Why We Dive


by Ev Schultz
(No. 4)


Recent activities in the ocean reinforce why we dive…
every day is different!

BIG THINGS happening at the beginning of 2008.  Lots of humpback whales, whalesharks, spotted eagle rays, mantas, spinner and bottlenose dolphins, a monk seal, a Galapagos shark …and snow on Haleakala!  What a way to start the year off!

With a focus on whale season, early January saw a lot of activity as many of the keiki humpbacks were born late last year, now exhibiting feeding behaviors and being taught how to effectively be a whale by their mothers, to impress the greatest amount of visitors.  Suzzy Robinson calls a keiki breaching a “little pickle” which is what they look like from a distance….and the whales seemed to out in force this year. 

The first sighting of whales underwater occurred at Enenui on February 8th with a mama, baby and escort nearby….as a side note, 2 giant mantas came by as well.  Tiffany reported a whale passing underneath her divers on their safety stop Feb. 12th.  Whales under the boat again on Feb. 21st., and when they’re that close and sing, you can actually feel the reverberation through the aluminum hull of the vessel.  Underwater, crew have reported feeling that same reverberation of whale song through their chest at times.  On Feb. 25th a mom and calf were sighted underwater 25-30 feet away from the dive team, then on the safety stop all the divers watched two adult whales, one on the surface and the second humpback, vertical.

While two of our crew (Dave and Zoe) were surfing on January 8th, they lost count at 35 consecutive tail slaps by nearby humpbacks while waiting for their next set of waves.  On the 9th, Ed’s Adventure-X charter enjoyed breaching humpbacks and pec slaps as they were preparing for their dives at both River Run (past La Peruse Bay) and 3rd Tank.  On the 29th, they were surrounded by whales while anchored at Apartments, with a whale breaching no more than 100 feet away.

Almost every day at the end of January the crew reported being surrounded by whales or whales putting on active displays for our divers (and crew).  Dave Reader reported a competition pod of 5 males vying for a single female.  You may be aware that Humpback Whales are reverse dimorphic (females are larger than males).  The female will be chased by several males in a “heat run” with the hope of mating by winning the competition.  In this heat run, one of the males came from underneath another male and headbutted him …which lifted him slightly and knocked the wind out of him.  Good strategy, as he left the heat run to search for another female or to catch his breath. 

As the season winds down, sightings are now few and far between, but still seeing some activity daily in late April… but there was a lot to see this winter overall.  Where else would you get snow, 75 degrees, and humpback whale extravaganzas before, after and during your dives and in your own back yard!  The only thing missing is YOU!  

Let's go Diving .......... Ev Schultz

Ev Schultz is an integral part of ERDA. She has managed the booking office for over nine years and is constantly being praised by our customers for her warm and friendly manor while dealing with our diver's needs.

Photo-Zoom Images by Randsco