Aloha Boundless Fans
After seven months of quarantine, we are welcoming tourists back to Hawaii. We thought it was time to reflect on what we’ve been up to on our forced “vacation.”
For a couple of months in the beginning, we were on stay-at-home orders – Hawaii style. In addition to going to the grocery store, we could still go to the beach for exercise – to surf, swim or SCUBA dive.
DLNR suspended commercial permits during the stay-at-home and Boundless sat in the yard for over a month.
Jim, Allison and Alexia did a lot of shore diving. They discovered a great “muck diving” site just north of the Kawaihae harbor. It’s a sandy, shallow dive with lots of great nudibranch you don’t see anywhere else in Kona. Patrice even dusted off her shore diving fins and took two of our locals to dive up there.
And, of course, Frank and Patrice continued to ride Rusty and Levi.
During our stay-at-home, Frank had lots of time to come up with great COVID procedures for the boat. Our biggest line of defense is a food-grade sanitizer which we spray on everything. Because it’s food-grade we can even spray it on masks and regulators – not just on surfaces we touch. We also provide hand-sanitizer. We are asking people to wear masks (the kind that goes over your nose and mouth, not the diving kind). We are asking guests to handle all their own gear from set-up to rinsing. We’ve done away with the mask rinse bucket – which seems to be the hardest thing for people to get used to.
Now we have to share with you the really bad news of our COVID procedures: we’ve had to put a stop to the brownies. Patrice is buying individually-wrapped brownie bites at Costco. They may not be as delicious as her famous brownies, but they quench your thirst for chocolate. When will the brownies return? TBD.
Once the stay-at-home order lifted, Boundless got her permits back. Without our friends from the mainland, it was a very quiet summer spent diving with our local Kama’aina crew. We are grateful for their support and for an excuse to go diving from the boat.
Most of our locals have decided not to travel this year. Since they aren’t going to exotic dive destinations, some of them decided to staycation right here in Kona. They spent their vacation diving with us every day. They said it felt like a real dive vacation. Even better because they got to sleep in their own beds!
We had some great dives with tiger sharks and rays and dolphins – those guys are always a favorite when diving the Big Island. We also saw some rare critters. The sheep nudibranch – costasiella species – has settled into the Halimeda fields at Crescent. And we’ve been finding emperor shrimp on the thorny sea cucumbers.
In September, Patrice masked up and flew to Washington to see her dad and family for two weeks. The rest of the Boundless crew held down the fort in her absence. After her return, she and Frank quarantined for two weeks. They got free in the knick of time to welcome back you mainlanders.
We hope to see you soon on another great Kona diving adventure.