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New Reef at Keawakapu

Posted: Dec 3, 2009

Did you see the barge, tug, and support vessels in front of Keawakapu today? Well, one of those was the Maui Diamond II. Several days a week, I captain the Maui Diamond II on trips to Molokini Crater, but I have got to say it was exciting to get to participate in something new. Today, I brought the Maui Diamond to the site as a safety boat to make sure that no other vessels approached within 300 yards during the deployment.

This morning at 7:30, the barge arrived from Oahu with 1500 concrete fish habitats on board - 1400 "z modules" and 100 four by four square "tubes" to create a diverse new seascape. The workers on the barge deployed 10-12 modules a minute (and these things weigh over 2000 lbs each), creating huge splashes, some of which were heard by divers at Ulua who later told me that the sound was reminiscent of slapping whale tails. One of the interesting things (and one of the reasons it was important to keep vessels, divers, etc. away) was that some of the modules would break apart on impact, spraying chunks of concrete up to 100 feet away!

By about 12:15, the concrete "Z's" were all underwater, sitting on the bottom from 50-80 feet deep. By 12:45, I was among the first to get to dive this new reef. As you can see in the photo, an urchin had already climbed on to check out the new substrate!

-Don

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