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Diving Kona Hawaii: Harlequin Shrimp at Day, Manta Rays at Night

Sincerely, I did not have high expectation on the diving in Hawai’i, the Big Island (USA) after reading some articles about the ruined coral reefs in Hawai’i due to the climate change, overfishing, and tourism. Coral bleaching due to the climate change caused a large number of its corals died. Meanwhile, the high number of tourists are not contributing to the betterment of its sea either. It was suspected that the high number use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawai’i has contributed to damaging the corals.


According to a research finding in 2016, oxybenzone and octinoxate could stunt the growth of baby corals, and that oxybenzone was toxic to coral species. There were 8.9 millions visitors in Hawai’i in the year of 2016 alone, just imagine: millions of tourists use the environmentally unfriendly sunscreens, and all of them swim in the sea….

Please support the movement to ban the sale of coral damaging sunscreen in Hawai’i: Petition

Now you get the reason why I did not feel too enthusiastic about the scuba diving in Hawai’i at the first place. Aside to that, the scuba diving price in Hawai’i is twice expensive compared to the price of scuba diving in Southeast Asia. Sorry Hawai’i, but really, your scuba diving price is ridiculously expensive if compared to the scuba diving region that I adore. Dutchie and I limited our scuba diving days otherwise we would break our piggy bank. We did six dives, visiting six different dive sites for three days and guess what; I enjoy the diving in Hawai’i. Aloha!

The water has an abundant marine life. If only there were no coral bleaching nor damaging corals due to tourism, I am sure the underwater life there is even richer than what I had seen. We met the Eel Morays, Frogfish, Hermit crabs, colorful Butterflyfishes, Snapper and Goatfish. They were happy to get their pictures taken by me. I also saw a sleeping Spanish Dancer nudibranch inside a cave, I guess she was too tired after last night’s activity 😉

On the first day diving, Doug, our Dive Master from the Big Island Divers Dive Center showed us the Harlequin Shrimp, a colorful shrimp, just a couple inch long. The shrimp is native to Pacific ocean, and I have been wanting to see them for ages. I thought my best chance to see them was in Indonesia or the Philippines but I haven’t seen them when diving in Indonesia and the Philippines. And there it was – I saw them in Hawai’i instead. Not only once, but twice and at a different location. Seeing the unique Harlequin shrimp made my first day diving in Hawai’i! Mahalo, Doug, and Hawai’i ❤

Harlequin Shrimp hides between the corals

We also did night diving. The night diving in Hawai’i offers the sightseeing of tens of Manta Rays and the Blackwater diving (sometimes called as the Twilight Zone dive)  to see the migration of pelagic from the mesopelagic zone. No other places around the world that I know of, offering these kinds of night dive experiences other than in Hawai’i! The spectacular night dives in Hawai’i will be available in the future post, I promise. For now, you can see the night diving with the Manta Rays in the following video. As you will see, we also saw the dolphins swimming alongside our diving boat when we travel to the dive site. They were remarkable…oh, did I tell you that we met an endangered Hawaiian monk seal too? Hawai’i is full of surprises!!


For Wanderlust.

Mahalo, Big Island Divers!


Dutchie and I were scubadiving with the Big Island Divers in Kona, Hawai’i, for three days. I was super happy with their service thus I’d love to recommend the dive center to scuba divers and snorkelers when visiting Big Island Hawai’i.


The boat team were funny, friendly and attentive to the clients’ needs. They checked whether we have motion sickness before boarding (medicine is available in the boat). We had thorough and clear explanations from the Boat Captain and the Dive Master in regards to the safety in the boat and diving plan. They do care about the safety of their clients. The boats were clean and well maintained. Drinks, lunch and snacks are provided – thus you don’t have to worry for being starved or thirsty during your boat trip 😀


More about the dive center, please visit: Big Island Divers.


  1. Interesting to read your comments about sunscreens causing coral bleaching! Farm run-off and industry (coal mining) are forever blamed for the severe coral bleaching occurring on the Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland. Maybe more questions need be asked.

  2. Beautiful photos! Thank you, for those of us not initiated in Diving, it really makes you want to put another item on your bucket list.
    Hopeful that humanity will eventually wake up and realize what’s important.

    I only recently tried a quirky combination between snorkeling and scuba diving with Seawalker in Bali.
    Looking forward to the real deal though!

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