though, we got two fairly seasoned DMs, one leading a group with high end camera gear, the other leading the group of new and fairly-new divers.

I was fairly worried going into this dive that there would be a repeat of the issues and anxieties of the last dives, but nothing of the sort happened at the start. Getting in the water was a breeze, we followed the group the entire dive.

“Lone Tree” refers to a spot on the short that used to have a single tree on the rocks. That tree is long gone, but the dive site name has remained. The arch is a fairly large swim-through that leads to some great photo spots.

After a good dive, at the time we decided to ascend, Tripp was already down at about 500psi. We’re initially taught to go up earlier than that, and the pre-dive had talked about when we planned to head back, and when we planned to start the ascent. Tripp was extremely worried about his low air, and didn’t want to do the safety stop. I kept getting him to stay down at 15 feet, and his worry kept growing as he saw the air creep closer to 0. There’s no good way to communicate that, we’re at 15 feet, even if it hit zero here, you’d be okay. We’re better doing the safety stop than heading up. The only think I could do is keep pulling him to me each time he started to ascend.

This led to Tripp not wanting to do the second dive. Add in a lack of wanting to eat a sandwich with sprouts on it, and he wasn’t too keen on diving. However, the second dive location had recently seen a white-tipped shark, and that was enough to overcome his reluctance to dive again, and get back in the water.

While we didn’t get to see the shark, as we didn’t make it that far out from the boat, we did see an awesome coral that routinely held a group of fish that would swim out from nesting in the coral when you approached, and also held a crab. We also got to see a viper eel on this dive. Tripp was a lot more comfortable, and overall, this was diving as I’m used to. Comfortable, fun, full of life, and a great experience.

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