Puako is one of the best shore dives of the Kohala Coast with several lava fingers full of coral and sea life extending towards the ocean.
|Name Dive Site:||Puako|
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Puako is a little beach town on the Kona/Kohala coast just south of the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. When the weather is good you can access it from shore, but try to visit it early in the morning as winds and waves often catch up during the day. There are many survival stories of divers who got caught by the weather and had problems reaching shore safely. You will be diving at a smooth lava shelf with boulders covered in sea urchins and a fantastic tunnel. The tunnel is covered in the nicest corals but its roofs can obtain stinging anemones, so be careful. When you reach the mouth of the tunnel you'll exit into a crevasse at about 30 feet deep that extends out to a drop-off that continues into deep water. The sand bottom of the trench is home to many Horned Helmet Shells, Marlin Spikes, Augers, and Cone Shells. One of the best experiences here is the always active cleaning station for green sea turtles.
At the drop-off of the reef you can venture right or left, but watch the current, as it can be swift at Puako Reef. Allow for it, watch your bottom time, and explore the wall. Because of the currents, the sheer drop-off to deeper water and the sheltered area of the nearby bay, many huge fish can be viewed here such as more than 200 pounds Ulua. Large eels are in practically every nook and cranny, so take a dive-light. Puako is a photographer's delight with bright colors everywhere, so don't forget your camera. Snorkelers will revel in the shallow water views near the entry area and divers will come back for more - that's a promise.
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