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Ed Robinson’s Adventure-X Diving | Maui.Net - All Things Maui
Maui Prince Hotel Makena Resort

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Jun. 14, 2008 by Michael Elam

Ed Robinson’s Adventure-X Diving

What kind of diving would you do on your day off if you were a dive boat operator who has been diving on Maui since 1971? If you were Ed Robinson, you would visit some of your favorite, less-frequented "secret" spots. That's the premise behind Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures new Adventure-X trips. Ed knows all the "secrets" and will share and explore them with you.

Maybe you're a photographer who would prefer to be on your own rather than required to follow a guide. Maybe you have dived Molokini Crater many, many times, and as great as Molokini is, sometimes you want to explore new dive sites you have never been to (that's me!!). How about some live drift dives at some of these new spots? Awesome! Let's get wet!

I set out on a picture-perfect Maui morning with Ed Robinson, his crew Will and Ken and two other divers for an Adventure-X trip expecting to do some great out-of-the ordinary diving. None of us had any idea ahead of time where we would end up, what the conditions might be; what depth, visibility, current we would encounter…you get the picture. We were clueless!

Even though our dive sites were not preset, Ed went about his very logical and systematic way of interviewing us to determine what type of diving we would like to do that morning. On his Adventure-X trips Ed classifies Maui's dive sites into three categories; A, B, and C. Category A includes sites that have great topography AND great sea life, e.g., Molokini Crater. Category B sites have either great topography OR great sea life, e.g., Lanai Cathedrals. Then there is Category C which consists of everything else, and each Category C site has at least one characteristic making it unique and interesting.

We chose three Category B sites that Ed suggested based on our input mainly because neither of the three of us had dived either site before.

The first site was "Battleship/Apartments". Remember the live drift dive I mentioned above? The current was ripping here at about 1 knot, not enough to be too dangerous but enough to present a challenge. We dropped into the water and descended along the anchor line to a depth of 110 feet to "The Apartments" where we were immediately greeted by a prize find, a large Yellowstripe Coris. According to the book Hawaii's Fishes by John Hoover: "these wrasses are solitary by nature and relatively uncommon at most dive sites".

The first thing that struck me about "The Apartments" was the substantial amount of Red Sponges on the rocks and beautiful Black Coral! I can't remember the last time I saw Black Coral anywhere as most was removed in the early days of scuba diving! Nestled in one of the Black Coral was another great find, a pair of Longnose Hawkfish. Schools of Surgeonfish and Pyramid Butterflyfish swam nearby. We came across a nice Triton's Trumpet resting on the rocks. We got so wrapped up in checking out so many creatures at "The Apartments" that we never even made it to what was to be the second part of the dive, the "Battleship"! At a depth of 110 feet we quickly ran out of no-decompression time, and it was time to head back to the surface.

Our second site was "Third Tank", another World War II tank resting on the ocean floor. I have dived the Tank and Landing craft offshore from the Maui Prince many times and I have written about one in a previous posting. Third Tank sits off of Makena Beach (aka Big Beach) at about 80 feet. It is a mortar mounted amtrac that acts as an artificial reef to the sea life around it. Being the only solid object within a large area of sand, the tank attracts sea life looking for a safe haven. We found a HUGE school of Bluestripe Snapper swarming around the underwater tank. Inside the crevices were 4 large Yellowmargin Moray Eels, an octopus sitting on her clutch of eggs, a Hairy Hawaiian Lobster, Squirrelfish and Soldierfish. We found, a small Stout Moray Eel, a Gosline's Fangblenny, and a Leaf Scorpionfish on the wreck! Nearby was a small community (compared to Molokini) of Garden Eels waving back and forth in the current. We watched as several nearby Flagtail Tilefish and Indigo Dartfish hover near their burrows and dart into the sand when we got too close. What a great spot that was!

The final dive site was a shallow dive at "Roger's Backyard", offshore from the Makena Surf condos. Here, turtles are congregating to escape the teeming hordes unleashed by the snorkeling charter boats at nearby Five Graves. So we hung out with numerous turtles who were mostly oblivious to our presence for the end of our Adventure-X morning.

Even though the Adventure-X diving is more free-form than perhaps you are accustomed to, safety is still paramount. Ed's crew provided us with safety sausages and briefed us on their use.

For you non-divers, a safety sausage is a brightly-colored nylon tube with a hole in one end. While diving it stays rolled up and hooked to your BC or stashed in a pocket. If required it is unrolled at the surface and you fill it with air using your regulator which allows it to stand erect 5-6 feet high. If conditions at the surface are extremely choppy and/or if a strong current is carrying you away from the dive boat, it is much easier for the boat to spot the safety sausage than it is to spot your relatively small head bobbing on the surface.

Dive computers are also required. Ed and his crew made a great effort to explain our diving procedures to ensure we understood how to make our dives as safe as possible.

Yellowstripe Coris and Longnose Hawkfish photos courtesy of Ed Robinson.  All other photos courtesy of William Stohler.

About the Operator

Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures has been a leader in Maui diving for over twenty years. Ed has two Munson dive boats: the Seadiver II and the Sea Spirit both of which operate from Kihei Boat Ramp. Ed's crew is first-rate, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. I have been diving with Ed Robinson since before moving to Maui in 2001 and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every experience.

Dive stats:
Dive 1
Location: The Apartments/Battleship
Maximum Depth: 111 feet
Bottom Time: 31 minutes
Visibility: 60-80 feet
Water Temp: 75°

Dive 2
Location: Third Tank
Maximum Depth: 81 feet
Bottom Time: 29 minutes
Visibility: 60-80 feet
Water Temp: 75°

Dive 3
Location: Roger's Backyard
Maximum Depth: 40 feet
Bottom Time: 29 minutes
Visibility: 20-30 feet
Water Temp: 75°


"Wow sounds great Mike. I need to organize another dive trip to Maui. Lars"

Posted by Lars on Jun. 17, 2008

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